Dear Zindagi is about Kyra (Alia Bhatt) is shown to be a talented, young cinematographer who like many millennials has a messy love life and a yet to bloom career. Her messed up relationships with her boyfriends and parents, eventually lead her into seeing a DD (Dimaag Ka Doctor). After an interesting encounter with Jehangir Khan (Shah Rukh Khan), Kyra decides to seek his help for her problems. In his ‘out of textbook’ ways, Jug helps Kyra open up about her on the surface problems and further digs into the bigger ones. With his ‘cool’ stories, he wins over Kyra’s fears and teaches her to embrace life.
You know you’ve come far in terms of a Bollywood film when for a change, you find a leading lady’s character being introduced by her profession. We first meet Kyra at her workplace and then in the bars and parties. Quite early on, its thrust on us that Kyra has a problem with commitments. In the first ten minutes, she breaks up with Sid (Angad Bedi) after revealing to him that she cheated on him and later she bails on giving Raghuvendra (Kunal Kapoor) a crisp answer about getting serious.
What follows is her dealing with the recent break-up with Raghu and an entire first half is wasted in this. On the other hand, we are time and again shown a strained relationship between her and her parents. At first, you think she’s just riddled with some love life issues that drive her to seeing a therapist, only to later learn that her tough childhood is responsible for all of it.
What Shinde tries to do is pack a lot of preaching in one script. Such as importance of parenting in shaping an individual, being open to seeking mental health or societal acceptance for a girl with multiple relationships and a budding career. The contextual build up is unnecessary and constant in the film. Jehangir Khan’s character being introduced at a ‘Mental Health Awareness’ conference is completely stupid. Also, the jokes that he cracks there are far too immature.
Alia Bhatt is talented no doubt and gives a measured performance in this film. She particularly shines in the scenes where her character breaks down. We are reminded a lot of her Highway character in certain scenes, such as the one where she confronts her family, although this time, you don’t really feel the same pain. Shah Rukh Khan as the uber cool shrink, Jug is simply adorable. Flashing his dimples, playing his age and a matured dressing, all put him in the likable category. His character gets preachy but still remains to be the spark in the story.
Kunal Kapoor as Raghu, looks the enticing young man. He does his job well and I wish we could have seen more of him in the film. Angad Bedi is hardly there for two scenes in the film as Sid, one of Kyra’s boyfriends. He has nothing to do, other than just look good. Ali Zafar’s act as Rumi, the musician is likable enough. One could say he looks like the perfect rebound guy! Ira Dubey and Yashaswini Dayma are decent in their supporting roles. Aditya Roy Kapur’s cameo is charming.
If you enjoy a movie with a message – then this one is surely for you. My rating is 6/10 for Dear Zindagi.