Dear Zindagi is about finding life. A free life. A life Kaira (Alia Bhat) needs but doesn’t know where to find. She’s confused and complex like any other girl and refuses to let anyone in. The story tries to simplify the complexities of her life by making her ask the right questions to it.
The fact that Alia clearly over-shadows even Shahrukh in the movie speaks volume of the amount of talent she has. The vulnerability of her character through various stages of life oozes out, along with a multitude of other emotions, all of it very real.
The story is about relationships. In one scene where Alia laments in front of her Psychiatrist( or Dimag ka doctor a referred in the movie), that she’s never going to find anyone in life. Shahrukh remarks that why do we put the strain of everything on that ONE relationship? Why cannot we have a relationship for our varied emotions? This is the essence of what the film wants to talk about. That there’s more to Zindagi than breakups or finding that “one”.
Dear Zindagi covers a lot of ground by covering the “Log kya kahenge?” part, apart from relationships with parents, siblings, friends and of course the variety of “Chairs”. (You’ll get this when you watch the movie).
Of course, you do end up with mixed feelings due to the range of questions that pop up in your head, which makes you question the narrative occasionally. Especially when you realize that everything centres around Kaira and her Zindagi. But then, this is her story. And only her Zindagi. And that’s where Gauri Shinde’s story bounces back ad you try to fit it all together.
SRK anchors the character of Dr. Jehangir Khan with the ease and elegance with which he gives out his interviews. He underplays the character with such depth that you don’t feel anyone else could have done better.
Characters like, Jacky (played by Yashaswini Dhayama) and Fattu (played by Ira Dubey) also bring a natural charm and playfulness to the story and vivacious friendship. The character of Ali Zafar (who plays RUMI) is something that has been written really well. The story also has Kunal Kapoor who adds his own charm.
But in the end, Dear Zindagi belongs to Alia who shoulders the movie all on her own. The vibe that this girl brings along is magical and with Reema’s direction, the therapy sessions in help, not only Alia but the Audience as well.
I’m going with 3.5/5 for Gauri Shinde’s Dear Zindagi. This slice-of-life film is a therapy for mature audiences. If you’ve liked movies like Kapoor & Sons or Piku or Gauri’s other movie English Vinglish, then you’ll definitely like this one as well.