RELIANCE HOME ENTERTAINMENT, Rs 399
Cast: Shah Rukh Khan, Alia Bhatt, Angad Bedi, Kunal Kapoor, Ali Zafar
Director: Gauri Shinde
If you loved it or missed the movie when it opened in theatres in November 2016, watch this beautiful film now on DVD. Gauri Shinde, who directed the acclaimed English Vinglish (2012), brings together the Badshah of Bollywood, Shah Rukh Khan, and Alia Bhatt, who’s quickly becoming one of the most acclaimed and popular young actresses in Bollywood.
Dear Zindagi teaches us a bit of the reality of life, something that we take for granted. Kaira (Alia Bhatt) is an up and coming cinematographer on an overseas assignment waiting to make it big in tinsel town. While she’s hitting the high notes on the career front, her personal life has gone for a toss. Her relationship with boyfriend Sid (Angad Bedi) has soured and her fling with a colleague, Raghuvendra (Kunal Kapoor), gets out of hand. Raghu tries to woo her with a fairytale story of a stint as cinematographer in New York, but when it falls through, she throws her frustration on him. Trouble continues when her landlord asks her to vacate his apartment. Kaira cannot take it anymore and heads off to her parents’ house in Goa.
In Goa she is taunted by her parents over her lack of matrimonial prospects and the future of holding such a job in Bollywood. With her father’s help she gets an assignment shooting a promotional video for a local businessman. When the shoot gets delayed, she overhears a conference next door on mental health. Kaira is fascinated by one of the speakers, Dr Jehangir Khan a.k.a. Jug (Shah Rukh Khan), a laidback psychologist. Kaira meets him and over multiple sessions consults him about her life, failed relationships, meeting handsome musician, Rumi (Ali Zafar), and how life is treating her. Using unconventional methods, Jug sets out to help her find solutions to her problems. But in the process, Kaira falls for Jug.
Khan and Bhatt’s chemistry is excellent and their performances exemplary, though Bhatt goes a bit overboard at times. Memorable moments include SRK and Alia cycling on a sunny day in Goa and the kabaddi kabaddi beach scene. Also the catchy title song Love You Zindagi.
Bonus Material includes the making of the film, Gauri Shinde’s take on her ‘Dear Zindagi’, a peek into the making of Dr Jehangir Khan, a featurette on Alia getting into her director of photography character, and over 14 minutes of deleted scenes.
Dear Zindagi is a bit slow, but it raises the problem of the importance of mental health, as well as the need for more openness about this problem in Indian society.
Verus Ferreira is a freelance music journalist for over three decades, contributing articles to various newspapers and magazines. He is the author of The Great Music Quiz Book and The Great Rock Music Quiz Book. Besides being a music aficionado, he is also a photo-journalist. He contributes to Musicunplugged.in. Reach him at E: email@example.com or verusferreira.com