Dear Zindagi – Under faux layers of nothingness lies a story with its heart & soul in the right place

Some movies work like alcohol on you, either they give a rapid high like a tequila shot or they grow on you till a point after which it’s best to end them.

Dear Zindagi, on the other hand, is like a freshly made refreshing cup of tea. From the moment it starts being brewed, the aroma intrigues you. As you start sipping, there are layers of narrative that unfold at a very calm and soothing pace, and even when its over, there is a flavour that lingers in your mind for a while.

The story revolves around the life of Kiara, a young, budding cinematographer in Mumbai. There is an attempt to create a character that is not so ordinary, but we never see why. We don’t see her discomfort of living alone in a big city, nor do we see her struggle to follow her dreams. She belongs to a rather affluent family and has a bunch of seemingly delightful friends. Exactly why empathising with any of her problems seems almost impossible. The only muddle that we find her in, is a series of some short-lived, unstable relationships, almost like all millennials. Only that our girl gets all the super-hot men around at the drop of a hat.

It is only after we reach the second half, Dear Zindagi becomes a powerful ride. Jehangir Khan aka Jug, enters as the lifeguard of Kiara’s ‘doobti naav’. There are these engrossing conversations between these two that sparkle like confetti amidst this otherwise mundane emotional journey. Whether or not you relate to the complications of the protagonist, these conversations will leave you with some very simplistic yet stimulating takeaways.

Alia Bhatt does a fairly impressive job as a young, confused, immature, (also e-bay obsessed) 20 something, but that isn’t very far from what we have seen of her, multiple times. Having said that, it is hard to imagine someone else play Kiara, and this role seems tailor-made for her.
It is absolutely delightful to watch SRK as a non-hero, working his raffish charm all the way through his words of wisdom in his signature style that even a non-fan will fall prey to.
If the icing (read SRK) on the cake wasn’t enough, there are these three gorgeous cherries ( go find out) on top that make the watch truly worthwhile.

Goa has been beautifully captured in its true serenity that perfectly depicts an endearing sense of freedom. The light and breezy music support the narrative just right, and some of them will find a place on your playlist.

The film does get stuck in the rut of cliches like – gay guy needing a shrink to come out of the closet, Software engineers being the marriage material, the easiest of to spelling ‘creative’ =camera etc, but it has its heart in the right place. It bravely attempts to talk about mental health in a ‘dinner-table’ conversation’ way and not like a stigma, we just wish that the plot would have been stronger than it is.

Gauri Shinde manages to weave in a soulful story with its tiny little magic moments here and there.

Dear Zindagi is a joyful emotional ride and worth a watch for its unusual and refreshing leading pair.

Cutting Rating – 3.5/5

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