Review: Dear Zindagi – An extraordinary film about simple lives of ordinary people


Dear Zindagi; the moment you hear the words, you feel like taking that whiff of breath, and just for a second, appreciate the beauty of life. So when a film based on that thought is on offer, the expectations are bound to be sky high.

From the teasers, Dear Zindagi promised to be a film about a young woman, the turmoil in her life because of relationships and her mentor, who guides her through it all. But, to be honest, for a person like me, who is well into 30s, the concept seemed interesting, refreshing but not earth shatteringly captivating.

But trust Gauri Shinde to make a simple story about ordinary people into a film so beautiful! If you think she gave out a subtle message packaged with an entertaining film in English Vinglish, wait till you see Dear Zindagi.

The film starts with Kaira moving on from one relationship to another, and while you are totally prepared to hate the douchebag guys who break her heart; soon enough you realise, the problem lies within Kaira(Alia). While the girl is still battling it out, in comes Jugs aka Dr. Jehangir Khan(Shah Rukh Khan), who ever so beautifully makes her look at the brighter and uncomplicated bit of life.

However, Dear Zindagi isn’t just about relationships and dating; in fact, Gauri has woven a story which will touch upon the life of everyone. Whether you are a 15 year old, 25 year old, fighting mid-life crisis like me, or have comfortably settled into retirement zone; there will be that bit in the film where you will say, ‘hey, that’s my story.’ Brownie points for the dialogues which make difficult concepts very relatable; else the film could have turned into one long session of preaching.

Alia Bhatt has given powerful performances earlier as well, but Dear Zindagi takes her performance meter to a new high. Primarily because Kaira’s character is extremely close to real life; she has flaws, she is not a ‘victim’ of some atrocious misdeed, yet you will root for her and will love her to bits.

Shah Rukh Khan, the man has basically taught us about love. We have grown up to see the man define the image of lover in films like DDLJ and cement our undying faith in love with films like Veer Zaara, so it is all but fair that he also finally teaches us to deal with heartbreak. And yes, it’s not easy to play the person who is giving all the ‘gyaan’, and not make it boring. But Shah Rukh keeps you hooked in each frame and yes, you will actually take back some of the ‘lessons’ he shares, only because of his compelling performance and persona.

The music of the film adds to it beautifully as well, however, there are some scenes which you feel could have been done away with. The first half of the film slags in pace, but the film picks up when SRK's character is introduced. Also, the very fact that Gauri touches upon the backstory of Jugs, and then never really explores it, is a bit of a put off. And last but not the least, the film could have done away with the cliched climax of the Jug- Kaira story.

Overall, Dear Zindagi is a beautiful film which is completely in sync with real life; and shares a subtle message which we all are conveniently overlooking in the rat race of life.

Movified Rating – 3.5/5