A Farewell Not Up To The Mark

‘Dil Bechara’ may well become a must-watch and fetch maximum viewership and profit due to the demise of a dynamic young actor, but the movie riding on unappealing music, lackluster script and middling cinematography remains unmemorable.

By Arbeena, Asif Khan

THE much-awaited movie ‘Dil Bechara‘ of the proficient young actor gone too early, Sushant Singh Rajput, finally released on July 24 on OTT platform- Disney+ Hotstar across India.

This Bollywood adaption of the New York Times best-selling novel ‘The Fault In Our Stars’ (2012) by American author, John Green, is a romantic drama directed by Mukesh Chhabra who has made a directorial debut with this movie. Dil Bechara is also inspired by the book’s Hollywood adaption with the same name released in 2016.

Set in Jamshedpur, the movie is based on a story of two cancer-suffering youngsters, Kizie Basu (Sanjana Sanghi) and Immanuel Rajkumar Junior (Sushant Singh Rajput) known by the nickname ‘Manny’.

Kizie, a quiet girl and a music aficionado, suffers from thyroid cancer and has to lug around a carry-bag type oxygen tank named as ‘Pushpinder’ while as Manny, an energetic guy and Rajnikanth’s fan, has lost his one leg to osteosarcoma, a type of bone cancer.

Both meet at a cancer counseling group.

Manny along with his bestie, JP (Sahil Vaid), who is afflicted with an eye disease, decide to make a Bhojpuri movie for which Manny invites Kizie who is an ardent fan of an incomplete song ‘Mai Tumhara‘ by Abhimanyu Veer (Saif Ali Khan).

Initially, she finds him pesky and declines the offer. However, the two bond with each other after exchanging their likings- a song and a movie. This reel element is unlike ‘The Fault In Our Stars’ book, in which both the characters exchange their favourite books.

Making Seri (Okay in Tamil) their word, they promise to stay together despite their sufferings. However, the tragic twist in the story comes after Manny fulfills Kizie’s wish of taking her to Paris to meet her favourite singer, Abhimanyu Veer.

Certainly, this 101-minute long movie is an emotional watch. Sushant Singh Rajput is able to capture the heart with his energetic, charming, and amusing acting despite suffering from a disease in his reel avatar. He appears humourous as well as passionate. His dance on the title track of the movie composed and sung by AR Rahman gives a lively feeling. His dialogue, “janam kab lena hai aur marna kab hai, hum decide nai kar sakte; par kaise jeena hai, woh hum decide kar sakte hain” instills an aura of strength and hope, and at the same time makes one poignant knowing the fact, he isn’t around anymore.

Sanjana Sanghi, the debutant lead actress, as Kizie has played her part well. But unlike Hazel Grace in the Hollywood adaption, she isn’t able to make a lasting impression on the audience.

The acting by supporting cast, Saswata Chatterjee (Kizie’s father) and Swastika Mukherjee (Kizie’s mother) is also noteworthy.

However, the writing and editing remains the movie’s Achilles’ heel. Shashank Khaitan’s screenplay falls short of expectation. Catchy in the beginning, the picture gradually loses the charm as it starts unraveling. It doesn’t look substantial and lacks the sufficient background and arcs of characters.

The cinematography at times looks an average camera work. But the selection of location- landmarks of Jamshedpur, Jharkhand, is commendable and serene to the eyes.

The ‘Pushpinder’ name given by Kizie to her oxygen tank sounds cringey. Her wish to meet the singer Abhimanyu Veer just for knowing the end of an incomplete song appears unconvincing. The conversation between the singer and the couple in Paris also sounds trivial and incoherent.

One of the dialogues of Saif Ali Khan (as Abhimanyu) in his cameo, “Khudko maarna saala illegal hai, toh phir jeena padta hai” appears insensitive and bizarre.

While popular singers like Mohit Chauhan, Arijit Singh and Sunidhi Chauhan croon forgettable numbers, music maestro Rahman’s tunes fail to strike chords. This being Rahman’s comeback of sorts in Bollywood sounds more disappointing.

Those who’ve read the John Green’s novel and watched its Hollywood adaption would feel disappointed with this Bollywood version. The flick ends abruptly and doesn’t follow the script of its original source, thereby, letting down the audience in the end as well. Also, this Hindi remake is far from the level of its English version.

But Dil Bechara may well become a must-watch and fetch maximum viewership and profit due to the demise of a dynamic young actor, Sushant Singh Rajput. The movie is a last treat for fans and followers of the actor found hanging in his Mumbai apartment recently.

The movie, however, would be mainly remembered as the late actor’s last movie, while as ‘Kai Po Che’, ‘Detective Byomkesh Bakshi’, ‘M.S Dhoni: The Untold Story’, and ‘Sonchiriya’ would be remembered for Sushant’s out-of-the-box and remarkable performance.

In addition to it, the enthusiasm with which people are coming forward in support of their fallen hero would surely impact the overall collection of the movie.

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