Gauri Shinde took all of us by surprise with her debut film English Vinglish. Moment, Dear Zindagi was announced it was one of the most awaited film. It will be unfair to say that Dear Zindagi is not up to the mark but just a few things in the film that keep it away from being the ultimate film in slice of life genre.

Dear Zindagi has a simple and beautiful story. A story that almost everyone on this planet could easily relate to. Film discusses some of the most crucial points that every person goes through at some point in their life. It can be unstable relationships during teenage or adulthood, striving for parents attention as a kid, difficulty to prove the world that doing an unconventional job is not weird, sparing yourself from those relatives who take an oath to get you married etc etc. The solution to this is a therapist. Obviously Gauri Shinde has taken the cinematic liberty to make her point with this film. The brighter part of this therapy is that it does not look or sound preachy at any point in the film. Screenplay of the film is terrific at times and sadly haywire at times. Some brilliant scenes even more brilliantly performed by Alia Bhatt but also some scenes whose absence couldn’t have affected the film. Those are the times when you feel that the film is losing its track or just beating around the bush or it just seems repetitive. The only problem with Dear Zindagi is its length. 150 minutes seem very long with this one. At many places in second half you just feel that the film is about to end and you would be happy with that but it goes on and on. Happily you don’t mind since Alia delivers a powerpacked performance but editing needed some serious thinking.

Alia Bhatt is on a spree of giving out those best performances which Hindi cinema should be proud of. She is just flawless in the film. Her overall performance is outstanding but some scenes which will be remembered for the longest time would be her breakdown scene, outburst in front of her parents, knowing she just got dumped by her boyfriend. Undoubtedly one of the strongest contender for the trophies at this awards season. Her performance makes Dear Zindagi worth a watch. Its good to see Shah Rukh Khan take backseat yet be prominent. His act is refreshing and even though Alia is a scene stealer he makes sure he is noticed too. Remaining cast like Ira Dubey, Angad Bedi, Kunal Kapoor, Ali Zafar, Aditya Roy Kapoor and the others play their part well. Kunal Kapoor is impressive though in this entire lot. Without any second thought Alia takes all the praises in the performance department.

Gauri Shinde gets everything right but somewhere lacks in creating that English Vinglish spark. Laxman Utekar needs a special mention for getting that perfect frames and that awesome lighting in every shot giving it a real touch. The cinematography makes the film look a bit more beautiful. Amit Trivedi has composed some good numbers but the same Ali Zafar’s song is played repeatedly making it a bit too much. The album is fine though. Background score is perfect; subtle.

Dear Zindagi is surely worth a watch. It tells you so many good things about life that you already know but still would not want to miss them. Also the major reason for watching Dear Zindagi is Alia Bhatt. This one is absolutely recommended.

Rating: 3.5/5


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