Gauri Shinde brings another female oriented film, this time with a bigger star cast.
Good Will Hunting, had explored the mindset of a disturbed genius, where a lot of onscreen time was spent developing and highlighting the relationship between the doctor and the patient. This is where Dear Zindagi’s similarity and innovativeness ends.
Sad to say, but inspite of having a range of actors as Angad Bedi, Kunal Kapoor, Ali Zafar and Aditya Roy Kapoor to highlight the dilemma of the talented cinematographer Kaira, Alia Bhatt, none of the actors actually leave any impact, neither on screen nor in their performances.
Ali Zafar, blessed with two songs is purely decent. Angad Bedi doesn’t leave any impact. Kunal Kapoor is superficial and this is not due to their acting skills. They have poorly written characters. With no depth or arc at all.
The supporting cast of Kiara’s friends, especially Jackie, is the one who leaves any impression on you as a viewer, due to her sheer, simple innocence.
The music of the film is weak. Besides the ‘go to hell’ number, none other songs have any value. The lack of background score too leaves the film wanting.
Alia Bhatt does put up a good show, but that too is in bits and pieces. You feel completely disconnected with her due to her indifference in the beginning, a connection that never rebonds. Her outburst scene is again highly similar to the one in Highway. Barring which even though she does put up commendable effort in her role, the poor writing lets her down.
I feel bad for Shahrukh Khan. He is so sublime on screen, oh heck, I would fall in love with his character of Dr. Jehangir Khan. He does every scene with so much earnestness, sincerity and yet effortlessly, but cant do beyond that to save this already sinking ship.
The film suffers because of poor writing by Gauri Shinde, along with mediocre writing. In English Vinglish, there was a certain connect one felt with Sri’s character, the dining table scene for instance, and due to that connection, people loved the victory of the character over her demons. In this film, somehow Gauri tries to be more ‘hatke’ in her approach towards the ‘slice of life’ storytelling, but fails miserably. Fifteen minutes in, you do not feel any emotion for any character, leave aside rally with Kaira.
In an attempt to be different, Gauri dishes out such clichéd and long drawn dialogues, that will leave you exhausted, just trying to catch up; forget understand.
All in all, the sum of all things, doesn’t add up to a great product in the end. Unfortunately, in this case, there is nothing great to add up either. Besides Shahrukh and his charm.