Review: Dear Zindagi ‘I Love You’!

dear-zindagi

I know it’s been a while I reviewed any of the new releases, however, I was busy with the release of my new book Alfie The Elf. Anyway, at no cost I wanted to miss out on Dear Zindagi that released this week starring Alia Bhatt and Shah Rukh Khan and directed by Gauri Shinde of ‘English Vinglish’ fame. Let me directly dive into the plotline of the movie.

Kaira aka Koko (Alia Bhatt) is an ambitious cinematographer (wait aren’t they called DOP these days?) who like many millennials has a messy love life and a yet to bloom career. She falls in and out of love instantly. She parties and also cheats on her boyfriend (Angad Bedi)  with another man. However, her entire world comes crumbling down first with a heartbreak when the guy of her dreams Raghvendra (Kunal Kapoor) dumps her and gets engaged to someone else. And, then her landlord  slaps her with an eviction notice and our cutie-pie Kaira processes this cumulative assault while biting into green chilies. Throughout you are subjected to a slight hint of her strained relationship with her parents.

Enter Jehangir Khan aka Jugs (Shah Rukh Khan) who is a DD – Dimag Ka Doctor, who tries to help Kaira with her problems and to love her Zindagi. In his ‘out of textbook’ ways, Jug helps Kyra open up about her on the surface problems and further digs into the bigger ones. With his ‘cool’ stories, he wins over Kyra’s fears and teaches her to embrace life. Alas, our baby-faced Kaira falls head over heals in love with Jugs. Now, what? Would Jugs reciprocate to her love or leave her like her previous crushes? Find out by watching Dear Zindagi at a theater near you!

Coming to the script and screenplay, which seems to be good, however, Gauri seems to have gone on a trip of her own. She tries to weave in multiple issues into one story for the character. The parental issues, love life issues, career issues etc. and in that process losses track. The sparks she showed with Sridevi starrer English Vinglish is missing. The dialogues though initially interesting tends to be very preachy and boring in the second half.

Performance wise, this is Alia’s best. She rises above the screenplay and gets perfectly into Kiara’s character making it more believable. Shah Rukh Khan as Jugs is impressive, however, the dialogues let things down. As the entire focus of the movie is on Kaira’s character, the characters supporting hers viz; Raghu (Kunal Kapoor), Sid (Angad Bedi) or Rumi (Ali Zafar) get no background whatsoever.

The music is average only the title song ‘Love You Zindagi’ and a rehash of yesteryear superhit song ‘Ae Zindagi’ from Sadma composed by maestro Illayaraja stands out. Editing in the second half could have been crisper.

On the whole, Dear Zindagi is a great watch for all Alia Bhatt and SRK fans.

My Verdict:***

Have you watched the book trailer of my latest book Alfie The Elf? No? See Below! 🙂

Book released all over the world… also now available for Amazon Prime customers!

Movie Review: Shivaay – A Feast for Ajay Devgan Fans!

The second BIG movie of the week is Actor, Producer and Director Ajay Devgn’s second directorial – Shivaay. After a round of controversies surrounding the movie courtesy Kamal R Khan aka KRK, this action packed movie released with much hype and expectations. Let’s find out if the movie was able to live up to the expectations or not.

Shivaay ( Ajay Devgn) is a mountaineer who conducts treks in the Himalayas and lives in a small house. On one of his tours, he meets the Hindi speaking Bulgarian student Olga (Erika Kaar) and falls in love with her after he saves her life in a deadly avalanche. Olga becomes pregnant and is not willing to give birth to a child but on Shivaay’s insistence, she agrees to deliver the child Gaura (Abigail Eames) but refuses to raise it with him and returns to Bulgaria.

Nine years later, Gaura who was told by Shivaay that her mother is dead, learns about her existence through a letter. The peaceful life of Shivaay is shattered when Gaura confronts him about this learning and forces him to take her to Olga. So, Shivaay and Gaura go to Bulgaria to meet Olga who is now married to a Bulgarian, however, in a twist of destiny, Gaura gets kidnapped by a child trafficking gang and thus begins Shivaay’s cat and mouse chase with the kidnappers. Will Shivaay be able to save Gaura? How far will a father to go for the safety of his daughter? Find out by watching the movie.

The plot is very good slightly inspired by Taken but the script lacks punch, However, the father-daughter angle is explored very beautifully by Ajay.  Ajay Devgn as a performer and director does a superior job but his writers Robin Bhatt and Sandeep Srivastava pull him down. The action in the movie is interesting. As Shivaay, Ajay Devgn lives the role and Abigail Eames as Gaura does a wonderful job. Erika Kaar and Saayesha Saigal are good in their respective roles, however, as the story is about Ajay and Abigail, the other actors get less importance in the narrative.

Music by Mithoon is average but the background score is impactful. Cinematography by Aseem Bajaj is beautiful. The snowcapped mountains are captured wonderfully. Editing by Dharmendra Sharma is average, he could have done some crispier cuts in few sequences especially the chase sequence which is too long and tends to get boring.

On the whole, Shivaay is a good attempt by Ajay Devgn and his fans will love this actioner from him.

My Verdict: ***