Cast: Sushant Singh Rajput, Sanjana Sanghi, Saif Ali Khan
Ever since the news of a Bollywood adaption of the fan-favourite novel The Fault In Our Stars by John Green and remake of the 2012 film of the same name was announced, people have ardently waited with baited breath to see how Bollywood would handle the fragility of such a tale and we were not disappointed. We all know the age-old tale of love, heartbreak, tragedy, and loss. This film takes us on that very journey and leaves our hearts aching and eyes brimming with tears by the end.
The film revolves around Kizie Basu (Sanjana Sanghi) and her life-long battle with thyroid cancer which resulted in her relying on external oxygen support due to her failing lungs. Having succumbed to the monotony and dreadfulness of her disease-ridden life, meeting Manny (Sushant Singh Rajput) served as a literal breath of fresh air. All she ever wanted was to live and not just survive, and Manny, who had beat cancer, helps her do just that. After initially being apprehensive of him, Kizie succumbs to Manny’s charms and lets herself fall for him and along with her, so do we. Throughout the film, the audience vicariously lives through Kizie as she finds love, meaning in her previously bleak life and eventually, herself. The tragedy that follows is beautifully encapsulated in one particular standout scene where along with the characters, we bid Manny, as well as Sushant, adieu.
For a film so focused on loss and imminent death, Sushant and debutante Sanjana manage to breathe life into it with their standout performances. The pop culture references, refreshing humour and heart-breaking dialogues perfectly tie in with the themes of the film. The stellar soundtrack composed by the brilliant A.R. Rahaman encompasses the buoyancy, tragedy and beauty of such a heart-rending tale. The supporting performances of Saif Ali Khan as Abhimanyu Veer and, Saswata Chatterjee and Swastika Mukherjee as Kizie’s parents are particularly note-worthy as well. Sahil Vaid’s performance as JP, Manny’s best friend who suffers from cancer as well, is commendable too.
Manny teaches her and us that every story ends but that is no reason for us to not enjoy the journey. Similarly, we will always celebrate Sushant’s journey as this film perfectly serves as a fitting swan song to the now extinguished star. He will stay in our hearts ‘hamesha’.
Verdict: The film is simple in its execution of such a complex topic and therein lies its essence.