Sunday, November 27, 2016

Dear Zindagi



The Furniture Shop

I am the kind of movie watcher who waits for Facebook updates and ‘word-of-mouth’ reviews before venturing into a cinema hall. I convince myself that the movie is worth standing in a queue to pee during interval, worth adding adipose form buttered popcorn and worth tolerating kiddo kicks on the rear of my seat.

But there was a problem. Dear Zindagi was emitting mixed signals. Some said it was a memorable movie, others said it was one boring psychotherapy session. And yet, I mustered enough courage to enter the cinema hall to revel in the sweat and farts of fellow movie watchers. Mixed bag, again. Seated in the last row, I saved myself from kiddo kicks. But the fatty next to me ensured that his wobbly bottom brushed past my nose as he trundled out of the row for a piddle.

Lights off. Fade in. The movie begins.
‘Aaa, aaa aaa…. Kya Karoon Hai Kuch Kuch Hota Hai’ ditty plays with the credits.

Far away from the perspective of a middle aged, much married Sridevi in English Vinglish, Gauri Shinde portrays the mental conflict of a young urban girl, Alia Bhatt. It’s a simple story. And simplest stories are hardest to tell. No song and dance. No highs and lows. No car chase and no villain bashing. And no life altering journeys.
So?

First up, it’s the screenplay. It's almost non-existent. The first half of the movie meanders like a river with a languorous urban rhythm. The role of Kiara, played by Alia Bhatt plays musical chairs with her love life. Like many young girls, her heart does a flip flop. It says ‘yes’ but she says ‘No’. When a vacant chair presents itself, she refuses to sit but when the chair gets occupied, she wants to sit.  Her dilemma neither engages, nor entertains. Actually, the film goes nowhere.
While Alia is muddled up, her friends appear sorted. They tell her to not mix professional with personal but our baby gets a rash every time her boyfriend tries to bare his heart and every time she receives a call from her parents.
An hour into the movie and I’m unable to grasp the enormity of Alia's problem.The director disappoints but Alia holds me back. Even in the utter craziness of her acts (hurling a stone at boy in love), Alia’s glowing freshness doesn’t let me leave the cinema hall.

Things perk up past interval. Shah Rukh as doctor Suave Rukh Khan lights up the screen with his understated charm. Dressed in linen pants and a blazer, he exudes an air of confidence in contrast to Alia’s youthful impetuosity. When he speaks you feel his honesty, his intensity. As a psychiatrist, SRK is a man of few words but what he says or does propels the movie.
Enter Ali Zafar as a new chair (read boyfriend) in Alia’s life. I never thought Ali Zafar could look so drool worthy or sing as beautifully as he does in this movie. It’s a short cameo but he makes his presence felt as a very eye catching chair.
This is when Alia Bhatt bares her heart. And yet her issues fail to moisten my eyes (believe me, I cry easily). However, I do want to cuddle the girl looking for love.
 For me the shortcomings were a limp script and the absence of witty dialogues.It appears as if the director is justifying Alia's crankiness by going into her unconvincing past. Why would any parent not reply to their daughter's letters? 
The highlight is undoubtedly, brilliant acting by sassy Alia and suave Shah Rukh Khan. That some nuggets of wisdom are presented in a subtle manner adds to the flavour.

Anyway, if you think I’m being harsh on the movie, let me tell you it has nothing to do with the fact that Alia Bhatt’s maid in the movie is called Alka. In fact, she was absolutely adorable. 


Finally, we have a Queen moment. The protagonist achieves her dreams not because of the men, erm...chair's in her life but without them.Thanks to Dr Suave Rukh Khan for gently untangling the knots. The lesson? Parents are human too. Little point placing them on a pedestal and judging them.

The verdict? Mixed bag, again. No memorable watch this - just a pleasant forgetable movie. An eye pleasing furniture shop with some catchy chairs. If you love Alia's effervescence and SRK's understated charm, go watch it. Else, wait for it to grace your television.

Image Courtesy: From here
Image courtesy: From here

39 comments:

  1. You know Alka, I felt the same. The dialogues missed something and the script was, as you say, limp. It could have been so much more but I don't know, I don't think I took away anything from it.
    One thing though, I wish SRK did more movies where he looked and acted this way. Really do.

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  2. I think this would have been a better film if it was about a love lost boy instead of a girl, who takes charge of his own problems in the movie's second half by bashing up all the chairs, I mean people, himself.
    His name should have been Prem.
    We didn't need no namby pamby, linen pants wearing psychologist to fix our Bhai's issues.
    There, a 400 crore box office hit right there.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And cast Ranbir because he's done many where he is a lost boy. Here, I blame it on lacklusture dialogues, limp script and not so great direction.

