At times little is more. Small is large. And trivial much more important than what a translucent interface makes it appear. Wobbly thoughts that threaten to fizz out at the most inappropriate times are what make us human. The constant tug of war between what to do and what not to, what to say and what to hold back, and most significantly who to be and how; is what defines life.
At these times, what has always helped me come to terms with myself, is putting pen to paper and edging out a patient call out to life. Dear Zindagi, translates one such messy and fluid letter to life, and creates a visual treat for anyone who has ever looked at confusion in the eye, and yet hasn’t known how to deal with it. For how long after all, can one shut oneself?
With an introduction as personal as this, it is visibly clear that this is no film-review. Nor an expert opinion, since there is seemingly little that anyone can know about the gigantic art or craft of film-making. And apart from this, a judgement is the last thing I want to draw from this film that inspires exactly the opposite.
What I want to do though, in my small insignificant way, is to put down this piece as a thank-you note to the film that made me laugh, cry and realize that no matter how silly certain dilemmas seem on surface, if you don’t feel okay, it is okay to look up for a hand. That the lull I feel even when the world around me is cheering in joy, is as existent as it sounds to my ears. But most importantly, it makes me realize that despite all of this, I have it in me to smile, love and spring to back to life, with faith and hope stronger than before.
I admit, with sincerity, that this might not be Shinde’s best; and I hope that she out-does herself in the time to come. I also know that there is a huge lot of people who have called the film a slog, called it silted and synthetic, a preaching sermon, or even a live session with a counselor. I do not blame them, and by no means am I trying to prove that the film is an immaculate piece of perfection to see and follow.
But what I am trying to draw spot-light on, is the attempt. How many times does it happen in our country, that one chooses an unconventional, insignificant almost, wearily taboo subject, and treats it as a premise for a commercial film? How often does a superstar stretch out of his comfort zone, to give way to a woman half his age for her to be able to display not just her talent and skills, but her weaknesses, unhappiness and specifically her insecurities? And how frequently in these attempts, does a film like this make it to the theaters, with a respectable three-week run and hopefully more to follow?
I respect the talent and expertise of all those who are critiquing the film, and not just criticizing it. I believe they know and understand what it takes to make a good film with conflicts and situations as internal and intimate; not to mention doing so in a funny, light-hearted and bravely straight-forward way. But there certainly is more to the point. I do not want applause for the film just on account of advocating the beguile stereotype attached with psychology and its practice. Or for the charm and flair sported by the leading man and lady, in that order. Or even for the shots that beautifully camouflage the discomfort associated with the subject and her story!
What I feel the film deserves appreciation for is the attempt to cut out a slice of life that hasn’t been tasted before. For the pool of its flavors. That the taste, liking and savoring of this slice is diverse, can easily be an occupational hazard. The slice pulled out might be, and even is, disliked, loathed or even hated by some. But what is important is that someone is scooping this slice for us to stop and look at life, even if it is through misty glasses.
This is first in an upcoming series of Film-related articles, that will celebrate, rejoice and elaborate the beauty that life ‘imprints’ upon me, in the form of movies! 🙂