The title intrigued me – Dear Zindagi (2016) and idea of seeing Shah Rukh Khan and Alia Bhatt was enough for me and wife to see this film. The story is about Kaira (Alia Bhatt), a young women from Goa working in Mumbai as a cinematographer for ads, aspiring to do feature films. She finds it difficult to maintain her romantic relationships and after one such troubled relationship she relocates to Goa to be with her parents – of course she is not thrilled about it. Due to an incident in her childhood she is not able to have any meaningful conversation with her parents; she seeks out help of a psychologist Dr.Jehangir Khan (Shah Rukh Khan) aka Jug. Jug through his unconventional methods help out Kaira to get out of the shell that’s bothering her to finally lead a normal happy life.
The incident which traumatizes Kaira for decades could’ve been more powerful, for me it didn’t have enough punch to cause the impact shown. The concept of feeling uncomfortable talking to your own parents looked unimaginative, felt like what you will see Hollywood TV shows and films. I liked the part where Jug talks of relationships to be like Kursi (Chairs); just like we won’t buy a Kursi without sitting and trying it, why should we expect to get into a relationship without knowing the other person.
The movie was all about Kaira and not about Jug as we will expect with SRK playing the role – there was no flashback or lengthy backstories of Jug nor was any sign of romance between Jug & Kaira shown, making the film true to the plot handled. Director Gauri Shinde of English Vinglish fame has given an entertainer that you don’t need to try hard to watch. For SRK who has given a good performance the role would’ve been cake-walk. The appreciation is due for Alia Bhatt who has played her role naturally, not showing anywhere of being in “awe” of SRK’s presence; the scene where she bursts out in front of her parents was a fine job. Watching Goa on screen was beautiful, I thoroughly enjoyed. Music by Amit Trivedi was apt, songs were good, and it manages to keep up the pace of the flm without letting it sag in any place.
The overall plot reminded me of Julia Roberts’ Eat, Pray & Love (2010) but I won’t hold it against the Director. Dear Zindagi is a feel good, must watch movie to end the year with.