'Dil Bechara' Review: Sometimes words seem so futile, so feeble

A Potpourri of Vestiges Review

By Murtaza Ali Khan

Sushant Singh Rajput in a still from Dil Bechara
Sushant Singh Rajput in a still from Dil Bechara

Returning to Los Angeles after a 20-year self-imposed exile to accept his honorary award at the 1972 Oscars, Charlie Chaplin had famously said, “Thank you so much. This is an emotional moment for me and words seem so futile, so feeble... I can only say that... thank you for the honor of inviting me here…” I went through a similar emotion last night while watching Sushant Singh Rajput’s final film Dil Bechara. It was really some event. While everyone wanted to see the film on the big screen but COVID-19 restrictions made it impossible and so the movie premiered on the streaming platform Disney+ Hotstar which to its credit ensured that it became available to both subscribers as well as non-subscribers. Directed by Mukesh Chhabra, the film is an adaptation of John Green’s popular novel, The Fault In Our Stars.

Now, we all know how deeply Sushant Singh Rajput’s tragic death has impacted the Indian people living all across the globe. So as soon as the movie premiered online last evening the user ratings on the film’s IMDb’s page began to swell. The film currently has a staggering rating of 9.8/10. A bunch of the so called fair people isn’t too pleased with this. They feel that the film is getting an unfair advantage over other ‘better’ films out of sheer sympathy. To be frank, I really pity all those who are asking others to be rational while rating Dil Bechara. I mean how someone can be so mean, inconsiderate, and cruel. A supremely talented individual has left us forever and these individuals are concerned about ratings. So, I have made of conscious choice that at the end of this review I will not be rating the film.

Coming to the film’s storyline, it follows Kizie Basu (essayed by debutante Sanjana Sanghi), who is battling with thyroid cancer, and Immanuel Rajkumar Junior aka Manny (essayed by Sushant Singh Rajput), who has previously suffered from osteosarcoma (a type of cancer that affects the bones) and is in remission. The two gradually bond over his love for Rajnikanth’s movies and her love for the recluse indie musician Abhimanyu Veer’s songs. While Manny wants to make a film with his friend JP (brilliantly portrayed by Sahil Vaid), who is suffering from eye cancer, inspired by Rajinikanth's films, Kizie wants to unravel the mystery behind the incomplete song by Abhimanyu Veer. So, Kizie helps Manny by starring as the female lead in their film and Manny helps her by tracking down Abhimanyu Veer who now lives in Paris. So they decide to go to Paris and get the song completed but even before they could travel to Paris, Kizie’s health begins to deteriorate. Will Manny succeed in fulfilling his promise to Kizie? Will their platonic friendship shape up into something more intimate? Well, you better find it out for yourself! For, I think we owe that much to Sushant for entertaining us all these years.

Suhshant Singh Rajput and Sanjana Sanghi in a still from Dil Bechara
What’s most remarkable about Sushant’s performance in the film is his physical transformation. He really looks like a 24-year-old boy. I can only imagine the kind of efforts he would have put in to get his body ready for the movie. Also, I must say that his dancing prowess fully comes to the fore in the film’s title track, sung and composed by none other than A R Raman himself. The song video is directed by veteran choreographer Farah Khan. Sushant shows such great poise and remarkable flexibility and makes it absolutely breathtaking to watch. Sushant’s energy and brilliant use of space in the song video would surely remind many viewers of a young Shah Rukh Khan.

Dil Bechara features a bunch of solid performances. It’s only befitting that Sushant gets takes the maximum limelight throughout the film. It’s impossible to take one’s eyes off him. He comes across as very natural in the dramatic scenes. While his comic timing isn't bad by any means, whenever he is doing an intense scene he is really at his best. There is a beautiful scene which he shares with the veteran Bengali actor Saswata Chatterjee (best known for playing the serial killer Bob Biswas in Sujoy Ghosh’s Kahaani). It may very well be the finest moment of Sushant’s short but formidable film career. Then there are many others wherein Sushant looks really wonderful. Here I must mention a scene which he shares with Saif Ali Khan who plays the musician Abhimanyu Veer. Since it’s the only scene that Saif has in the film it must be owned by him.

Sail Ali Khan in a still from Dil Bechara
Now, I remember talking to Om Raut ahead of the release of Tanhaji and he told me that there was only condition that Saif put in front of him before accepting the part of Udaybhan. All he wanted was three scenes in the entire film that he completely owns. Raut told me that he gave him a lot more than that. Coming back to the scene in Dil Bechara, it was only natural that the scene had to be only about Saif as otherwise why he would do the film (remember, his part is not billed as a guest appearance in the film’s end credits). And, so, it is indeed all about Saif. And, yet, Sushant, in all his earnestness, still manages to steal it by ensuring that between the two of them they manage to elevate it above the material. As for Sanjana Sanghi, she is believable for the most part. But, frankly, a debut performance is expected to do a little more than that. I am sure she will get more opportunities to showcase her talents in the near future.

A rendezvous with Tanhaji director Om Raut
After interviewing Tanhaji director Om Raut earlier this year
Overall, Dil Bechara is a kind of a film that will make most people nostalgic. It will also make many people cry. But, above all, it will serve as a timeless memorabilia for anyone and everyone who wants to experience firsthand the brilliance of an enormously talented individual who was far ahead of his time and who left the world too soon. The world of cinema will forever be indebted to Sushant Singh Rajput for bringing to life diverse and deeply humanistic characters such as Ishaan Bhatt (Kai Po Che!), Sarfaraz Yousuf (PK), Lakhan "Lakhna" Singh (Sonchiriya), Mansoor Khan (Kedarnath), Aniruddh "Anni" Pathak (Chhichhore), and Manny (Dil Bechara), among others, through his honest, gritty, heartfelt, compelling, and transformative performances. Make sure you don't miss the lovely tribute to Sushant  from Mukesh Chhabra and team in film's end credits.

Readers, please feel free to share your opinion by leaving your comments. As always your valuable thoughts are highly appreciated!

People who liked this also liked...
Share on Google Plus


Post a Comment

Thanks for sharing for valuable opinion. We would be delighted to have you back.