Dear Zindagi Review - Life Lessons Can Be Fun Sometimes

PUBLISHED DATE : 26/Nov/2016

Dear Zindagi Review - Life Lessons Can Be Fun Sometimes

Dear Zindagi Review: Life Lessons Can Be Fun Sometimes


There’s a segment in Gauri Shinde’s Dear Zindagi where we see Kaira (Alia Bhatt) come face to face with Rumi (Ali Zafar) and sparks fly from both the ends. They meet thanks to music, Rumi being a singer whose performance Kaira gets to witness and enjoy. But even before they could actually enjoy some quality time together Kaira realizes that Rumi is not the kind of person whom she’s in search of. Interestingly what ticks her off is music, the same aspect that brought them close in the first place. But when it’s over, it’s over in a jiffy and without any emotional melodrama. This is one of the many things that actually go on to show Gauri’s composure as a writer. With a wonderful entry into feature films with English Vinglish it was always going to be interesting to observe how Gauri’s second film would turn out.


After all it’s never an easy task to follow up a memorable debut with a film that once again makes heads turn. However with names like Alia Bhatt and Shah Rukh Kkhan (both as producer and actor) on board it definitely made Dear Zindagi one of the more keenly awaited Hindi films of the year. There has been some discussion of course on things like whether the marketing of the film is something that’s probably right or wrong, is the soundtrack by Amit Trivedi something that would work in favour of the film and most importantly is SRK playing an extended cameo in the film or does he have a full-fledged role as such. None of these were things that I was too focused upon, what I was more keen to figure out was if Gauri has managed a good follow up act to her sparking debut film. And that’s exactly what drove me to watch one of the earlier shows of the film on its opening day.


If you are unaware of the plot of the film then you have either been a recluse for some reason without access to television and/or internet orjust woken up from comaJ. The film is focused around Kaira who is a cinematographer, busy in the world of ad films and aspiring to make it big in the world of feature films. She enjoys the company of her close friends, especially Jackie (Yashaswini Dayama) and Fatima (Ira Dubey) while she has her ups and downs when it comes to the matters of the heart.  She breaks up with restaurateur Sid (Angad Bedi) for Raghuvendra (Kunal Kapoor), only to find herself facing disappointment. To make things worse she is forced to vacate her apartment by her landlord and thus she lands up in Goa where her parents have settled down. But she is unable to find peace and that’s when she comes across Dr.Jahangir Khan aka Jug (SRK), a psychologist with a knack for using unconventional methods in terms of therapy.


Does Jug manage to help Kaira sort out her life and what lies in store for her are what we get to see from the rest of the film. Dear Zindagi is out and out an Alia Bhatt vehicle; she is the life and soul of the film. Yes at times you might ask yourself if you agree with the flow of the dialogues and perhaps even with some plot points, but once you settle into the groove it’s a relatively smooth ride from thereon. Mind you the film is heavy on conversation and the film does move at a languid pace, so the film is clearly not for those who have a problem with something like this. The questions on your mind in terms of why is Kaira a little cold when it comes to her family are quite well tackled by Gauri Shinde subsequently and Alia manages to handle the emotional moments quite comfortably.


Laxman Utekar’s cinematography is quite a big plus for the film, he captures the natural beauty of Goa (thankfully the film stays away from the usual tourist spots) in all its grandeur and plays with the use of lights and colours admirably. Amit Trivedi’s music works with the flow of the film though the songs are not outstanding per se. The scenes between Kaira and Jug are what make the film work to a large extent, there is a certain sense of elegance and grace in the manner in which Jug goes about making Kaira open up and look at her life in a new light. The film also addresses the angle of mental health in a very positive manner, something that is credit worthy. The film has some good performances from the supporting cast too, of all the suitors of Kaira its only Kunal Kapoor as Raghuvendra who gets some good screen time and he is effective. Ira Dubey as Fatima and Rohit Saraf as Kaira’s brother do well while Yashaswini Dayama as Jackie is wonderful.


It is really encouraging to see SRK sportingly play second fiddle to Alia Bhatt and he is extremely graceful in the supporting act. Alia Bhatt continues to grow in strength as an actress and she’s a great fit playing Kaira. With Dear Zindagi Gauri Shinde has shown that she is definitely someone to look out as a writer-director. If you are perhaps looking for something as fun as English Vinglish or perhaps something spectacular then you could be disappointed, otherwise Dear Zindagi definitely makes for a pleasant watch.



Dear Zindagi is a good slice of life film embellished with a top notch lead performance by Alia Bhatt and supported admirably by Shah Rukh Khan. It may not be a game changer of a movie but it is definitely one of the better Hindi films of 2016.


Rating: 3.5/5

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