Gauri Shinde's latest offering is a tale that's totally relevant in today's times. It deals with love, hatred, friendship, jealousy, insecurity and a lot of other things. Sadly, the director fails to whip up a perfect concoction of these elements and instead, delivers a remedy that just falls short of being the perfect solution.
There's a scene in the film where SRK's Jugs says to Kiara, "Bachpan mein jab rona aata hai....toh bade kehate hain...ansu pocho..Jab gussa aaata hai..Toh hum bade kehate hain...Give us a smile...Taki ghar ki shanti bani rahe...Nafrat karna chahate hain toh...Izazat nahi di..Tab jab hum pyaar karna chahte hain...toh pata chalta hai ki ...sara emotional system hi gadbada gaya..kam nahi kar rah hai...It cannot function." That pretty much sums up Dear Zindagi for you.
Go for it if you seek some comfort food with some philosophical ingredients in it!
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.
Gauri Shinde does a half-decent job with Dear Zindagi. The director, whose English Vinglish was a landmark film and did not leave you without a smile or a tear, seems oddly laid-back in Dear Zindagi. Maybe we began expecting too much from Shinde after her first film.
The story of Dear Zindagi, much like its protagonist, is stuck in a rut. The film has its moments in Kiara's reluctance and irritation while talking to her parents or leaving her men just because she wants to. Or in Jug's sessions on the bicycle or playing kabaddi with the waves on the beach. As a complete film, Dear Zindagi is slow and gets plain boring at times. Alia tries her best to make you feel invested in her Kiara, but there's nothing even she can do after a point with long-winded monologues and so little action.
Dear Zindagi scores a few brownie points on the emotion front. However, when the film has emotions as its driving point, it comes as an unpleasant surprise when it can't even do much there. The light-hearted dialogues and scenes are the high points of the film. But they too stop working after a point. At near-2.5 hours, Dear Zindagi feels too stretched.
Watch the film for Alia Bhatt and Shah Rukh Khan. It's an emotional joyride which won't harm you when watched once.
More eye-rolls are caused by the dialogues which are straining to be natural, but end up being far too many saying much too little. Finally, despite Alia Bhatt’s clear and present spark (she keeps disappearing into the construct of the Fragile, Vulnerable Little Girl, coming up for air only once in a while) and Shah Rukh’s raffish charm (he keeps reaching out for the right `sur’, a mix of gravitas and lightness, and catches it only occasionally, letting us notice the white in his beard: hey, look, there’s a superstar playing his age!), ‘Dear Zindagi’ comes off as a film which could have done with less preciousness, and more plot.