I was expecting a lot from this movie and while some parts delivered, others just left me wanting more and at times confused. I liked the movie because it was young, fresh and more importantly brings to light a topic I am deeply passionate about: mental health. In this day and age this topic is sadly still a taboo in our society and culture. People with mental illness are often portrayed as depressed and unhappy when the truth is that sometimes this illness is unnoticed, we force a smile on our faces when we are not happy and put on a brave front for fear of seeming weak. This movie shows a different, more relateable and realistic side of mental wellness.
Dear Zindagi is a story of a young girl, Kaira (Alia Bhatt) who is a seemingly successful, young cinematographer with plenty of suitors. The movie takes you through her journey to self realization . Alia’s character is easily unlikeable, she seems selfish, confused and moody; exactly what a baby boomer would describe a millenial as. Her life seems picture perfect, yet it is far from it, she is confused, conflicted between career and romance, at war with herself. All emotions I am deeply familiar with. There is a misconception that those that seem to ‘have it all’ cannot suffer from depression, anxiety or other issues of the mind. I know some people thought this was not an accurate representtaion of mental illness but as someone who has battled depression, this is exactly the picture of mental illness. Just because everything seems alright, it doesnt necesserily mean it is. We cut to Kaira making the decision to see a BD (Brain Doctor) although I would really call him a mind doctor. Cue Jahangir Khan (Shah Rukh Khan) as the most unconventional therapist with the most beautiful office in picturesque Goa. This is definitely a glamorized view of therapy so if any of you are expecting to spend a beautiful day on the beach with a gorgeous man dropping profound one liners, you will be disappointed.
The therapy sessions bring out a troubled childhood which is connected to Kaira’s adult problems and fortifies the age old psycho-analysis that all problems stem from your childhood. While Kaira has many issues (she is selfish, obviously has a shopping problem and maybe even anger and resentment issues) the movie doesnt have time to deal with them all and I almost wish they were not brought up.
Special mention to all of Kaira’s suitors (Kunal Kapoor- SO HOT and Ali Zafar) for fantastic portrayals of stereotypical fuckbois, her brother for just being the cutest and her friends for being real and the kind of people I want to hang with on a Saturday night.
While this movie is just the tip of the iceberg, I hope it gives rise to many conversations about mental health and stigma around seeking help. Your mind is as important as any part of your body, please take care of it and seek help when needed, there is no bigger love than self love.
FAVORITE SONG: Love you Zindagi