Shah Rukh Khan fans can let out a sigh of relief. After the shocking debacle of FAN, It was good to see Dear Zindagi get some really good reviews and reports, with a very decent box opening for the Gauri Shinde film. Dear Zindagi, jointly produced by both Karan Johar and Shah Rukh Khan, has Alia Bhatt in the main lead, with Shah Rukh Khan playing an extended cameo of her therapist (that the promotions purported as ‘life coach’). Apart from these two, the movie also had cameos from Ali Zafar, Kunal Kapoor, Angad Bedi and Aditya Roy Kapur. This was Gauri Shinde’s second movie, after she  won a lot of plaudits from designing a brilliant comeback from Sridevi in English Vinglish.

In my small personal opinion, Dear Zindagi does not catch up to the awesomeness of English Vinglish, but that doesn’t mean it’s a bad film. The movie is filled with a few sweet moments, some well-executed scenes, a brilliant performance by Alia Bhatt and formidable support by Shah Rukh Khan. While people are loving the stars in the movie, Dear Zindagi, as a whole, was a pleasant one time watch for me. But yeah, it did have the potential to be our answer to Robin Williams and Matt Damon’s wonderfully crafted 1997 drama Good Will Hunting (for which actors Matt Damon and Ben Affleck won an Oscar for Best Screenplay), but flounders at milking that opportunity. After all, nice performances and a few good moments doesn’t mean great cinema.

Here are 7 flaws that keep Dear Zindagi from achieving the great heights that it aimed to reach, and unfortunately, Shah Rukh Khan himself features in a few of these flaws.

The pacing


This is something everyone would agree – the biggest villain that halts Dear Zindagi from being a fine piece of entertaining cinema is the long and indulgent screenplay. Some say the first half was lagging, others say it’s the second half that’s the culprit. The common consensus is the movie is too stretched out at two hours 29 minutes. Dear Zindagi is a movie that would have been best enjoyed with a runtime of two hours. An extra half an hour of Alia Bhatt moping around, despite her brilliant brilliance, only makes us too impervious to what she is going through.

Promoting the movie too much on SRK


I know the makers, and even Shah Rukh Khan, have been insisting that Dear Zindagi is an Alia Bhatt movie. However, the promotions of the movie involved a lot of King Khan, and the common man, who doesn’t follow the news so ardently, might get disappointed that SRK just has 40 minutes of screentime, and his entry is just around 10 minutes near the interval.That makes us want to talk about…

SRK’s character has limited scope


Again we know SRK is playing a supporting character in an Alia Bhatt movie, but that shouldn’t have stopped the writers from fleshing out his character a bit more. What we saw was basically SRK playing himself in the role of a shrink – it was like watching a Shah Rukh Khan interview, only this time he is interviewing Alia Bhatt. But seeing how girls are fawning over his dimpled smile, guess this point is what Joey calls a ‘moo point’…


Alia Bhatt’s dinner scene is clearly a take off on one of her other movies


During a crucial point of the movie, Alia Bhatt blasts her parents at a family dinner for not being there for her, when she needs them the most. It was brilliantly enacted and superbly executed; however you can’t help but have a sense of deja vu, that you have seen this scene before. And you know where – this was that climactic scene in Highway where she lashes out at her family for not  being there with her during her most traumatic phase. Watch the scene from Highway here…

Thankfully, DZ avoids the child abuse subplot.

The psycho-analysis scenes didn’t exactly work all the time


SRK and Alia’s scenes were touted at the highlights of the movie, and a couple of scenes do manage to live up to our expectations (their first scene together, the chair allegory scene and their last session). However, the rest of their scenes together lacked the charm or wit they were supposed to elicit, becoming rather preachy at times. But the presence of two really good looking stars makes you really overlook this flaw. But it’s still a flaw…

SRK’s backstory should have been avoided… because it’s so weak


Come on! Why do you have to make the therapist a divorced man, whose son is living with his ex-wife? You could have just avoided the backstory altogether or given a more interesting story to the character. And why does he even reveal his back story to a patient whom he had met two sessions ago? Is that a part of your unconventional treatment, where you wanna tell your patients that despite being a well known therapist, you can’t save your own family life?

Aditya Roy’s cameo seems forced and Angad Bedi is wasted


It was always given that Aditya Roy Kapur was going to be a part of the movie, though he was kept out of the promotions, just like Ali Zafar. However, Ali Zafar had a sizeable role in DZ(with a song as well), and we know why he was kept out of the promotions (Karan Johar’s MNS-phobia). Aditya Roy Kapur just comes out of nowhere in the end, shares a light banter with Alia and reveals he makes furniture linking with SRK’s earlier best chair allegory. And we have to assume that Alia has finally her ‘best chair’ in a man who makes lame jokes. As for Angad Bedi, who was brilliant in Pink, he was totally wasted as Alia’s first boyfriend, whom she cheats on with Kunal Kapoor’s character. Maybe this is what he gets for all the atrocities he committed in Pink

Agree with our feature or do you feel I am being too harsh? Share your views in the comments section below…