'Dear Zindagi' is not a complete waste of time, it is not a whole misfire, and requires little suspension of disbelief. But despite its pleasant outcomes, nice performances of Alia Bhatt and Shahrukh Khan and overall a respectable directorial value of Gauri Shinde, it does little to achieve that emotional, animated but far from manipulative psychological therapy, and finally, doesn't quiet get there. It is a tad overlong as well. But to give it a shot, there are more than a few reasons and fine craft makes it one of the still better Hindi films of the year.
Dear Zindagi, a brilliant film by Gauri Shinde (English Vinglish fame), conveys philosophies of life very beautifully. Although the film depicts the story of a girl who is single, emotionally vulnerable, rebellious; who falls prey to non-committal relationships; who loves imperfections around, I feel this must be watched by every individual. All of us might have our own fears and insecurities. It is very important to face one’s own insecurities and fears. It is aptly conveyed through one of the dialogue that if we are not able to cry out loudly, how can we laugh out loudly. The film also addresses one of the taboo subject i.e. mental illness / depression and removes the stigma attached with it effortlessly. One needs to learn the art of ‘let go’, fight with one’s own insecurities, stop being tough on oneself. Basically, one needs to fall in love with life. It is very much clear from the beginning of the film that ‘Dear Zindagi’ is all about how the protagonist falls in love with life when she is able to overcome her own fears and insecurities. Gauri’s simplicity in presenting great philosophies of life is absolutely commendable.
Kaira (Alia) is a cinematographer. She is eccentric, complicated and impulsive. She hates to show her vulnerabilities to the world. She is happy to be in the company of her friends Fatima (Ira Dubey), Jackie (Yashaswini Dayama) and her house help Alka. Her sensitivities vanish while interacting with parents. She is rude with parents and she does not like to be pampered by her mother. At times, it appears that she dreads perfection too, since deep down in her heart, she feels that she is too imperfect for any perfect thing or person. Although she projects herself as a bold girl, dares to even tell her boy friend that she slept with another man, deep inside she has this whole volcano of vulnerabilities. As a viewer, one can easily make out that Kaira does have lot of inner conflicts.
One often looks at self from the perspective of society and its norms. Forget about the judgment by the world, one tends to judge self. One dimension of the protagonist is that she tries to live life on her own terms, but another dimension of hers is that she herself feels that she is not so good human being due to her non-conformities to the societal rules and norms. One dimension of hers is that she puts up a brave front even while she faces rejections or any sort of failure in relationships, at the same time, another dimension is that she suffers from inside, she suppresses her emotional vulnerabilities. Doesn’t she represent us? The film also explains that the formative years of a child are very important.
Kaira’s outlook towards life and her people changes, she undergoes an inner transformation, when she happens to meet Dr. Jehangir Khan aka Jug (Shah Rukh Khan), a DD (Dimag ka Doctor). Jug as her therapist helps her to change her outlook towards life, people and events in a different manner altogether. Jug’s unconventional non-judgmental approach works in Kaira’s favour.
This film undoubtedly belongs to Alia Bhatt. She has portrayed Kaira so convincingly, be it Kaira’s confusions, inner conflicts, vulnerabilities, impulsiveness, aggressiveness, commitment-phobia etc. Alia makes Kaira so much believable. Another important character in the film is Dr. Jehangir Khan Aka Jug portrayed by Shahrukh Khan. It did not appear at all that Shahrukh is acting, he appeared so real, spontaneous, intelligent, witty and full of wisdom. The screenplay gave him enough room to share philosophies of life. Angad Bedi, Kunal Kapoor and Ali Zafar who become part of Kaira’s lives have less screen time, but are very pivotal in sketching Kaira’s character. Kaira’s friends Ira Dubey, Yashaswini and her brother Rohit Saraf are also very much noticeable. Watch out to know how and when Aditya Roy Kapoor becomes part of the screenplay.
