Daily Recco, March 15: Dear Zindagi, the heart-warming jaunt

Alia Bhatt, who turns 28 today, celebrates life in this vivacious coming-of-age film. Watch it for the emotional and uplifting start to your week.

 |  2-minute read |   15-03-2021
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The true measure of a movie star is not purely about the commercial success of their movies. Often it is about whether they are brave enough to take risks and take part in projects that are off the beaten track. Birthday girl Alia Bhatt is a poster child for risks in a way that not many other Bollywood stars would dare. And her 2016 film, Dear Zindagi, is perhaps one of those films that Alia’s competitors would have baulked at.

It was before the era where celebrities became comfortable with the idea of discussing their mental health publicly. It was also a time when the portrayal of mental health on screen was mostly dramatic and violent. Alia’s role as Kaira in Dear Zindagi is neither dramatic nor violent.

As stories go, Kaira in Dear Zindagi is as much a celebration of the life we have as it is a celebration of our journey to find meaning in it. As her life falls apart she seeks help to forge a new path to happiness even as she fulfils long-standing dreams. And that does not apply only to her career, but also to the relationships in her personal life.

Alia Bhatt as Kaira is the centrepiece of the film, and her persona is writ all over the film. She is the one who carries it through and through, even in the presence of no less than Shah Rukh Khan. The two play out the onscreen chemistry that sits incredibly light on the viewer while leaving the deeper meaning to be mulled over privately. And that is one of the reasons Dear Zindagi is a great watch – intense but light and a story of life’s problems but in no way melodramatic.

Not just SRK, Alia comfortably holds her own with a long list of male stars in small roles or guest appearances — Ali Zafar, Kunal Kapoor, Aditya Roy Kapoor and Angad Bedi. But make no mistake, we know it is all about Alia.

Dear Zindagi is also one of those films of a rare breed for Indian cinema — a story about a woman directed by a woman. Gauri Shinde, in her second film after English Vinglish, shines for her glib use of Alia’s skillset.

Mark Alia’s Bhatt’s birthday today by watching Dear Zindagi. We know it is a Monday, and we promise the movie is light enough for you to float by in case you don’t want to have deep thoughts about your own life.

Also read: How depression affected my perception of love


Rajeshwari Ganesan Rajeshwari Ganesan @rajeshwaridotg

The author writes on wildlife, environment, gender issues, science, health, books and a host of other topics. A professional journalist and a passionate environmentalist. Former Assistant Editor, DailyO.

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