Dear Zindagi Movie Review

‘Dear Zindagi’ is Gauri Shinde’s second directorial venture after the much-acclaimed Sridevi starrer ‘English Vinglish’. The slice of life film stars Alia Bhatt in the lead, supported by Shah Rukh Khan, Kunal Kapoor and Ali Zafar. The movie grabbed eye balls owing to the innovative promotional strategy, what with the makers releasing four teasers (no trailer) to give the audience an essence on what the film is all about. Does ‘Dear Zindagi’ live upto expectations? Let’s find out:

Like most youth slice-of-life films, ‘Dear Zindagi’ too is about a confused young teenager. The one-line idea revolves around a psychiatrist aka Dr. Jehangir Khan (Shah Rukh Khan) helping Kiara (Alia Bhatt) to stand tall against all the internal conflicts in her life.

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Review: There are two major issues with ‘Dear Zindagi’. The film is too lengthy for its genre and the presentation fails to establish an emotional connect with Alia’s character. You don’t feel the pain that Kiara (Alia’s character) is going through in her personal life because the screenplay is all over the place and her character is poorly written. After a confident debut, Gauri Shinde’s direction is as confused as the lead character of her film. She tries to explore the various facets of today’s youth, but fails in both.

‘Dear Zindagi’ does have some brilliantly executed sequences which include Alia’s first interaction with Shah Rukh Khan, her emotional break-down at a family dinner recalling her disturbed childhood. A few life lessons (Don’t let your past blackmail your present to ruin your beautiful future) are worth pondering over. Unfortunately, such moments are few and far in between. After a point, the film gets too preachy and tries too hard to establish the phrase ‘life is all about living those small moments’.

In terms of performances, inspite a limited screen-time, Shah Rukh Khan delivers the most likeable performance in the film. He is phenomenal as Kiara’s life mentor and slips into the character with utmost ease and conviction. He lights up the screen with his charisma and screen-presence. SRK is a casting masterstroke in a film like ‘Dear Zindagi’. Alia Bhatt is brilliant in her emotional sequences and stands tall in her scenes with SRK. That apart, there is a bit of ‘Highway’ hangover in some of her scenes. Kunal Kapoor and Ali Zafar don’t get enough scope to perform, but they do well.

Overall, Dear Zindagi suffers because of the script and fails in an attempt to narrate ‘The Same Old Story’ in a rather ‘Hatke’ manner. The film has nothing novel to offer apart from a few life lessons by SRK.

Pros:

  • Shah Rukh Khan’s brief appearance (around 45 mins of screen-time) is the shinning point in the otherwise dull story.
  • Few well executed sequences in the second half, which the urban youth might connect with.
  • Alia Bhatt yet again proves that she is one of the finest actors from her generation and is here to stay.

Cons:

  • The lead character lacks depth. There are many loose ends even in SRK’s character wherein the director fails to dwell into his back story.
  • The writing is pretty inconsistent and the prolonged run time ensures a slow narrative with repetitive sequences.
  • The first half results in an instant disconnect with Alia Bhatt’s character, the audience might lose interest by the time the director justifies her ‘moody behaviour’.
  • Ali Zafar as a passionate musician does nothing in taking the story forward but just adds onto the runtime.
Rating: ★★½☆☆
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67 Comments

  • So KING KHAN again gave BEST PERFORMANCE but have limited screen space????Bravo!!!!

    Btw the year is almost ended but not a single performance came closer to THE LEGENDARY CHARACTER GAURAV CHANDNA.

    MOST PROUD MOMENT FOR THE SRKIANS.

  • Hmm ROFL 😂 😂..
    In the Name of “New Cinema” these directors Rehash Old Stories..
    Embracing Life as it is ? I wonder how many movie has tried this before ?.. Oh yupp at least a few Thousand…

  • Truly Speaking I expected much more from this movie and critics rating is clear proof that the movie is not upto the expectations.
    Hope,It does well at the b.o & gets a Hit status.

  • If THIS FILM WILL BE A HIT—-then lallutards will say Alia gave HIT to KING KHAN.

    if this film will be a failure—-FILM flopped due to KING KHAN.

    haters aka lallutards neither in money nor in PERFORMANCE,your 2009 born non actor will always remain below the feet of THE KING OF BOLLYWOOD.

  • With 4* rating Content rich Fan struggled to surpass 80cr mark. Just imagine with 2.5* rating how much Dear Zindegi gonna collect at ticket window!

  • FAN:
    Very RICH content
    Rave reviews
    Gigastar’s double role
    Ram navami holiday release
    Collections: 80cr…LOL

    Dear Zindegi:
    Very RICH content (just like Fan)
    Average review
    Gigastar’s single role
    Non holiday release
    Collections: 60cr hi pahad jaisa lagg raha hai…

  • On a serious note, we should not forget that it’s a galaxy ka sabse bada gigastar’s (who has 3.7 billion fans) content rich movie. Hence, opening day collections would be definitely 25+cr & lifetime 200+cr..

  • I think you are a bit harsh on it. It should have been at least 3..but ts ok, opinions differ. Good thing is that its getting extra ordinary reviews from both critics as well as audience

  • I call this BS!! Sorry Indicine but you were perhaps looking for something else. What I saw in Dear Zindagi was an honest story about a competent yet confused girl because of her childhood. It wasnt stretchy at all..

  • I still remembered you gave either 1.5 or 2.5 stars to Pyar ka punchnama 2. But, it turned out a surprise hit. I don’t know why but I feel you give the rating according to the buzz or audience perceptions.

  • Same beard look from don to jthj, hny to dear zindagi even in raees…

    In 2:30 minutes solo film, stars get only 1hour role, and other 1:30 minutes belong to supporting casts.

    Dear zindagi is solo role of srk

    It’s a hat-trick flops for srk in his career.. Career is over

  • Interesting review, I hope for the sake of Alia will be hit, super talented girl and continues to surprise the viewer again and again. I remember SRK said that every year will make three films, but I do not think the guest appearance this of full-fledged roles, cameo is not so risky. success SRK – big banners, good directors and top actresses, but I’m not saying that he is not talented, he is talented. but not a king. Alia most promising young actress. And those people who say that the role of gaurav was the best recommend to look Sarbjit. where Randeep perfectly merged with the character without any computer graphic arts

  • Flop dear Zindagi starring alia & Srk in lead.

    45 mins role can’t be small rolebecause even solo starrer film of any star be 60 mins and rest mins belongs to supporting casts including lead actresses.

    In fact, Srk has lead role in Dear Zindagi after Alia

    4th consecutive flop films in row starring srk in lead.

    Even God can’t save Srk & DZ ,RAEES
    All Time Blockbuster Kaabil

  • Saw Dear Zindagi. It is a SRK worst movie ever helping with alia bhatt for 100 Cr. Only for the high end gays!!
    Rating – 1.5/5

  • I am SRK Fan.but I think DEAR ZINDAGI’s lifetime will be 35-50 cr range.
    if Raees clash with Kaabil. 65cr-135cr
    if Raees clash with Tubelight 90cr-170cr.
    I Like Raees clash with Tubelight and Ring clash with TZH.Then Salman can’t get 250cr and sometime his film’s can’t defeat SRK films in terms of Box office wise.

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