DIL BECHARA (2020) – A Tribute to Sushant Singh Rajput

Sushant Singh Rajput and Sanjana Sanghi in a still from Dil Bechara
  • Release Date: 24/07/2020
  • Cast: Sushant Singh Rajput, Sanjana Sanghi, Sahil Vaid, Swastika Mukherjee, Saswata Chatterjee
  • Director: Mukesh Chhabra

Dear Sushant,

I had once read somewhere that its only the body that is restricted to limited knowledge of its surrounding. We can only learn, see, feel and touch as much as the reach of our sensory organs but once we are free of the body and the spirit takes its own form, the reach of it becomes infinite. I also like to believe that once we are gone from this world, we become little stars in the sky and watch over our near and dear ones from up there. You never knew me, but I want to believe that you are reading this today even though you are in a far better place, and none of what we pesky little being down here say and do with your memory matters to you. But I like to think that the good things reach even gods and you, in your mortal life valued your art and craft more than anything else. That makes me believe that you will definitely be interested in what I, a film buff has to say about your last film.

I haven’t seen “The Fault in our Stars” neither have I read the book of the same name. “Dil Bechara” was my first brush and probably the last with this story. The film immediately struck a chord with me because of the way the characters of Manny and Kizie (Sanjana Sanghi) struck up a camaraderie. It is very difficult to find comedy in tragic lives and for a very large chunk of the film, Kizie is a terminally ill girl while Manny was a hyperactive and full of life survivor who had beaten his disease. To be able to portray a character like Manny and still be real was difficult but you pulled it off with élan. Due credit must be given to the director as well for envisioning and handling these scenes with a lot of subtility and freshness.

There was a genuine sense of fun in their respective acts and how they kept running into each other. Manny never tries to teach Kizie how to live her life. He instead just treats her like he would any other girl who was not terminally ill. He doesn’t say things to make her happy. He doesn’t treat her like a weakling. He hits on her shamelessly and even goes to the extent of ridiculing her song choices that evidently frustrate Kizie. But while he is doing all that, he is also genuinely falling in love with this girl that he doesn’t know, how long will be a part of his life. Since he doesn’t know that, there is a sense of haste in whatever it is that he wants to accomplish with her and that is something that is executed very well and tugs straight at the heartstrings.

Sushant Singh Rajput and Sanjana Sanghi in a still from Dil Bechara

You charm as Manny was infectious. The way Kizie fell in love with you was natural and there couldn’t have been anything else other than what happened just because of the way the character of Manny was and how he was essayed. You haven’t looked this good and fresh in a long time. One could see Sanjana Sanghi genuinely melting and reacting to your poor jokes and hyperbolic theatrics. It was all very real and hence loveable. Your camaraderie with Sahil Vaidya playing J.P was equally proficient. I believe it was the scenes between you two that extracted the most laughs. Sahil is a much better actor than the kind of roles that he generally gets but here, even in a short essay, he made a lot of impact. I believe you will agree with me.

I was on the verge of quitting to watch the film in the second half when your character turns tragic. It was terrible to see you suffer the way it is depicted but the change that you had brought about in the life of Kizie through your histrionics was underlined by the way she started warming up to you and you faltering physical state. It would not have made as much sense had you not been shown enduring the kind of pain that you were shown enduring.

I must add that A.R Rahman composed and scored a fabulous soundtrack for your last film. He hasn’t been this good in a while. Every song works in its own way, but my favorite was “Taare Ginn”. The song had such a sweet, romantic and yet melancholic feel to it that it will definitely affect the hopeless romantics and fuel their dreams for years to come. The way you and Sanjana acted in this song also did a lot to make it so heart-warming.

Sushant Singh Rajput and Sahil Vaid in a still from Dil Bechara

No matter how much I praise this film, that fact remains that I will never be able to watch this film again. Every time, I watch this, it will only remind me of all the great things that you could have done unless you were taken away from us so abruptly and that would be upsetting and painful. I can say this because I have been following your films closely and I liked all those films that people are pretending to like now. However, I would definitely commit to memory some of the lines of Manny from this film. I like uplifting thoughts and your character here has given a lot of it. Dialogues that are worthy of remembrance and sharing. That is just another plus of your film and a big one at that.

Sushant, it’s easy for me to say that you are in a better place because we all take solace from that very thought. Your actions have opened a can of worms but most importantly, it has, for the first time raised some serious questions about mental health and why it is so important. Maybe because of what you have done, the loved ones of someone else will reach out to them before they commit the same mistake that you did. Depression will no longer raise eyebrows when referenced as a disease. You might have left this world, but your legacy will live on. In the shock and tragedy of your demise, the world will finally ask the right questions and possibly try to nudge each other’s shoulders when they are sagging under the weight of depression and loneliness.

I am sure you must be rocking the world you are in right now. Keep smiling and don’t forget to check on us from up there from time to time.

We will always miss you!!!

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