In English Vinglish director Gauri Shinde’s second film, Dear Zindagi, Alia Bhatt plays a talented cinematographer named Kaira, who is having trouble managing herself.
She breaks up with a wealthy hotelier just like that and shows some kind of attachment towards a young producer. He offers her the chance to realize the greatest dream in her life, which obviously is to wield the camera on her own for a feature film.
But she acts weird when the producer starts talking seriously about their romance. She then packs her bags and head to Goa, where her parents live. There she meets a therapist named Dr. Jehangir Khan (Shah Rukh Khan).
Kaira has been portrayed as a moody, selfish and an attention seeking young girl. Her problems are presented as something serious and there is a scene where she breaks down while narrating it all. But, just like the therapist, we are barely moved.
It’s obvious that the film lacks a credible script and as a result, the narrative looks pretentious and unconvincing. Perhaps due to this, you find everything except the girl’s attitude to be perfect in the delicious frames. Even worse, the therapist seems to be really in need to go to some counsellor himself.
The characters are made to say some heavy-duty dialogues evidently to add some seriousness to the proceedings. But often it ends up being unintentionally funny. Here is one sample: When she is offered a drink by the producer at the airport, she says, “I drink only when I am in love and when I am not.” Yeah, you heard it right. Do we say more?
Dear Zindagi goes on and on, without any real reason. It may not be a bad film, but then it is not great either. At best, it’s more of a lost opportunity. There are some fine moments here and there. That’s all about it.
Shah Rukh Khan manages to look matured as a therapist, but we just feel like he is getting suffocated at times for not being able to play his branded lover boy act once again. But what works for this one is Alia Bhatt’s terrific acting. It’s her performance alone that makes us sit through this strictly average fare. With your kind of talent, you deserved a better one, girl!