John Green’s award-winning book ‘The Fault in Our Stars’ comes back to steal our hearts again, this time in the form of the 2020 Bollywood romantic drama film Dil Bechara. The film marks the directorial debut of Mukesh Chhabra and stars the Late (sob) Sushant Singh Rajput and Sanjana Sanghi in the lead roles of Immanuel Rajkumar Junior aka Manny and Kizie Basu. With Amitabh Bhattacharya’s lyrics along with the soulful yet fresh songs and background score composed by A.R. Rahman, the film portrays the stark reality of terminal illnesses while keeping an air of quirky, cute romance. It helps the audience realize the fragility of life and encourages them to seize the day.
Dil Bechara is an adaptation, and therefore, for people who have read the book and seen the movie, the plot doesn’t come as much of a surprise. It is obvious that Kizie Basu (Sanjana Sanghi), suffering from thyroid cancer, and Immanuel Rajkumar Junior a.k.a. Manny, suffering from bone cancer, are star-crossed lovers, never to be together forever- hamesha hamesha. Both have had cancer for a long time, both realize how fragile their lives are. However, the short time that they do get to be together is so wonderfully portrayed that somehow it reinforces the idea of ‘if you love the right person, the timing doesn’t matter.’
Given the poignant premise, Dil Bechara makes for an emotional watch. Set in Jamshedpur, the story follows a close similarity with the Hollywood adaption ‘The Fault in Our Stars’ but the small Indian touches to the dialogues and plot along with the mind-blowing portrayals by all the actors truly make the movie worth watching.
Dil Bechara Cast
Apart from the smile-killer Sushant Singh Rajput and a worthy newcomer Sanjana Sanghi, the movie holds a very short but talented cast.
The film also stars Sahil Vaid as JP, Manny’s friend who suffered from glaucoma, Saswata Chatterjee, and Swastika Mukherjee, two proficient Bengali actors in the roles of Kizie’s father and mother and (surprise surprise) Saif Ali Khan as Abhimanyu Veer.
You can catch the official trailer towards the end of this review.
Why Dil Bechara deserves your time
1) Splendid performances
Sushant Singh Rajput, in his final film role, steals all our hearts with his killer smiles and outstanding acting. To play such a deep character effortlessly and with this finesse validates the talent that the world will miss. His expressions, the sincerity in his acting, his ease of dialogue delivery are truly marvelous and do complete justice to the bubbly, live-in-the-moment character of Manny.
Sanjana Sanghi portrays unparalleled finesse in her acting. She took a very difficult character and delivered it in a beautiful manner as if the role was made for her. The chemistry between the two lead actors is dazzling and gave a charming air to the entire movie.
It would be so wrong to not mention the very believable acting by Sahil Vaid, Saswata Chatterjee, and Swastika Mukherjee. They make you want to smile when they smile and drop a tear when they cry. If that is not the sign of a fabulous actor, then what is?
Oh and, even with the smallest screen space, Saif Ali Khan gives an exemplar performance of how to make your craft count, and not the number of scenes you do!
Knowing that the actor who makes you smile throughout the movie will never again create the same magic again is heartbreaking. If you are a fan of Sushant, muster the courage to watch his finale. It wouldn’t be wrong to add, that had we all seen the movie in the theatres, none of us might have been able to control the urge of applauding his virtuoso performance.
2) Individuality, despite being an adaptation
Dil Bechara, while being adapted from the same book, has an engrossing Indian flavor to it, which is evident in several settings, scenes, characters, etc. Kizie’s mother is a typical Indian mom, who worries a lot about her daughter’s friendship with a grown boy at the start. A few scenes from the original movie were cut, like Augustus’ suggestion for a movie, which was replaced by a lake scene to keep more with the Indian characterization. The flawless execution by the entire team of the film is a testament to their adeptness in the art of filmmaking.
3) The ‘seize the day’ philosophy
Throughout the film, Manny showcases an extroverted, cocky, confident behavior and by retelling “mauke pe chauka” (seize the day). His behavior and decisions, the way he wants to live life, the way he teaches Kizie to live each day like it is the last, to take any chance you can get to be happy, to do everything that excites you is something that every one of us can benefit from in this fast-moving world.
4) “Seri? Seri.“ (Okay? Okay.)- Romance at its Best
Can you relate to the first few feelings of love? The time when you know someone has struck the right chords in your heart and now all you want to do it wait until you see each other next. That feeling follows the anticipation of who messages first, the first call, the first kiss… basically, all the firsts. Dil Bechara will take you past that bridge you never want to get off. There will be times when you will not realize you’ve been smiling ear to ear looking at the two rise in love.
Seri? Seri clearly finds its source from the original book and the previously released The Fault in our Stars. But the cute way in which seri becomes their word, so much, that every time they say seri, you say awww. As the story progresses, the very gripping Dil Bechara movie proves how sometimes the greatest love stories are in places you will never look at. That being together is more than just demanding things from each other. That your story is the greatest love story in the world until you don’t let the butterflies in your heart get too far. And lastly, that one can still give and receive unconditional love even in the worst of situations.
It leaves one thinking if they can with the little that they have, imagine the things can we do with the so many things we have?
5) The stark reality of terminal illnesses
Terminal illnesses like cancer are a reality that several people find difficult to face. Dil Bechara deals with that in a very effortless yet realistic way which shows exactly what cancer patients and their families have to go through in their lives. Kizie’s relapse, Manny’s osteosarcoma, JP’s glaucoma – all of them indicate what cancer can do to a person’s life and what they go through.
Two things that come across so strongly with the difficulties of these illnesses are that NO ONE can love you like your parents do. That kind of pure and innate love can keep people happy till their last breath. The second thing is HOPE. Where there is hope, there is a chance for the universe to act in your favor. A hopeless person is blocking the gates for the good things wanting to waltz into their life.
Dil Bechara is an adaptation, but the little variations make the movie truly exclusive. The songs and background score portray the emotions of each scene perfectly, taking the audience through a journey of emotions throughout. Dil Bechara Pyar ka Mara is a song that you will want to listen to in the loop when you watch it with the movie. The comic timing, the smartly-written dialogues, and the screenplay sure make the movie worth your time.
Of course, there are a few loopholes with some scenes feeling a tad draggy, and some seeming a little too fictional. But, it doesn’t take away much from the movie’s credit. Love Smitten gives the Dil Bechara movie a 4 on 5 stars. You’ll watch it wanting to feel some love and romance, you’ll end it feeling energized with love. It is sadly Sushant Singh Rajput’s last, but also one that marks his outstanding finale performance.
(P.S. We will always miss you!)
Are you into books? Here’s a review of the very intriguing read- The Day he Came Back.
Dil Bechara Trailer
Haven’t watched the movie yet? Still need more convincing? Watch the official trailer to help you decide.
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