REVIEW: ‘Dil Bechara’ flies high with actor Sushant Singh Rajput’s mesmeric performance

“Dil Bechara” is on Disney+. (Supplied)
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Updated 28 July 2020

REVIEW: ‘Dil Bechara’ flies high with actor Sushant Singh Rajput’s mesmeric performance

CHENNAI: The Hindi-language film “Dil Bechara” (“The Poor Heart”),  just premiered on Disney+, gains immeasurable importance because it is the last work of the highly popular and talented actor Sushant Singh Rajput, who committed suicide some weeks ago. He was just 34, dashing and debonair with a smile that mesmerized thousands of fans, who adored his tremendous dancing skills and performances.

“Dil Bechara” is inspired by the chart-topping 2016 Hollywood movie “The Fault in Our Stars,” which in turn was adapted from John Green’s 2012 novel of the same title. Directed by Mukesh Chhabra, “Dil Bechara” is set in the north Indian steel town of Jamshedpur, where we see the Basu family.

The daughter Kizie (Sanjana Sanghi) is suffering from cancer and requires oxygen support for most part of the day. Lugging an oxygen cylinder, she tries to live life as it comes, but she craves for something normal, which any girl her age would.

The movie stars Sushant Singh Rajput and Sanjana Sanghi. (Supplied) 

Kizie sees Immanuel Rajkumar Jr., or Manny (Rajput), at her college. But it is only later, at a cancer support group session, that she meets him formally. He has beaten cancer but has lost a leg, and his infectious manner attracts Kizie. They are opposites — while she is reserved and shy, he is witty, exuberant and even mischievous in a nice way.

Kizie tries hard not to fall in love with him, afraid that she would eventually break his heart. But his persistence pays off, and the two zip on his scooter along the lanes of Jamshedpur. They even make a small film.

“Dil Bechara” is not a great work. It is casually written and poorly directed. But it is difficult to ignore it because of its superb cast. Rajput is so endearing in his swan song that one just forgives the film’s faults.

“Dil Bechara” is directed by Mukesh Chhabra. (Supplied)

Sanghi is also impressive, first as a girl tired of living on borrowed time, and later blooming as one in love. When she insists on visiting Paris to meet a musician (Saif Ali Khan in a cameo), we see her steely resolve, and scenes between the lovers in the French capital are captivating.

While Oscar-winning composer A. R. Rahman’s music and Amitabh Bhattacharya’s lyrics are fantastic, Chhabra fails to flesh out the characters played by Kizie’s parents — Swastika Mukherjee and Saswata Chatterjee. They appear flat, given the fact that they have a very sick daughter. But “Dil Bechara” will be remembered for Rajput’s extremely memorable acting.

Lebanese it girls Nathalie Fanj and Nour Arida join protests in Beirut

Updated 40 min 4 sec ago

Lebanese it girls Nathalie Fanj and Nour Arida join protests in Beirut

DUBAI: On Saturday, thousands took to the streets of Beirut’s Martyrs’ Square in anger to protest against Lebanon’s leaders following the devastating, mushroom-shaped explosion on Aug. 4 that killed over 150, wounded thousands, and left hundreds of thousands homeless. 

Among the protestors was Lebanese fashion blogger and fashion week Dior Beauty ambassador Nathalie Fanj, who documented the demonstrations, which took place not far from the blast site, on her Instagram Stories.

Fanj, who earlier this week wrote she was “devastated” and “scared for her kids” following the deadly blast, posted clips of protesters holding up the Lebanese flag and carrying signs demanding an international investigation against the government that seemingly allowed a stockpile of explosive material to sit unattended at their port for more than six years, only to explode on Tuesday with such power that it was felt more than 120 miles away in Cyprus.

Nathalie Fanj joined protests in Beirut’s Martyrs’ Square on Saturday. (Instagram)

Fanj also reported to her 855,000 Instagram followers that the authorities were allegedly firing at the protesters.

“We were not armed, protesting peacefully and they shot at us and it wasn’t rubber bullets!” she alleged in her Stories. “They were firing at us! As if we’re the corrupt ones stealing and killing!”

Among the protestors demanding justice for the lives lost due to government negligence was model and actress Nour Arida. The model also shared pictures and clips from the demonstrations on her Instagram Stories.

“Today we were in the streets to get back this little angel’s rights,” wrote Arida on Instagram alongside a series of images of the protests and a photo of Alexandra, the 3-year-old girl, who passed away during the blast.

Lebanese model Nour Arida was also among the demonstrators demanding change. (Instagram)

Dubai-based fashion influencer Karen Wazen reposted one of Arida’s images of the demonstrators in Beirut and captioned it: “Every expat is there today in spirit. We want our Lebanon back.” 

Lebanese fine jewelry designer, Ralph Masri, whose pieces are beloved by Celine Dion, also shared footage of protestors gathered in Martyrs’ Square on his social media platform. The designer, whose atelier was destroyed during the blast, wrote there was “no going back.”

A number of public figures are showing solidarity for the Lebanese people. Amal and George Clooney recently donated $100,000 to Lebanese charities, while British hitmaker Dua Lipa urged her 50.1 million Instagram followers to help by donating blood.