Dear Zindagi was a delightful watch. A leisurely movie about life and therapy.
Alia Bhatt is growing as an actress with every film. Her character is flawed, and focused but directionless. Kaira (aka Koko, her character) is a mixture of paradoxical traits and thus, complicated.
The movie starts wonderfully, but is painfully slow after the Interval. Gauri Shinde could have done well to dig deeper into Kaira’s psyche or Dr. Khan’s background. Instead, she lets the movie meander like anyone going to Goa does. Life just stops in Goa, so does the movie.
I liked how the movie tries to remove some of the stigma associated with therapy in the Indian society. My two cents : Indian society is made up of people who make it their business to become associated with every happenings in the lives of friends, family and strangers alike. It’s bad and good at the same time. When therapy was not this prevalent, people used to talk their hearts out to these friends, families or strangers and get comforted/find solutions from their talks.
With busier lives, people getting more judgemental, and no guarantee of secrecy – we have begun turning to therapists. BD – the brain doctor – as the movie calls them, are a varied lot. Some seem absolutely cuckoo (here, I’d like to say that one man’s cuckoo is another man’s genius), some just sit and nod their head and tell you that the session is over.
Then how does therapy help? If you have the right therapist, (s)he will listen to all you have to say without making you uncomfortable, and offer guidance on topics which relate to a behaviour trait which affects your life. Like Dr.Khan in Dear Zindagi, (s)he won’t meddle with your decisions but let you arrive at a decision after offering several options to deal with a situation. In essence, your therapist does what a good friend or mentor would do.
This is only for minor problems – dealing with life situations. If your problems arise because of a psychological condition like bipolar mood disorder or vitamin/hormonal imbalances, you will definitely need to get medication along with the therapy.
Dear Zindagi shows the goody goody part of therapy and counselling where the psychiatrist doesn’t feel the need for medication for Kaira. It’s a movie where you go on cringing at the protagonist’s decisions and keep telling her to make sane decisions, and the therapist helps her do precisely that and lo! With some of her cringe-worthy traits still intact – Kaira transforms into a new girl.
My two cents, again : Therapy ain’t bad. Consult a therapist whose vibes make you feel good about yourself. OR, if your problems are not pressing and you have reliable friends, family, mentors (none of these strangers), talk to them. Communication is the key to coming out of the downing blues. Whether to communicate with a therapist or a known person – you decide.