Sushant Singh Rajput’s Dil Bechara- Intense, Touching and an Emotional Watch
Dil Bechara, beautifully directed by Mukesh Chhabra starring Sushant Singh Rajput and Sanjana Sanghi is an accidentally surreal experience. Do you think how often does a fiction become so hyperreal? One is the realization of the unmitigated enormity of the loss that Sushant Singh Rajput’s demise represents. Actor Sushant Singh Rajput, who died by suicide on 14th June. He plays an incurably-ill character in this film. So, we know how this tragedy is going to pan out, in both real life and on-screen. And, because of the film’s source material, The Fault in Our Stars.
Dil Bechara directed by Mukesh Chhabra
Before the Mukesh Chhabra film begins, we see a black and white clip of Sushant. He died reportedly by suicide at his apartment in Mumbai on June 14, 2020. The clip of Sushant playing the guitar, looking happy and smiling. A quote from Sushant appears below it, reading, “Perhaps, the difference between what is miserable, and that which is spectacular, lies in the leap of faith.” And as the film ends, it is perhaps the way one would remember his character, Immanuel Rajkumar Junior, or Manny.
Sushant Singh Rajput porthumous release
Dil Bechara – Sushant Singh Rajput’s only posthumous release. It showcases him as an ebullient young boy, who is aware that his end is near. But, never fails to live in the moment. He met Kizie Basu (Sanjana Sanghi), who later becomes his girlfriend. She has thyroid cancer, to do the same. It’s hard to detach the sequence from Sushant’s reality. As in the end, the narrative pays a teary-eyed tribute to Manny. The co-relation is affecting, heartwarming, hard to watch, to say the least.
Sushant fleshes out a bubbly Jamshedpur boy who makes light of a disability caused by cancer. He draws his zest for life from his growing bond with an incurably-ill girl whose lungs act up frequently. He has a false leg while she has to lug around an oxygen cylinder. Time is running out on the two. But, the couple’s determined not to let the sense of mortality weigh them down all over. Mukesh Chhabra’s debut feature is 20 minutes shorter than the original. This is a Hindi remake of the Hollywood hit The fault in our stars.
Dil Bechara blends unaltered borrowings from the original production with significant plot deviations in shaping the story for Indian sensibilities. One cannot help falling in love with Sushant and debutante Sanjana Sanghi. They both strike up a lively rapport. The sparkling passages, infused with humor and warmth. They owe their existence to the source material. Dil Bechara is a film about the disease, distress, and death that looks at the brighter side of life. Through the tears brought on by the fear and the experience of losing a loved one.
Tatanagar takes the place of suburban Indianapolis. Kizie Basu (Sanghi) and Immanuel “Manny” Rajkumar Junior (Rajput) meet in a college fest. Before they drift closer to each other in a cancer support group run by Dr. R.K. Jha (Sunit Tandon). The dance number introduces the audience to the male protagonist’s love for Rajinikanth. Kizie, who lives with her parents (Swastika Mukherjee and Saswata Chatterjee). She digs the work of a musician who disappeared leaving her favorite song incomplete. While Manny and his best pal Jagdish Pandey (Sahil Vaid). He’s another cancer patient who is on the verge of losing his eyesight, wants to make a film with Kizie as the heroine.
So, convincing the girl takes some doing. But, once she is on board – Seri, okay in Tamil, is the couple’s catchword. The relationship between Kizie and Manny blossoms quickly. And, the two become inseparable. And, Kizie’s mother frets about her delicate medical condition. Manny, does all he can to spread happiness in Kizie’s life. He did this with his wisecracks, good-natured pranks, and uninhibited ways. Together they seek to make the most of their limited time they both have. They went to Paris, where Kizie’s favorite singer(Saif Ali Khan) now lives. She was curious wanting to figure out how the singer’s unfinished number should end.
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In The Fault In Our Stars, the couple visits Amsterdam. It results in a disappointing meeting with the heroine’s favorite writer. In Dil Bechara, this crucial part of the story is inexplicably glossed over. The singer Kizie adores presented more as a man who is off his rocker than as a cynical musician battling world-weariness. So, the small-town ambiance of the tale harnessed with reasonable competence. The landmarks of Jamshedpur – the Tata Main Hospital, Jubilee Park. The Tata Steel Plant and Payal Cinema. These provide the backdrop for Kizie and Manny’s exploration of the little joys.
The character of Laura Dern, mother of Hazel Grace, had far greater play in The Fault In Our Stars. In Dil Bechara, her significance is somehow reduced. But, Swastika Mukherjee’s calibrated performance ensures she doesn’t recede completely into the background. They enhanced the father’s role in contrast. But, this allows Saswata Chatterjee to be a scene-stealer. The first-timer Sanjana Sanghi is a charmer. And Sahil Vaid, playing the hero’s great pal. In one scene, he gushes about Manny’s “killer smile” and triggers a lump in the throat. It has limited footage but he does strike a chord.
Dil Bechara will always belong to Sushant Singh Rajput. It’s a reminder of a career cut short and loads of potential in him. His performance demonstrates exactly why the chops he possessed weren’t ordinary.
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Dil Bechara, brings the curtain down on the career of a talented young actor who displayed panache for creative challenges. Sushant’s Detective Byomkesh Bakshy, Sonchiriya, and the Mahendra Singh Dhoni biopic. He owned it despite never having held a cricket bat in his life until he landed the role. He was an actor who played these youthful roles very well, be it the hot-headed but well-meaning Ishaan in Kai Po Che! or mischievous Anirudh in Chhichhore.
Dil Bechara, premiered on Disney+Hotstar on Friday 24th July. It’s a few notches shy of the benchmark. That Sushant Singh Rajput set for himself with his more accomplished films. But, watch it nonetheless to celebrate a career that merited a much, much longer run. It’s not a review, but a goodbye to that last smile on face
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