The film does have some beautiful dialogues. Not highlighting them so as to avoid spoilers. But I would certainly like to mention one of the dialogue: “Don’t let your past blackmail the present and ruin the future.” Metaphors used in the film are also very nice.
The songs Love you Zindagi and Ae Zindagi Gale Lag Ja are indeed very nice.
This film certainly made me fall in love with Zindagi once again. I came face to face with my innermost fears of losing people in life. I challenged my own need to snap-off the relationships before it is broken from the other end. I reiterated and acknowledged the presence of 5 most important people in my life (must-haves of my life). I pledged not to be too hard on self, and also not to judge self/brand self as good /bad as per societal norms. I am in love with ‘Dear Zindagi’.
Dear Zindagi, a brilliant film by Gauri Shinde, depicts philosophies of life beautifully. This film is all about how one falls in love with life by overcoming inner fears and insecurities. Gauri’s simplicity in presenting great philosophies of life is absolutely commendable. A must watch.
Gauri Shinde talks about original stories. While English Vinglish (2012) was a triumph, this drama is a tad artificial and long-winded.
Kaira (Alia Bhatt) is a girl who is troubled, selfish, pretentious, jealous, emotional, irritable, restless, disturbed, and other 596 things the society generally associates with mental health problems. She is an aspiring cinematographer who is independent but has possible parent issues. However, what is specifically wrong with her is not clear to us, let only to herself. And the story follows her life as she tries to cope with her personal and professional lives, often hitting roadblocks in romantic relationships, and eventually finding solace in a psychiatrist named Jehangir (Shah Rukh Khan).
The theme of mental health is surprisingly new to Bollywood, and we should thank Ms Shinde for etching a story about it. Regardless, there are issues with her execution. One will have no sympathy for Kaira, who seems like a woman who no one would want to be around with. Of course, she has problems and that is the reason why she is that way. But, instead of addressing thee issues as an adult who is 25, Kaira tries to blame others for her problems. Her pretentious attitude and no care for what is happening around her and to the ones she possibly cares about maybe true to the backstory, but will definitely cause you some irritation. Calling it drama would be a travesty, as Kaira also pretends to be a humanitarian trying to pull herself together. Yet she derives pleasure and closure from relationships by going to supermarkets and randomly breaking pickle jars.
The first half is pro-feminist. I mention this because it's all over the place to the point that one would have Kaira take some medical help than let another pro-feminist shoot her as a child with issues. Ms Shinde tries to represent the current generation (millennials) who are collectively irritated by their mothers, but the end product is a convoluted presentation of her interpretations. Thankfully, Kaira does get medial help, and finally the story gathers useful steam. SRK's entry is medicine both to Kaira and to the audience. Viewers will get respite from them millennials who quote William Faulkner and indirectly endorse eBay and Godrej's Nature's Basket while at it.
Jehangir likes to quote Einstein; so you know what happens in the second half. The contrived story arcs are at bay now as Kaira teams up with her psychiatrist and throws potshots at stereotypes in the world. There are some really fine moments here as we are taken deep into the real problem of mental health issues experienced by the young generation of today. Apart from his inside stories, SRK's character brings joy and relief to the screen.
Alia Bhatt is brilliant as the troubled child, while SRK acts like he's doing a favor by acting. Bhatt lives her character and succeeds in enacting the nuances associated with it, which is clear as sky in this tale which is largely shot in Goa. The supporting cast is well- directed, but averagely written. Happy to see Ira Dubey after her act with Imad Shah in M Cream (2014). Ali Zafar also astonishingly applies himself and refrains from showing his pearl whites in intervals of 11 seconds. The film partly works because of Bhatt's radiant performance.
Overall, its evident that Ms Shinde had the intentions of cleansing this world of doubts about mental health and/or stereotypes against women. I wouldn't say she succeeds fully, but she could have instead written a Medium post and be done with it. Audience could have then read Jenny Lawson's "Furiously Happy" for an extension of that post. Unfortunately, he we are with a film which looks like an extension of Imtiaz Ali's Highway (2014).
