Actors: Sushant Singh Rajput, Sanjana Sanghi, Sahil Vaid, Saswata Chatterjee, Swastika Mukherjee
Director: Mukesh Chhabra
Director Chhabra stirs a tidal wave of emotions with his new movie 'Dil Bechara', swan song of the late Sushant Singh Rajput. Releasing on Hotstar less than two months after the actor's untimely and shocking demise, there were bound to be all eyes on his final cinematic performance.
Based on the novel 'The Fault In Our Stars' by John Green, as well as the 2016 Hollywood adaptation of the movie, 'Dil Bechara' is a romantic weepie designed to tug at your heartstrings. Young Kizzie Basu (Sanjana Sanghi) struggles with thyroid cancer, which means lugging around a life-saving oxygen cylinder wherever she goes. She wants a “normal life” without visits to the hospitals and medications. Instead of engaging in social activities she goes to funerals to see what her future holds in store.
Enter Immanuel Rajkumar Junior, aka Manny (Rajput), whose playful cocky behaviour slowly seeps into Kizzie's mind and heart. After a failed attempt to befriend her at college, he later shows up at cancer support therapy sessions Kizzie attends. He's there to support his friend JP (Sahil Vaid) who has a vision to direct a film and needs a heroine before losing all of his sight. Can Kizzie be persuaded by JP and Manny to play the part?
Bonding over a musician's album which leaves them both perplexed due to it's abrupt ending, Manny and Kizzie go on an adventure in search of the creator, only to realise they have fallen for each other during the journey. But this is life (and Bollywood) and a tragic twist in the tale awaits them.
Chhabra and writers Suprotim Sengupta and Shashank Khaitan ensure the narrative flows, taking you through some sensitive and profound moments between Manny, Kizzie and her parents. Be prepared for some heart-breaking scenes and dialogues.
Having made her acting debut in Imtiaz Ali's romantic drama 'Rockstar' in 2011, later starring in 'Fukrey Returns' and 'Hindi Medium', with 'Dil Bechara' Sanghi steps up to the plate with her first lead role. It's a casting decision that pays off, as her raw talent is there for all to see. Imagining anyone else in the role of Kizzie is near impossible.
Nevertheless, the spotlight inevitably goes to Rajput. From his debut film 'Kai Po Che', the actor has excelled in different roles and genres. Whether it is rom-com 'Shuddh Desi Romance', biopic 'M.S. Dhoni: The Untold Story', drama 'Kedarnath' or entertainer 'Chicchore', he has led us on a merry adventure.
With 'Dil Bechara' and Manny, Rajput's personal voyage comes to a poignant end. The movie ties a knot in his career, showcasing the natural ability he possessed and what he achieved during his bittersweet time in the Hindi film industry. Watching the young star shining on screen may prove a cathartic moment for Indians and Bollywood movie lovers across the globe that mourn his loss.
by Jaspreet P. Bajaj
*iGlobal Review Series