Sushant Singh Rajput, Sanjana Sanghi, Saswata Chatterjee, Swastika Mukherjee, Sahil Vaid
Streaming on Disney + Hotstar
The fact that I will be writing “Sushant Singh Rajput” for the very last time in the list for film cast itself robs me of the ability to be unbiased while writing this review.
Kizie Basu (Sanjana Sanghi) has cancer. Other than her parents, her constant companion is Pushpinder who comes in the form of an oxygen cylinder she tugs all over the place. It is her bane and her boon. The weight of it bores down on her youth but it keeps her alive. She doesn’t know how good it is to be alive, but she is not quite ready to give up knowing how devastated her parents will be.
She mostly keeps to herself but Manny aka Immanuel Rajkumar Junior (Sushant Singh Rajput) has an annoying habit of getting in her way. They often meet “by chance” and at the second meeting itself Manny declares he is her boyfriend. Overwhelmed and confused by the attention, Kizie starts getting swept off by Manny’s exuberance.
Since Manny himself has suffered from cancer, his love and understanding towards Kizie doesn’t come as a surprise yet Kizie is worried because the more people she allows to come close, more the people she will hurt when she dies.
The only way she can think of coping with the pain is to find her favourite singer Abhimanyu Veer (Saif Ali Khan) to complete a song that has been an anthem for Manny and her. Since the moment she has heard the incomplete number, she believes her answers lie with the man whose songs speak to her. While Manny and Kizie try to reach out to Abhimanyu, the two get closer. How their story concludes is predictable and tear jerking just as it promises to be. Yet, as an audience you will be left as confused as Kizie was initially, not knowing if it is something the film made you feel or the fact that it was Sushant Singh Rajput’s last.
Frankly, the work SSR has done in films like Sonchiriya, Chhichhore and more, Dil Bechara doesn’t come even close to that caliber of work. The whys are simple. Those who have read the book ‘The Fault In Our Stars’ or even seen the English film starring Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort will find the frame by frame redundancy of Dil Bechara irksome. For his debut, Mukesh Chhabra took an easy but loveable script, which was smart. But he didn’t put in the required amount of hard work he could have to put to make it better than the two versions that were out in the marquee. Yet, all this you think of, in retrospect, the morning after you have cried your eyes out seeing Sushant play a jovial cancer patient, trying to make the most of the bad cards he has been dealt.
While you are watching the film, you see a talented man, who slips in odes to his favourite Shah Rukh Khan through his work, dances like a dream, smiling charmingly only to tell you that tragedy could be right at the corner of that smile. It is so heart breaking that even A R Rahman’s music doesn’t register. Sanjana Sanghi’s efficient debut gets overlooked because you only and only want to see Sushant breathing life into that frame. However, Sanjana does do a great job in executing Kizzie. Sahil Vaid is endearing and effective. Really, it is the actors that make this film work.
See it armed with a tissue box and a salute to the actor who tried his best – Sushant Singh Rajput. Forever.