Mental health problems are real, and it's time we realize that. Watching this film should not only be about entertainment, but owning up to the cause. Then can we say that the film's a triumph. If not, it can just be an afternoon family watch.
BOTTOM LINE: Gauri Shinde's "Dear Zindagi" is a thoughtful film with polarizing two halves which talks about real problems of the real world, only with a tepid sense and meandering approach. Watch it on DVD for Bhatt.
Can be watched with a typical Indian family? NO
After a plethora of sequels in the past couple of weeks which more or less bordered on mediocrity (except for maybe "Force 2"), we finally have one which promises to keep the audience entertained. It happens to be Gauri Shinde's "Dear Zindagi" which has SRK & Alia Bhatt in the lead. They were the first guests in this season of "Koffee With Karan" (who is also one of the producers) & from the lively vibe they shared, they would have dazzled in the movie as well. The promos has been quite catchy & the same applies to the songs as well which has become chart busters. So did it live upto expectations???
Kiara (Alia Bhatt) is a talented upcoming cinematographer, who was on the lookout for a big break which would elevate her to the elite league. Even though her career was on the rise, her personal life seemed to be in turmoil as she was emotionally insecure. Kiara shared a rather cold relationship with her parents & also feared commitment calls which invariably meant she ended up hurting the guys with whom she was romantically linked. After one such breakup, Kiara headed back to her parents in Goa hoping that a change in environment will help to calm her nerves. But she found it hard to handle it by herself & sought the help of a psychiatrist, Dr Jehangir Khan aka Jug (SRK). How he helps her out & makes her embrace life is what the movie is about.
Gauri Shinde is a person who doesnt need much of an introduction even though she just has one movie to her credit which incidentally happened to be the commercially & critically acclaimed "English Vinglish". Just as in her previous venture, this time too she has taken up the responsibility of penning the script & screenplay. One of the emphatic message in "English Vinglish" was that children need to be more understanding about their parents shortcomings while over here, parents has to understand that their presence is essential for their children in their formative years. However, it doesnt quite impress in the same manner as this seemed to be kinda superficial & didnt make us feel invested in the story. But there are quite a couple of sequences which were brilliant be it the one where Alia vents out her anger & frustrations at her family or the climax sequence where she breaks down in front of SRK. Laxman Utekar deserves praise for his impressive frames & the same applies to Amit Trivedi for his music which was quite endearing.
A couple of days back, I happened to read an article in NDTV which said Anil Kapoor expressed confidence that if the awards weren't rigged then his daughter Sonam will sweep the best actress awards for her role in "Neerja. Well to be frank, I doubt anyone else stands a chance apart from Alia who was brilliant in "Udta Punjab" & has given a thumping performance here as well. It was a difficult character to portray coz of the various shades, but she has done it skillfully without overdoing it. Inspite of playing second fiddle to her character, SRK has done a fantastic job as he lighted up the screen with his charisma. Almost all of the supporting cast has done a fine job such as Ira Dubey, Yashaswini Dayama, Kunal Kapoor etc.
Verdict: From the promos itself, it's kinda evident that it is a type of movie which caters to the multiplex audience. But even for them as well, the lack of an engaging script will prove to be its downfall. In short, many would find the therapy sessions repetitive & would yearn for the exit but it is still worth a watch for Alia & SRK!!!
Not for all, SRK was great by the way
There are several lines of dialogue in Dear Zindagi that you are unlikely to have heard before in Hindi cinema. Dear Zindagi an unusual Bollywood movie that explores the inner life .
