Within three hours of its release yesterday, Dil Bechara had earned the glowing feat of 10 perfect stars on IMDb. For any film to receive a full score on the audience review website is impossible. But Dil Bechara is not a film like any other, and the stars people have left are not its review. They are an outpouring of emotion for a loss no one has been able to fathom, even though a month has passed.
Sushant Singh Rajput left us on 14 June. And he left behind a lot for us – self-reflection, sensitivity, and a film gift-wrapped as a tribute to himself. The least, and most, we can now do with his parting gift, is just celebrate it as it is. For him, for his family, for us all, Dil Bechara is one film that should go without being reviewed.
It’s As If The Fourth Wall Doesn’t Exist In Dil Bechara
It’s impossible to miss the glaring irony of Dil Bechara, in which Sushant plays a terminally ill cancer patient with a zest for life, and a short lifeline that claims it before he can live it fully. With this storyline, for the entirety of the film, it’s as if the fourth wall doesn’t even exist. And every second, we’re aware of slowly inching towards the inevitable, the end that we know is coming, and we know exactly how it will turn out even before it happens. Because it has already happened.
Singh’s manner of going is what lends us the top incentive to skip a review of his last film. When the incident happened, it left everyone – his fans, filmgoers, and viewers like me who knew of his acting chops but were largely indifferent to him – with collective guilt of not doing more, of not showering him with enough love.
There’s Still A Lot Of Pain That Needs Healing
There’s a sense of regret, as it always happens when a person dies, of not celebrating him enough when he was alive to hear it. It’s a human flaw – of somehow becoming more sensitive towards a person only when they leave us. We begin to find instances where they deserved more praise than they received. And Sushant did on a lot of occasions – Sonchiriya, Detective Byomkesh Bakshy!, Kai Po Che!
Film critics, who are being villainised today for their “dirty”, “unfair” reviews, tried to tell us back then that these films were deserving of praise. But we were not listening, because they were not box office hits. The audience is at fault more than it wants to currently admit. But when our broken hearts heal a little more, maybe then these nuances will become clearer.
Dil Bechara is beyond film reviews
It feels easy to shift the blame on the known film critics, who are ultimately, just doing their jobs by reviewing films. But like it or not, we are all film critics who judge, dismiss, criticise, and badmouth films and actors with a simple flick of the wrist, their hard work be damned. Yes, film reviews are important to the quality of cinema being produced, but only through constructive criticism. Not the way it is done in India – with gossip, blind items, controversy, and media trials.
With Sushant’s Dil Bechara release, all of us – audience, critics, media, the film industry – have a chance at redemption, sort-of. Let’s not nitpick on the cinematography or point out flaws in the script. Not this time. There may be some shortcomings in the film, but let there be. This film has an identity that is beyond being reviewed. It holds, and will continue to hold, a different place in people’s hearts – one that doesn’t depend on cinematic value.
Dil Bechara deserves pure emotion. It deserves a celebration of tears, laughter, pain, and joy – it’s a memory that preserves a lost life. Let’s raise a toast to it, for it is Sushant’s final farewell to us.
Views expressed are the author’s own.