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Dear Zindagi: Touches a chord but misses the key

The film's quirky characters are endearing, but is that enough, you ask?

Prithviraj Dev | New Delhi |

Movie: Dear Zindagi
Director: Gauri Shinde
Cast: Shah Rukh Khan, Alia Bhatt, Ira Dubey, Kunal Kapoor
Genre: Dram-Com
Rebellious girl is living/loving life to the hilt until one day the world starts to close in for some reason or the other. The Red Alert button is pressed as she now does some quick soul-searching which must be accomplished in a span of less than a month or so.
Till that point, there isn’t anything ground-breaking in Gauri Shinde’s second directorial venture – Dear Zindagi.
And to be honest, even after that, the SRK-Alia Bhatt starrer doesn’t truly venture into uncharted territory, which Shinde’s debut film, English Vinglish so bravely did.
Dear Zindagi celebrates quirkiness, whether it is the primary landscape that is idyllic Goa or the films’ two leading characters, Dr Jahangir Khan (Shah Rukh) and Kaira (Alia Bhatt).
Jahangir or Jug is a playing it loose kind-of psychologist who doesn’t believe anyone is a lost cause. When he isn’t fixing people up, he patches up cycles because you guessed it, he is good at fixing things.
His latest patient, Alia Bhatt is the talented (mentioned several times in the film) and attractive camerawoman who is having a mid-twenties crisis due to some romantic complications. She has some considerable baggage from the past which doesn’t really allow her to let go and enjoy life as she very well should.
How the good doctor convinces his patient to unlock her shackles and let her hair down (literally and figuratively both) is the premise of this two and half hour celluloid dram-com.
There are a lot of things working for the film, as for the most part it strays away from typical Bollywood cliches and for a change both lead actors do justice to their roles. 
Bhatt essays the part of wild-child with ease while SRK reinvents himself in a new light, proving he isn’t just about Rahul, Raj, et al. Mercifully he doesn’t romance Bhatt, rather plays his age with grace that proves star-power can be exhibited in a myriad number of ways. (Sorry fan girls!)
The counselling sessions, however, do tend to drag on, and some much-talked about cameos just seem unnecessary. The soundtrack isn’t convincing, softening the otherwise punchy story. The rest of the cast aren’t much in focus, as the movie focuses on the SRK-Bhatt dynamic and how the lively lass benefits from it.
Had the story been a tad bit crisper, it could have been a breezy masterpiece.
Still, a fine effort by Shinde and co, with some valuable lessons for modern-day families, who will in all probability, relate to many scenes and perhaps revaluate their relationships.