Movie Review Dear Zindagi

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Kaira (Alia) is an astute cinematographer who is bohemian in her approach to life. Enter Dr Jehangir Khan (Shah Rukh), a top-notch therapist, who helps her lay her innermost demons to rest.
In a scene from the film, Alia who is heartbroken, bites into a green chilli. As her eyes cloud over, she looks at her best buddy Fatima (Ira Dubey) and says — “the chilli is pungent.’’ Tears, silly fears and frailties all part of the life process. So brave it we must. This kind of sums up the life lesson writer-director Gauri Shinde’s second directorial film imparts.

But unlike her first film English Vinglish that hit the bullseye subtly, here the message is hammered. Of course some of the writing has merit. There are funny and clever one-liners. There are numerous analogies drawn to explain the innumerable relationships one encounters in today’s fast-fleeting urban life. Some of this makes you chuckle, some of it makes you cry. So far so good. However, the first half of the film meanders, making you restless. Frankly, things actually begin to look up just before intermission when SRK, without his trademark outstretched arms, makes an appearance.

As said earlier, the protagonist played by Alia flits like a butterfly from Raghuvendra (Kunal) to Sid (Angad) and later to Rumi (Ali). And there is a backstory to show why she is so messed up. Honestly, her angst bites to some degree but not entirely.

To analyse why she is the way she is, Alia makes an appointment with SRK a DD (dimaag ka doctor) in Goa. It is on his couch that she is able to voice her fears. As he meticulously picks up the pieces of her past and ‘pieces’ her together, the film allows the viewer too to confront some of their own anxieties. So it isn’t all in vain.

Feisty Alia, one of the better actors of the current generation, turns in a nicely nuanced performance. And SRK in his sober-avatar possessing infinite gyaan tempts you to seek out a therapist. If you’re in the mood to do some soul-searching this weekend, this film could do it for you.

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