My eyes transfixed, thoughts racing through my head on what happened to this creative and beautiful soul in the end.
I've never met Sushant Singh Rajput and yet one felt an instant connection as soon as the opening credits of Dil Bechara started rolling. A connection that is beyond my love for cinema. A bond that's more real, that didn't exist while he was around..but is a strong one, now that he's gone. There was a melee of emotions in my head and heart as I pressed the PLAY button to watch his last film Dil Bechara directed by debutant Mukesh Chhabra. That first sight of Sushant, the last introduction scene ever of the actor on my screen, felt like a dagger piercing through the heart. A happy, full of life young man with a smile on his face and unexplained pain in his eyes. My eyes transfixed, thoughts racing through my head on why he did what he did and what he would've felt in that final moment. For once, it's an impossible task to separate the character and the person Sushant was in real life. It felt like he was around. Maybe from a faraway place, he had his eyes set on his telescope from up there watching us all feel that indescribable emotion.
Set in Jamshedpur, Jharkhand, 'Dil Bechara' is a simple story about a young boy and a girl brought together by an unpleasant twist of fate. Though the film is an official adaptation of 2014 released The Fault In Our Stars, directed by Josh Boone, Dil Bechara holds it's own.
Sushant plays the role of Immanuel Rajkumar Junior lovingly called 'Manny' - a young guy who has had a brush with a type of cancer called Osteosarcoma and has lost a part of his leg in the process. Not letting the big C break him down, Manny takes life head-on. Sushant, like an angel, literally waltz into the life of a young girl called Kizie Basu played by Sanjana Sanghi who is suffering from Thyroid Cancer. And straightaway you know where the film is headed towards. Sushant adds colour and smiles and laughter in Kizie's life! Kizie for some reason is obsessed with why her favourite singer Abhimanyu Veer left her most-loved song incomplete and desperately wants an answer to that question as if her life depended on it. Manny and Kizie's journey takes them to Paris to meet the singer Abhimanyu (played by Saif Ali Khan). A poignant scene in Paris helps them get an answer to their question to some extent. But what follows leaves behind more tears than the question. A parallel track sees Kizie play a heroine in Manny's movie - a tribute to Rajinikanth and Shah Rukh Khan that gives the film a few cute moments! Everyone by now knows Sushant's love for SRK in real life also.
Human beings have a strange penchant for pain and so one stays with the film, with every Sushant moment, tugging at the heart, even though the mind perhaps often irrationally drawing a parallel between little things how Manny and Sushant's life ended. Even the t-shirts he wore in two scenes said.. 'HELP!'... and another one read "So close yet so far..." Yes, he's right there on your screen but too far away.. "So close yet so far, Sushant."
There are moments where Sushant will make you laugh with his own unique brand of humour. On being asked by Kizie's mother what he does, with a straight face, he says "ji main astronaut hoon.. agle hafte nasa jaa raha hoon.." Mukesh Chhabra pulls out all stops and tests our pain threshold with such scenes that'll leave you with a strange unexplainable void. A scene where Manny calls Kizie and says "I'm in pain..." It turns out Manny wasn't the only one in pain at that moment, you the viewer will feel it too. Ironically, one of the best scenes in the film is a mock funeral for Manny organised by Manny himself with Kizie and Manny's best friend JP (Sahil Vaid) offering their own Eulogies for their best friend. These scenes will test you as a fan.
Sushant's joie de vivre vibe has some very powerful shades of Rajesh Khanna's portrayal of the titular role in that 1971 classic - Anand. Does he make you cry in the end? Mukesh Chhabra in his debut film has shown that he has a penchant for subtlety and being able to create some powerful moments that say so much even without a single word being spoken. The undercurrent of this fresh as a daisy film is pain. Manny in one scene very nonchalantly says.. "But I'm a fighter and I fought well...."
101-minutes of Sushant Singh Rajput, the last time you will ever see him in any film. Watch it, cherish it, and give it all you have. We wouldn't like to categorize or rate Sushant's film as it is emotionally overwhelming but because we want it to be watched by millions of his fans and want the word to spread, we give it 4.5 stars.
Image Source: Hotstar
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