... Dear Zindagi quick review: Shah Rukh Khan, Alia Bhatt are perfect in...Cast. Alia Bhatt as Kiara / Koko. Shah Rukh Khan as Dr. Jehangir Khan / Jug. Ira Dubey as Fatima / Fatty. Yashaswini Dayama as Jackie. Rohit Saraf as Kido. Kunal Kapoor as Raghuvendra, a film producer. Angad Bedi as Sid, a restorer owner. Ali Zafar as Rumi, a musician.During their first therapy session in his expansive, sun-dappled consulting room, Jehangir Khan (Shah Rukh Khan) tells Kaira (Alia Bhatt) the story of a man, his Chinese companions, a snow leopard and Mount Everest. There's humour in the story, but also a message for young Kaira that resonates within her. The next morning, she attempts to recount the story to her friends but stumbles and stammers out a tale that has none of the original quality or charm.
The script of "Dear Zindagi" is like the story. On paper, writer-director Gauri Shinde's tale about a troubled young girl and her dapper therapist must have looked like it had the right dose of humour and message. But the end product, much like a game of Chinese Whispers, is mostly garbled and incoherent.
A beautiful cinematic experience. This movie makes you: laugh, shed a few good tears, feel happy, rethink about your own life, fall in love with Alia, fall in love with SRK all over again.
To add to these, it has lovely direction, cinematography and background score! When it comes to acting, everyone has done a fab job. Alia is winning best actress award for sure. SRK was the right choice for this supporting role; I am so glad a Superstar like him agreed to do this role. All other actors were perfect too. After Zoya Akhtar, Gauri Shinde brings new hope to storytelling in Bollywood. Go watch it at a theater near u! Its high time Indian audience supports movies like these. Love you Zindagi!
After English Vinglish, Gauri Shinde is Back with Bang! She Directed the film very well. Music is simply Soulful, #LoveYouZindagi is already HIT Among the Youth.
Cinematography is Eye Catching. Watertight Story & Screenplay. There is no dull moment throughout the flick. Fast Paced First & Second Half. That's the USP of the film. Classy Production Designing, Editing is Sharp & Crispy. Climax is simply Outstanding. Dialogues are well written & wonderful at many places. The show belongs to Alia Bhatt, Alia looks stunning and surrenders herself completely to the director's vision and delivers a knockout performance. The film will make even the skeptics take a note of Alia's talent, as she handles several challenging episodes in the film like a seasoned, mature performer. Her lengthy sequence in the climax is absolutely terrific. Shahrukh Khan Steals the Show all the Way. He gave Top Notch Performance. He is the REAL KING of Bollywood. What a Terrific Performance by him! His best film since My Name Is Khan? Also, outstanding Performances by all Supporting Actors Kunal Kapoor, Angad Bedi & Ali Zafar. On the whole, DEAR ZINDAGI is a remarkable motion picture. It's amusing, emotional, heartrending and also insightful. An inspiring film with an overwhelming message. A must-watch for Youth. Strongly Recommended to all of u
A timeless script that's not classy but very deep. It's really OK if you don't like this wonderfully crafted film much, but do watch it again after 5 years.
Keep this cycle going and I'm sure you'll like it some day. This is because this movie will RECYCLE(:P) itself. Alia Bhatt is growing to become a mass favourite sooner or later. She's just mastering her acting skills with each project. Gauri Shinde repeated her beautiful filmmaking after her previous script English Vinglish. I hope she goes amazingly like this in future without repeating not repeatable things. Finally, for SRK, I was able to happily bear you for the first time in a decade. Please keep working like a fine act, because your potential is rare.
Storyline Rating: 4 Content: 4 Commercialization: 2 Entertainment: 3
Acting Rating: 3 Alia Bhatt: 4 Shah Rukh Khan: 4 Kunal Kapoor: 3 Yashaswini Dayama: 3
Direction Rating: 4
Music Rating: 3
One of the best movies of 2016 for sure.There is a simplicity and originality in the film that stays with you hours after you've watched the movie.
