Let us just pretend I am not dying. That line does become more than a Bollywood dialogue when Sushant Singh Rajput utters it at one point. It sounds eerie, is ironic given the sadness it exudes and, in retrospect, would seem to have a discomforting note of prophecy somewhere.
The line becomes pertinent because it reminds us “Dil Bechara” that is based on “The Fault In Our Stars” can perhaps never be regarded or dissected as just another Bollywood film, whatever its cinematic quality or flaws. This is the last time Sushant connects with his fans doing what he did best — acting — and he does so in a film about death.
The triumph of “Dil Bechara” is not just about Sushant. Thumbs up reactions are in order for lead actress Sanjana Sanghi, too, and the three primary supporting actors who prop the show — Swastika Mukherjee and Saswata Chatterjee as the heroine’s parents.
Sushant and Sanjana strike up as much chemistry as the tearjerker melodrama lets them. They are Emmanuel Rajkumar Jr (Manny for short) and Kizie Basu — which explains the film’s original title “Kizie Aur Manny” — and their love story starts off hinged on the tested formula of ‘opposites attract’.
The narrative tries maintaining the languid, bittersweet mood that defined “The Fault In Our Stars” — the 2014 film as well as John Green’s 2012 bestseller novel — as the story of Kizie and Manny gradually moves towards the expected bleak shades.
Beyond the acting, another aspect that reveals a level of excellence is AR Rahman’s music, bringing alive some fine songwriting by Amitabh Bhattacharya.
In a nutshell, “Dil Bechara” looked promising with its advantage of a saleable imported story material, plus good acting and songs, besides the overwhelming memory of Sushant Singh Rajput that makes every frame seem just that much more special.