There is a very well structured grading system for tea and yet “No Tea is good or bad. Every tea has a buyer, and you are successful only when you find ‘the one’ “. This is what a living legend and tea industry veteran advised me, earlier this week.
DEAR ZINDAGI’s trailer made noise exactly in the lane where it wanted to. People at the single screens laughed and the ones at the multiplexes went crazy. I hope that the production and the budgeting was also done keeping in mind, that the only audience the movie is going to bring in, are the ones who purchase the gold-plated popcorn stretching over the recliner seats of a leading multiplex chain.
The question is, does DEAR ZINDAGI grasp the assumed estimated ground, or does it fail there too?
There is no doubt that Gauri Shinde, who made her debut with ENGLISH VINGLISH marking the gorgeous comeback of Sridevi, wasn’t aiming to break records, but to cater to a certain section of the audience.
In the current scenario where we segregate movies as :
- Off-Beat / Parallel
- Commercial and,
- Bhatts’ or T-Series Production, it will be interesting to place and mark this movie.
While her debut came up as an apology to her mother, Dear Zindagi too, in my opinion, holds a lot of her own personal experience.
The story revolves around Kaira, a young DOP / Cinematographer (NOT PHOTOGRAPHER, I repeat) who’s going through a multitudinous one-off relationship phase, being detached and distant from her parents. The reason for all her pain has been scheduled for the climax, like any other Bollywood cinema,.
Alia Bhatt has scenes that will make you forget all of those Student and Genius Of The Year memes, and consequently, you’ll witness how well she has caught up in the long run.
Dear Zindagi will hold more importance in her career as an acting workshop than a movie.
Gauri Shinde took some 4 years to come up with her second directorial feature, and has written the script with a lot of intensity. So intense, that you’ll actually notice the flaws where the young director fails to catch up. The pro-feminism and Indian societal prejudice which are running a marathon as a sub or the main plot takes time out of this movie too, only to stretch it meaninglessly. The editing is so poor and the screenplay is so loose, that the amazing cinematography and Shinde’s very own style of story-telling gets blurred.
Despite how much effort or intensity you’ve blended in your script, you just cannot expect the audience to cheer for you, when they’ve already fallen asleep.
Last and probably the best thing about the movie, (with no surprises) is Shah Rukh Khan. The man alone takes the movie forward comfortably. There isn’t a single dialogue or scene in the movie which will make the audience burst into an applause, yet this man, whose onscreen presence makes it seem like he’s on any other interview, just does not let you leave the theater.
Quoting the superstar, Dear Zindagi isn’t the movie that any superstar in India should do. It won’t harm Shah Rukh’s next release but will cease to squeeze in his list of movies too. His acting, though, is something that’ll be kept as another example of his brilliance in this field.
Dear Zindagi would have been dearer to the audiences and producers if Gauri would have done an assessment based on her quote, for her own over-stretched small film:
“Genius is the one who knows about when to stop”