Directed by Gauri Shinde, Dear Zindagi features Alia Bhatt (Kiara) and Shahrukh Khan (Jehangir) in the lead roles. Dear Zindagi is that one fresh film which stands out of all in Bollywood. The chemistry between Alia and Shahrukh is exceptional and genuine. This Gauri Shinde’s directorial celebrates the imperfections of our lives in a most beautiful way. Alia Bhatt’s performance in the film is superb and each and every actor related to the film has done complete justice to their roles. Shahrukh has been seen in a new avatar after so many years and he is actually the soul of the movie till the end. Dear Zindagi is the most engaging film we’ve seen in the past few months. Gauri Shinde’s story telling technique works for us like always and will make you laugh, cry and feel every moment of it beautifully. Alia Bhatt is shown as a talented cinematographer who is jumbled-up in her past relationships and seeks help from SRK who is a therapist (Dimaag Ka Doctor). The movie belongs to Alia Bhatt on the whole; she is the one who takes our heart away with her amazing performance and charm. Shahrukh Khan on the other hand steps out of his comfort zone and delivers a serious, mature, and a riveting performance. Overall, Dear Zindagi is a must-must watch. It’s a kind of movie which spreads magic and teaches us important life lessons.
Dear Zindagi, from the way it looked, felt, came across as, right from its title, was known to be a slice-of-life film ever since its first poster was released. What it is all about, therefore, is as good as anyone's guess. The magic lay in the execution. For most of its parts, Dear Zindagi has its moments, but there are those stray notes that don't necessarily fit properly in the scheme of things. 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. 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. Amit Trivedi's music is light and breezy, keeping in tune with the way the film has been shot. Love You Zindagi is a likeable earworm. Watch the film for Alia Bhatt and Shah Rukh Khan. It's an emotional joyride which won't harm you when watched once.
What could have been a solid drama with emotional heft — the qualities that made Shinde’s debut ‘English Vinglish’ such an engaging watch –built upon the exploration of the fact that our adulthood is shaped by our childhood in ways we don’t really understand, turns into a kitchen sink talkathon, where all the characters are given lines which are meant to be deep, but come off mostly banal and obvious. The vehicle through which, or should we say whom, Kaira learns life-lessons, is a dishy shrink played by Shah Rukh Khan. Dr Jehangir has her sit across him in a cosy room, takes her off for long walks on the beach, and teaches her that playing with waves is not just a game. It is Life Itself. 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, ‘Dear Zindagi’ comes off as a film which could have done with less preciousness, and more plot.
In a scene from the film, Alia who is heartbroken, bites into a green chilli. As her eyes cloud over, she looks at her best buddy Fatima (Ira Dubey) and says -- "the chilli is pungent.’’ Tears, silly fears and frailties all part of the life process. So brave it we must. This kind of sums up the life lesson writer-director Gauri Shinde’s second directorial film imparts. But unlike her first film English Vinglish that hit the bullseye subtly, here the message is hammered. Of course some of the writing has merit. There are funny and clever one-liners. However, the first half of the film meanders, making you restless. Frankly, things actually begin to look up just before intermission when SRK, without his trademark outstretched arms, makes an appearance. 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.