Sometimes it’s difficult to separate the art from the artist. Sushant Singh Rajput and Sanjana Sanghi dazzle the audience through their artistry in each and every frame. Sushant and Sanjana’s on – screen chemistry in ‘Dil Bechara’ has a charismatic impact on the viewers. Mukesh Chhhaabra has done a commendable job in his directorial debut honouring the legacy of Sushant Singh Rajput. As the movie starts with a quote from the late actor, “Perhaps, the difference between what is miserable, and that, which is spectacular, lies in the leap of faith…#selfmusing.” Being the casting director of Sushant’s first film Kai Po Che, Chhaabra has amicably utilized the artist’s potential while portraying Manny, the on-screen depiction of Augustus Waters from ‘The Fault In Our Stars.’ Chhaabra along with screenwriters Shashank Khaitan and Suprotim Sengupta must be credited for their storytelling in Indian context rather than trying to be a caricature movie adaptation of John Green’s book. Without losing the soul of the original story the scriptwriters have a given fresh perspective on human relationships, life, fate and the ecstasy of selfless unconditional love. Chhaabra has extracted decent performances from all actors on board and yet again proves his casting prowess by featuring Sahil Vaid, Saswata Chatterjee and Swastika Mukherjee in prominent roles. Set in Jamshedpur, the filmmaker has created a delightful visual spectacle with long shots capturing the Steel city. Cinematography by Satyajit Pande does justice to the narrative and retains the originality of the film. Art Director Rupam Paul gives an exquisite feel of Bengali household setup and gives an edge to Chaabra’s characterization.
First and foremost Sanjana Sanghi gives an effortlessly honest and convincing performance as Kizzie Basu. Sharing screen space with Sushant, Saswata and Swastika, Sanjana looks uninhibited and confident in her dialogue delivery throughout the film. There are obvious similarities with Hazel Grace from Green’s original work, yet the debutant actor brings novelty to Kizzie’s character. Sanjana subtly portrays the vulnerability, innocence, dilemma, heartbreak, compassion and determination of Kizzie. Sushant gives it his best shot in the heartbreaking final act and showcases his artistic finesse and dedication to the craft. Even if you manage overlooking the off – screen harsh reality, every time the actor appears on – screen, melts your heart. Sushant brings a new dimension to his character with the flamboyance, energy, sensitivity, goofiness, comic timings and charm throughout the film. Saswata and Swastika as Kizzie’s parents Mr and Mrs Basu are completely immersed in their characters. Sahil Vaid as Manny’s best frind JP gives a soulful and moving performance. Sunit Tandon as Dr Jha and Durgesh Kumar as the rickshaw puller give aesthetically engaging character portrals. Subbalakshmi, Michael Muthu and Rajie Vijay Sarathi have played their parts convincingly in limited screen presence. Saif Ali Khan in a special appearance is spot on in a unique yet significant role. However, Sushant and Sanjana steal the show with their passionate flair for the art.
The soundtrack by the maestro himself, A R Rahman has a soothing and blissful effect on the audience. Amitabh Bhattacharya has penned unconventional unpopular lyrics that reflect glimpses of Kizzie and Manny’s emotions. All the songs are perfectly blended in tune with the plot. However, the title track ‘Dil Bechara’ and ‘Taare Ginn,’ keep you mesmerized even after the film ends. The composers have made sure that the songs are relevant to the script and form an emotional bond with the listeners. Rahman’s renditions are indeed a musical ode to Sushant’s legacy. Aarif Sheikh’s crisp and compact editing keeps you hooked to the screens from start till the end. Dil Bechara is a heartbreakingly heartwarming tale about life in the times of pandemic and uncertainties. A memorable watch for students of art, theatre, cinema and journalism.