      Delete
  3. Have no clue about the movie except for the name and that it got released recently.... Guess i will wait for it on Tv....

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    Replies
    1. You are not missing much Jaish.
      Always good to see you here.

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  4. Thank heavens l always wait for reviews. Television it is for me.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Watch the second half on TV. You won't miss the first half.
      :D

      Delete
  5. Anyway, if you think I’m being harsh on the movie, let me tell you it has nothing to do with the fact that Alia Bhatt’s maid in the movie is called Alka. In fact, she was absolutely adorable.


    Lol..lol...this made me laugh so hard!


    Damn you, Alka. I actually wanted to watch this one. Aab Jao, mere liye ek cup chai leke aao 😂😂

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hehe, the maid cooks pasta not chai.
      But go ahead and watch the second half. You won't miss the first half.

      Delete
  6. You were of GREAT help, Alka. Ha ha all the way and a final phew, paisey bachey!
    Glad I read this.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Glad I could help. If you do decide to watch, watch the second half which is a pleasant watch.
      You won't miss the first half.

      Delete
  7. Exactly, mixed reviews! So I would say go on your own risk!
    Btw, I haven't seen it yet.

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    Replies
    1. First half irrelevant, second half is pleasant watch.

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  8. Well,well,much ado about nothing.Your review is any day better than going out to see a movie.

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  9. Saw it over the weekend, and I agree with you, Alka.
    The first half (before the interval) could have had some essential edits since it left me quite confused.

    No doubt I liked the second half, and the meaning behind it was so subtle that it left a distinct flavor in my mouth.
    Ahem! I apologize for advocating myself but my published books are also known to have such 'nuggets of wisdom' ;-)

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    Replies
    1. You are right. The second half was subtle and pleasant.
      Love nuggets of wisdom when dished out gently.

      Delete
  10. Aha! Now I can tell my girls 'chalo kahi aur'. I mean, if the eye candies..er..the chairs are missing there's nothing left at all. Not a great fan of Alia or SRK. Thanks for this review :)

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    Replies
    1. So good to see you here. Most young working girls are loving it because it addresses their issues.

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  11. Loved the movie for you know what reasons:) A perfect review Alka!

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    Replies
    1. Glad you liked it Rahul. Erm, I don't know the reasons......

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  12. Probably the movie direction was bad and yes, the first half is a little drag but I think it captures the minds of what our young people go through today, and I think overall the entire second half describes in detail of why many young people do go through their flip flops! SRK did a great job and personally I felt the whole movie describes what many people are going through in their daily lives if they wouldn't live in self denial ;) (if you know what I mean!)

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    Replies
    1. Absolutely get your point. Young people are loving it. And it's not a bad movie at all. Just that it lacks the punch.

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  13. Ha ha! the best was the maid's name and I am sure she was adorable. I haven't watched the movie yet and I loved your take on it. I am going to wait and then watch it on the idiot box. Thanks much for helping me save some money! ;)

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    Replies
    1. Thank you Parul for reading and sharing. Frankly, it's not a bad movie, just that it could have been so much better.

      Delete
  14. Ok then...I am waiting to watch it at home. Not that I wanted to watch it..the girls in our housing community planned for it and I was out of town. So missed watching it with them. I randomly watch Hindi movies these days so never saw any movies of Alia Bhatt. Okay, don't roll your eyes now...LOL. The first thing that cracked me up was your Furniture shop title :D

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  15. The movie is unlike the typical love, hero, villian movies.. Its something that anyone could connect to your personal life.

    The role played by Alia Bhatt is very commendable although the first half was slow. The movie took off in the second half with SRK.

    A decent movie to watch with your family and also to watch SRK play the role of a therapist.

    A must watch movie. Here is more News related of Dear Zindagi which I found - http://www.bollywoodhungama.com/movie/dear-zindagi/

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  16. In fact, I enjoyed the movie for its message. But, agree the script and screenplay lack the edge and it shows in the second half with unnecessary details. A good and honest review.

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  22. Agree with you on the updates and ‘word-of-mouth’ reviews before venturing into a cinema hall.
    Saw Sing, La la land and Dangal back to back last week.
    Sing is really entertaining as an animated movie, Dangal is a well made movie, something no Indian should miss, but La la Land really let me down. Very very slow for a musical. Wonder how it could fetch so many Golden Globes.

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