Alia Bhatt is one amazing thing about Dear Zindagi who makes the entire experience very believable in this 2nd venture of Gauri Shinde. The film however stops slightly short of being equally amazing as its protagonist because of its sheer length and some rather heavy exchanges at times! The film is a slice of life very relatable to many Kairas in and around us, as it reflects on genuine moments and very natural exchanges, but what Gauri does not do as well here as in English Vinglish is to keep all those moments crisp and tight, and hence they begin to drag at times! But the good news is that the stellar performances from the lead actors made most of the moments work for me and builds it up for its repeat watch later on television to find a new interpretation!
Karan Johar has a lot to learn from Gauri Shinde on how to sketch a messy but very believable Gen Z character like Kaira, unlike the cheesy Ayan and Alizeh! And the gorgeous and spunky Alia adds all the meat and flesh to it from beginning to end with elan. She nails down the entire set of emotions in a pretty difficult, confused, shut out and not so likeable character without going overboard! Its reassuring to think that Bollywood will have such a strong actor to entertain us for many more years to come! As for Shahrukh Khan, he has to realise himself that he is so much better when he is subtle and restrained, and he proves that again after a long time with this, and also looks so good at the same time! The rest of the supporting cast unfortunately does not measure up to the leads (other than the adorable Jackie, the lovely Alka and the cute Kiddo); in fact they appear rather amateurish!
Technically the film is very well shot, has a couple of good songs, some interesting interiors in art direction, a mix of few heavy bookish dialogs but some really lovely ones that stay on with you, a paper thin plot but some brilliant fresh moments that is a journey in itself! Whether its the top recall of 5 most important people of life, or possibility and acceptance of multiple kinds of relationships (like a musical vs. coffee together kind) in life, this slice of zindagi can well inspire you to start writing back letters to yourself!
Its a definite recommended watch if one is not looking for ten different things to happen in the same shot! This is not a high octane energy drink that will give you an instant kick; but simmering freshly brewed coffee that you are supposed to sit back, sip, relax and enjoy… And smile for yourself.. and say ‘Love U Zindagi‘ !!