Film Review Dil Bechara
By SUNITA VIJAY
It was not easy for me to watch Sushant Singh Rajput’s last film, Dil Bechara, a movie adapted from John Green’s novel, ‘The Fault in Our Stars’, portraying an adorable romance between two people suffering from cancer. This Mukesh Chabbra directed film is poignant and the dazzling performance by Sushant makes one mourn his death once again. The yet-to-recover-from shock endured due to his tragic, untimely demise was shattering enough and seeing him on screen in a role where death is conspicuous, brings a lump in the throat. The charming actor, his vibrancy and talent exuded in his previous films rolled through the memories. He didn’t deserve the end, so soon.
The ones who have read the book would know it all. There exists no spoiler for them. ‘Ek tha Raja, ek thi rani, dono margaye khatam kahani’ – the film emphasises the fact that there can never be a happy ending for two terminally ill patients; the fault indeed lies in their stars. Kizie Basu (Sanjana Sanghi) is suffering from thyroid cancer; and as a young girl and narrator admits to be living a boring, hopeless life. She too has age-appropriate aspirations but her life is hanging by a thread. The poor girl needs to carry an oxygen cylinder with her, all the time, to support her lungs. Immanuel Rajkumar Junior or Manny, a bone cancer patient, a lively, energetic handsome young boy, a sportsperson, now with an amputated leg, walks on a prosthetic. They both happen to meet in a cancer support group conducted by Dr Jha (Sunit Tandon), Rizie’s doctor. Manny desires that Kizie should act in his film assisted by Jagdish (Sahil Vaid), another cancer patient on the verge of losing his eyesight.
Manny brings enthusiasm to Kizie’s life. Both are aware that they may not live another day but want to forget this grueling thought to live each day. Their fragile physique and demanding health hinders their gusto and the occasional hospital visits create roadblocks yet their love remains impregnable. Despite anticipating a not-happy ending story, the director weaves a consummating endearing romance.
The chemistry between the two is fetching and they live for each other. Manny is ready to do anything for Kizie. She is curious to know the reason behind an incomplete song by her favourite singer and composer. Manny not only arranges a meeting with the musician and composer, but also accompanies Kizie to Paris; he wants to fulfil all her wishes!
Dil Bechara is an unpretentious tragic love story narrated in a heart-warming manner. It is inconsistently touching, only in the frames where the plight, helplessness, fear and love are displayed.
Sushant Singh Rajput brilliantly emotes nervousness and a subtle wish to live as a cancer patient who sees death standing at the door step. Sanghi’s presence is sweet. She plays her part with full zeal, and seems to be a promising find. The editing seems hurried, ends are left loose and an additional input of film-making endeavour in the plot mars the film’s attributes. Dil Bechara handles an assortment of emotions; Manny-Kizie’s visits to their favourite spot, Vaid’s wit and humour, Kizie’s cheering moments with her parents, the traumatising hospital visits, bouts of health attacks, pure romance and the doses of hard-hitting realities of a cancer patient. Nevertheless, Manny’s side of the family and his life is left unexplored, focus maintained mainly on his undeterred attitude and his love for Kizie.
Green’s novel was emotionally churning but the film only sparsely touches that territory. It remains emotionally cold, failing to evoke the desired agony and pain. It practices optimism and aims not to carry any melancholy. It is unaffecting except for the few tear-jerking moments it renders and the enchanting bond shared by Rajput and Sanghi.
Vaid who is fighting his own affliction lends the inevitable naturalism through his friendship that this film needed to lighten up the heaviest of moments especially when he reads the eulogy in a church.
Swastika Mukherjee and Saswata Chatterjee as Kizie’s parents are supportive and understanding; their performance, admirable. The film is not a cliched sad, cancer drama. It is mostly light and enjoyable, sailing on a vibrant story of two teenagers fighting the deadliest disease and how the downhearted effect permeates in the family. The music by AR Rahman is groovy and soulful.
Dil Bechara is the last film of Sushant Singh Rajput, the talented actor who went away too soon but his child-like charm and infectious smile will remain as an imprinted memory in mind; engraved on rock. Dil Bechara glorifies the strength of love, the power it infuses in humans to pull through worst of situations, even when death stares blatantly. The likeable persona of Kizie, the froth and sparkle of loquacious Manny make it a sad-sweet watch.