Dear Zindagi – Conversations with Jehangir Khan (A movie review with spoilers that you will not hate me for)

Just as SRK crooned “Kathai aakhon wali…” which is one of his favourite songs, you will want to serenade him as you fall in love with the brown eyed King all over again. Along the way, you also swoon over the yummilicious Kunal Kapoor and have a girl crush on chocolate lover boy Ali Zafar.

Can’t wait for Gauri Shinde to direct a romantic movie! I know we have grown up on Yash Chopra, but watching Gauri Shinde’s take makes you realise the stark difference. While, a transparent, chiffon clad woman under a waterfall, may be the ultimate male fantasy, that is certainly not how a woman wants to be romanced. And no, it is not about her being a woman, Zoya Akhtar and Farah Khan continue to pander to the male fantasy. I laud Gauri for being able to speak a feminine language in romance and relationships. The most empowering scene in the movie is one in which Kunal Kapoor asks Alia Bhat whether she has anything else to say and she says no and bye and walks away. Even the lip lock with Ali Zafar is the tender kinda toe curling, bend the knee kiss which is seldom (if at all) seen in Bollywood.

But, all this is just a minuscule part of the attraction of Dear Zindagi.  I love the way it is mounted. The scale is just right. While I overheard a lot of people talk (crib) about the pace of the movie, I disagree. It is laid back but not plodding. You don’t need to soak it in. It doesn’t grab you by the gut or put you through an emotional roller coaster. The narrative is so graceful and sensitive and the high points are devoid of unnecessary frills with very real dialogues. It doesn’t pack a punch, it gently nudges your core and moves you without shaking you up too bad. This despite it being all about the conversations between a disturbed young lady and her therapist.

Dear Zindagi ticks all the boxes for me. Here’s why.

  1. The sets are gorgeous. From the nameplate of Jehangir Khan’s House to the kitchen at Rumi’s, every element is chosen by someone who clearly loves their job. If you are looking for inspiring home decor, this is it. You will just as easily be enamoured by the outdoors.
  2. SRKs’s look at styling is simply superb. The shock of black hair and gray at the temples and in the fuzz is just right. I love his shirts and the little nuances like Alia in the same style outfit towards the end.
  3. Sarcasm and a sense of humour makes a rare appearance in Hindi cinema. Only one film old and ready to take a dig at her first movie – way to go girl! Lot’sa people cracked up at the Lebanese joke while some found it in poor taste and were offended. But hey that’s what happens in the real world and laughing about it is the way to go. Touchy much? Thin line between sensitivity and touchy and the movie doesn’t even stray across the border.
  4. Alia Bhatt! There will not be a dry eye in the theatre when she is bawling her lungs out. I am an SRK fan, but this is Alia’s movie all the way!! And that is a saying a lot.
  5. High five to Gauri for not making a hotch potch of it as she touches upon so many sensitive topics without hitting a raw nerve. Really, you should be watching it to know about this one.
  6. It is like overhearing real people talking and not knowing what to do. Sometimes you want to reach out, sometimes you want to fade away into the background. The skype texting scene by Alia is one that will remind you of countless WhatsApp type and delete moments.
  7. Soul food! Ditch all the chicken soup books and whatever self help books are your fix and just get some wholesome entertainment for the same price.

 

The list will keep getting longer, the more I recollect, but I want you to watch it and come back and tell me more. Till then, I hope you are able to sing love you Zindagi if not today, then some day!

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