Alia Bhatt shines as an actress, giving yet another outstanding performance that leaves you speechless. She dives into her character with ease and conviction and ticks all the right boxes delivering an emotional performance.Can't wait to see more of her films soon.A genuine actor who is a superstar.And then there is King Khan. Shah Rukh Khan plays a perfect support both to on-screen kaira and off-screen alia in the role of Jehangir. It was very cool of Srk to do this film and we are left feeling even we need a mentor/guru like Jehangir. It's the chemistry between Alia and Srk that keeps the film moving and the audience involved.The soundtrack is brilliant.Good supporting actors and cinematography. Great work by writer-director Gauri Shinde. A must-watch for sure
Dear Gauri Shinde,
Thanks for gifting us a story where the journey is more important than the destination. One needs courage to make an intrusive film on a young individual's internal complications and involve us in her expedition. Eventually the therapeutic route engulfs us to an extent that we start our quest for happiness within our imperfection existence. And therein lies your success, your ability to convey some simple yet deep statements about Life without striking with a sledgehammer to prove your point.
And thankfully there's no excessive drama what a beauty!! Yeah, the narrative is verbose but those dialogues are so free flowing and real. Many a times I didn't feel like watching a movie.
Thanks again, for gifting us Dr Jehangir "Jugs" Khan. A life-mentor like him around can prompt any soul to sing "Love you Zindagi". Lots of thanks for giving Shah Rukh Khan a scope for a restained performance. His gentle, calm aura is infectious. And it seems Alia Bhatt can't go wrong... Dear Zindagi belongs to her and it is yet another triumph for this young talent. Also, convey my note to your casting director for the flawless casting (one who played Jackie is my fav), Laxman Utekar for the cinematography & Amit Trivedi (ofcourse). The protagonist's issues are very urban centric and the decision to release it only 1100 screens is spot-on.
Be it problem of house wives or millennial, you seem to hit the right chords... These two beautifully crafted slice-of-life films surely make you a sought after director in my list.
A heartfelt film with all heart & heart and the statement on parenting..
Yours thankfully, An ardent (& momentarily happy) cine-lover
P.S : "you and only you is the teacher of your School of life" - a much required statement that should flow into our psyche
It might be a great movie for girls, but not a boy thing so no jokes were funny to me... i didn't felt related to the characters. But yea still nicely directed and shooted...
First Half of the movie is slightly low. But it is only for building the concept of Character Kaira. I love the Character of Dr. Jehangir Khan. I think people will solve half of their life problem by watching this movie.
As SRK 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.
With work from vast array of talented scene designers, costume designers, composers, cinematographers, and various other Bollywood artists, the cast of Dear Zindgi had a strong foundation to work with
Everyone knows that this is another classic film of this year. The movie - Pink shows us about the freedom of a girl, her choices and her decisions, with a little bit of negativity around her. But, this film offers you only positive vibes.
Directed by Gauri Shinde, who earlier made English Vinglish, comes up with a really fresh concept. Starring the leading actress of this generation, Alia Bhatt & the superb actor Shah Rukh Khan.
What should a girl do to find out a perfect match for her, what are her fears, her break-ups and link-ups, her relations with her family members, especially when she had a dull past in her kitty, and then how to overcome all the worries of life with a smile and be happy! - This is what the film is.
If you loved English Vinglish type films, than you will give it 5 out of 5. Otherwise don't go to make some noise with your chit-chats, that irritates a lot to a true viewer. I'm happy that I didn't face it in this film.
What to tell about the performance! I mean, Alia was extraordinary in Udta Punjab, so I think she would get the award for that film. I guess, this film would get her nominations in all the ceremony, for sure. She is just a cutie-pie. I'm declaring her the best actress of this generation. SRK is at his best. After Fan, this is again a power-booster for his so called Changed Filmography which was started with Fan. After this, Raees and The Ring are there, so all the fans, just come up to applause his choices.
