I will begin my review with what some of you feel may be an irrelevant or an irreverent comment. But I must point this out just to show the double standards of the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena(MNS), in its dealings regarding Pakistani actors. It was just last month when Karan Johar’s AE DIL HAI MUSHKIL had faced the wrath of MNS because this movie featured the Pakistani actor Fawad Khan. And now, less than a month later, we have another movie release featuring another Pakistani actor, Ali Zafar in a longer role in DEAR ZINDAGI and there is no news of any protest! And Karan Johar shares the production credits in DEAR ZINDAGI!
But DEAR ZINDAGI is not about Karan Johar or Ali Zafar; although one must compliment Karan Johar on so quickly trying to set right his blemishes after his failed experiment in AE DIL HAI MUSHKIL, by associating himself with DEAR ZINDAGI in collaboration with Gauri and Gauri! When it was just one Gauri (Shinde) at work, she had created the lovable ENGLISH VINGLISH in 2012 and now backed by the producer Gauri (Shah Rukh Khan), she creates the very sensitive DEAR ZINDAGI. And that has helped her in being able to rope in King Khan and get him to deliver an admirable performance, which though totally devoid of histrionics surely would rank amongst his top two or three career performances.
Amit Trivedi , who had composed the music for Gauri Shinde’s earlier movie, is back to provide some easy to hum tracks aptly matching the moods of DEAR ZINDAGI and Kausar Munir’s down to earth lyrics (sample this : Jo dil se lage usey keh do Hi, Hi, Hi! Jo dil na lage usey keh do bye, bye, bye! Aane do, aane do, dil mein aa jaane do, keh do muskurahat ko, Hi, Hi, Hi, Hi! Jaane do, jaane do dil se chale jaane do ,Keh do ghabrahat ko Bye, bye, bye, bye, bye, bye…) tug at your heart strings. And Jasleen Kaur’s husky and child-like voice seems to match Alia Bhatt’s personality seamlessly.
And that brings me to Alia Bhatt, quite easily the heart and soul of DEAR ZINDAGI. This is Alia’s third act in this year, after KAPOOR & SONS and UDDTA PUNJAB. I have no doubt at all that she will most certainly win the Best Actress of the Year; the only debate could be whether she deserves it more for UDDTA PUNJAB or DEAR ZINDAGI. It has been a very long time that someone has portrayed so very well the angst of a girl in the twenties. DEAR ZINDAGI will not appeal to all cross sections of the movie going fraternity; it is a tad slow in the first half and barring the city bred, upper middle class and the new gen professionals, its theme may not find many takers. There were some scenes in the second half during the interactions of King Khan and Alia, which moved me to tears. But don’t get me wrong: this isn’t a maudlin experience. DEAR ZINDAGI is about coming to terms with ZINDAGI and celebrating it!
RATING: 4 out of 5
November 24, 2016