Cast: Shahrukh Khan, Alia Bhatt, Kunal Kapoor, Angad Bedi, Ali Zafar, Aditya Roy Kapur
Director: Gauri Shinde
Producers: Gauri Shinde, Karan Johar, Gauri
Khan, Apoorva Mehta
Writer: Gauri Shinde
What's Yay: Alia Bhatt, Shahrukh Khan,
Direction, Cinematography, Songs
What's Nay: Sluggish pace of the narrative, a
couple of stray notes here and there
Popcorn Refill: Strictly interval as you need
to be totally engrossed in the film to connect to what's
unravelling on the screen.
The Iconic Moment: Dear Zindagi has many
defining moments. But for me, Alia's breakdown scene and the one
where she confesses her feelings for 'Jugs' SRK are a complete
Plot: Kiara aka Koko (Alia Bhatt) is a
cinematographer who aspires to make her own full length feature
film someday. While the young girl is quite clear about her
ambitions and dreams, her love life has an altogether different
story to tell!
Kiara ends her relationship with Sid (Angad Bedi) after
confessing to him about her fling with her film-maker friend
Raghuvendra (Kunal Kapoor) while they were in Singapore for a
shoot. She is totally smitten by Raghuvendra but suddenly lands up
with confused feelings when the latter suggests that they should
get serious about their relationship.
Further, things take an ugly turn and the two decide to part
ways. Kiara's world comes crashing down as she continues to battle
with serious commitment issues and her life choices and
A troubled Kiara zooms off to Goa on her parents' insistence to
shoot a video for a hotel owned by a family friend. However, this
trip turns out to be a life-changing experience for her when she
encounters a psychologist, Dr. 'Jugs' Jehangir Khan at a conference
on mental health and awareness.
Impressed by his unorthodox thoughts, Kiara starts taking
counselling lessons from him to face her inner demons. Meanwhile,
life gives her another chance to fall in love when she comes across
a handsome musician-singer named Rumi (Ali Zafar). Sparks flow but
Kiara still has some questions in life unanswered. Will Jugs'
therapy sessions make her reveal her deep secret and help her in
embracing emotions in their flawed form?
Direction: Let me begin this by saying that if
you are looking out for some formulaic story, then Dear Zindagi is
not your cup of tea. Instead, it is a beautiful compilation of
phases of every struggling youngster and their never-ending issues
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
At a run time of about two and a half hours, the film might test
your patience if you fail to connect with it. The plot drags at a
few points and becomes a tad boring. However, the crackling one
liners and light-hearted dialogues make sure to comfort you in this
One needs to have a keen eye for detailing to understand why
Gauri chooses to focus on the mundane day-to-day activities of her
characters to make her point.
Dear Zindagi doesn't match up the brilliance of English Vinglish
in terms of story-telling and execution but it does manage to warm
the cockles of your heart and make you teary-eyed in a scene or
Acting: Alia Bhatt may have chosen a safe
Bollywood debut way back in 2010 in the form of Student Of The
Year. But the young girl has never developed a cold feet when it
comes to experimenting with her roles in her later films. After
Udta Punjab, she is back with yet another applause-worthy
performance in Dear Zindagi which might strangely give you a déjà
vu of her Highway act.
Alia is totally in sync with her character and wears it like the
second skin. She gets the emotions bang on and you laugh and cry
Alia's Kiara may be impulsive, wears a tough exterior and is
vulnerable when it comes to her boyfriends (chairs) as she finds
none of them comfortable enough to sit for a long time. But beneath
this mess, deep down she is a scared girl with a not-so-happy
childhood, finding it difficult to love and cope up with
Watch out for the scene of her emotional outburst at her parents
and that of her last meeting with 'Jugs'!
Coming next to the most important character, 'Jugs' Jehangir
Khan played by Shahrukh Khan. We have grown up watching the
superstar serenade his leading ladies in the Swiss Alps, spread his
arms in the yellow-mustard fields and tell us that 'pyaar dosti
hai'. However, Dear Zindagi's Jugs doesn't do any of these
Instead, he and his young patient play kabaddi with the sea
waves on the beach to decode life. So, unlike SRK we have seen so
far, isn't it? But that's exactly what comes off as a refreshing
change. This time, he has some serious life lessons to teach and
leaves us pondering over several thoughts that may have never even
crossed our minds until now. Nevertheless, his raffish charm and
that dimpled smile still makes us skip a heart-beat!
Kunal Kapoor and Angad Bedi churn up a dishy act, Ali Zafar will
make your hearts flutter and oh, there's a bit of Aditya Roy Kapur
too! (Sorry, we ain't telling you anything about him.
Ira Dubey and Yashwasini Dayama, who play Alia's besties are at
their effervescent best.
Other Technical Aspects: Gauri Shinde's writing
needed to be crispier and a bit easy on the preachy part.
Laxman Utekar's breezy cinematography is a visual treat as he
takes you on an enjoyable ride of small lanes and the tempting
beaches of Goa through his lenses.
One wished that Hemanti Sarkar's editing scissors could have been a bit sharper!
Music: Jasleen Royal's husky vocals in Love You
Zindagi makes up for a soothing hearing. Just Go To Hell Dil is for
the heart-broken souls whereas Tu Hi Hai has a catchy vibe.
Verdict: 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
Go for it if you seek some comfort food with some philosophical
ingredients in it!