Every other actors are totally good with their respective roles. But, I would like to mention Ali Zafar. This guy is such a talented man. His voice quality is superb. He plays a suitable role to his real life. All songs are like cherries on the cake. Amit Trivedi had given the music to suit the situation and the though of the lyrics. While, Kausar Munir as a lyric writer is also good, as three songs are in my mind right now, Just Go To Hell O Dil, Taareefon Se & Love You Zindagi.
Cinematography is perfect. Set-ups, locations of Goa, costumes - everything just comes to the place perfectly, and that's why the film looks so fresh and engaging.
The best part of the film is its dialogues. Especially those which are spoken by Dr. Jehangir Khan, that is SRK. "Don't let your past blackmail your present to ruin your future." All the girls out there, just go for it. All the members of that so called 'Society' has to definitely go and watch this. Every broken heart wants a nurture, and Dear Zindagi will provide you that. Kudos and cheers to the entire team!
9/10 | jhangirkn | 24 Nov 2016
Why do I want to write the 4th comment on The Dear Zindagi? I am not sure - almost everything that could be possibly said about it has been said.
But like so many other people who wrote comments, I was and am profoundly moved by this simple and eloquent depiction of hope and friendship and redemption.
The only other movie I have ever seen that effects me as strongly is fan and Om Shanti OM. Both movies leave me feeling cleaner for having watched them.
I didn't intend to see this movie at all: I do not like simple movies and I don't normally watch them. , I check out this movie and watch it and it makes me feel better." At the time, I thought that was very strange. I absolutely would not watch under any circumstance or things that I had seen too many times already., so I watched it. I have watched it four times since then and it gets better with every showing.
No action, no special effects - just a girl seeking help with her life.
The fourth best movie I have ever seen. I do not judge it by it's technical merits - I don't really care about that. I have read that ShahRukh Khan have a small role but when I watched it this role really matters a lot. They may have the best technique or be the most influential motion pictures ever made, but not the best. The best movies are ones that touch the soul. It takes a movie like The Dear Zindagi to touch the soul
Dear Zindagi The second directorial venture by Gauri Shinde is like a heave of fresh air amidst the daily hustle and bustle of our busy, monotonous and somewhat mechanical life.
At times, one just needs to stop by, appreciate one's beautiful life and say "Dear Zindagi, we haven't met for a while, so just came by to say, 'Hi' " just as Alia Bhatt does at the end of the film. The movie is not for people looking forward to a 'masala flick' or some intense romantic offering by Mr. Shah Rukh Khan. It mainly gives you a 2.5 hour of 'soul-searching' opportunity wherein you can shower nothing else but only appreciation and praise for the sheer acting prowess demonstrated by Ms. Alia Bhatt, playing a cinematographer in the film. She emotes and connects effortlessly. It is her film. She proves again that why she is undoubtedly one of the best actors of her time. Coming to Dr. Jehangir Khan (Mr. Shah Rukh Khan), a psychiatrist by profession, you realize how simplicity can sometimes be a Genius. There is no question about his acting, but off late, his choice of roles was being doubted and the standard of movies he was acting in. But in this movie, he proves his mettle yet again. He doesn't let you feel his star presence and overshadow Alia, but helps her acting genius flow in the river of his experience, persona, poise and simplicity. He is a complete treat to our eyes and hearts. The entire supporting cast does a decent job as well. The film successfully tickles your funny bone in parts but seems to be a bit stretchy in the middle and slows down, but gears up as the end approaches. Gauri Shinde's direction is good, if not extraordinary, given the expectations I had from her, post English Vinglish. The music by Amit Trivedi is worth accolades and does justice to the film. Overall, the film has a 'feel-good' factor and the audience would relate to Leonardo da Vinci's apt quote that "Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication" while leaving the theaters with a smile on their faces
Awesome movie.Superb performance by Alia and Srk.Must watch.
The film left me with several lessons to learn from .Both Shah Rukh and Alia did a brillent job .