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Hollywood Insider Tribute To Sushant Singh Rajput, Dil Bechara Review

 

Video Version of this Article

Photo/Video: Sushant Singh Rajput/Courtesy of Daboo Ratnani/Hollywood Insider YouTube Channel

In 2014 there was The Fault in our Stars, the romantic drama that had everyone leaving the theater in tears. Now, enter Dil Bechara, the Bollywood adaptation of the novel by John Green. Dil Bechara, or the Helpless Heart, stars Sanjana Sanghi and the late Sushant Singh Rajput as two lovers who make their way to each other during difficult times. Directed by Mukesh Chhabra, the movie follows Kizie Basu, played by Sanjana, a college student who dreams of meeting her favorite musician, and Immanuel Rajkumar Junior (aka Manny), played by the late Sushant

In the film, both characters navigate the youthful beauties of life, all while dealing with the tragedies looming over every scene. They share stories of how cancer has affected their lives, and soon blossoms a beautiful friendship. The movie is based on The Fault In Our Stars, yes, but it truly takes good cinema and creates a whole new layered love story. Set in Jamshedpur, this beautifully tragic film is a must-see. Kizie Basu has Thyroid cancer, lives with a smile and fortitude, rendering her bound to her trusty oxygen tank of which she’s named “Pushpinder”.  Manny has Osteosarcoma which is currently in remission, lives with a constant laugh and all the spirit of a young child, and yet, the heart of someone mature and wise. 

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What makes this already tragic film an even more tragic watch is the fact that the leading man Sushant passed away before the release of the film, at 34 years of age, from suspected suicide/suspected murder in mid-June.  

Bollywood mourned for the incredibly talented actor saying he was far ahead of the game. As Dil Bechara marked Rajput’s final project, the film now takes on an even heavier tone. Imagine the aching vacuum that Sushant Singh Rajput left for the cast and crew of Dil Bechara at the news of his tragic death. Imagine the fans and their distress or relief of watching their idol on screen for the very last time in a new film. The premiere of Dil Bechara on Disney’s Hotstar immediately became a fan favorite. On top of that, the film was made available for free all over the world as a tribute to its STAR. Piercing through headlines debating the potential of foul play in Sushant’s death are ones discussing his new movie Dil Bechara, released July 24th on Hotstar

The huge Bollywood star Sushant starred in this remake of The Fault in Our Stars, was a huge fan of stargazing and owned a telescope, and now a fan has named a star in honor of the STAR. Get your head around that when you can. 

With this article, we aim to focus on a thoughtful review of the film as well as the saga surrounding Sushant. Remember, our review on the film is leaning towards the fact that this film has a larger sentimental significance than just being a movie due to traumatic issues surrounding its release. The film has been told beautifully, with masterful performances, hence, the slight structural issues can be ignored due to its immense connection with fans worldwide. This is the first directorial venture from one of the leading casting directors in Bollywood, Mukesh Chhabra. At Hollywood Insider, we do NOT review everything, we ONLY review those films/TV shows that we believe people should watch – we never review something to tear it down – we believe in building someone up rather than tearing them down. If we do not like a movie/TV show then we do not review it. Dil Bechara is definitely worth a watch and a sensitively poignant film by first time director Mukesh Chhabra. 

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Sushant Singh Rajput’s Dil Bechara – Let us start by focusing on the film – a thoughtful review: 

 

Dil Bechara’s Sanjana

Without giving too much away (seriously go watch for yourself on www.hotstar.com/us available for free as a tribute to Sushant), we first meet Kizie Basu, a young college student living with thyroid cancer. She wants to be a normal girl doing normal things like crying over boys and gossiping with friends. Sanjana’s commanding presence on screen is enough for the audience to realize that Kizie is far tougher than her diagnosis would have one assume. Kizie often visits strangers’ funerals to give out hugs and condolences; she can’t bear to see people around her suffering, and never stands idly by when she can relieve someone else’s pain. It’s Sanjana’s brilliance that enables her to discover a well of vulnerable strength in Kizie, one whose depth can only be explained as a reflection of Sanjana as a person. Underneath layers of trials and tribulations, is Kizie’s great fortitude. Though she is in pain she continues on, if not for herself then at least for her loved ones. As this is Sanghi’s first leading role, she plays her emotions well, letting each scene feel realistic and not too strained. 

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Dil Bechara’s Manny

Sushant’s characterization of Immanuel is heart-wrenching. Despite his cancer, Manny trudged on with a carefree grin. His love for Kizie Basu superseded all of life’s hardships, no matter how silly his affection might have seemed. Immanuel’s heart’s strong adventurousness colored every scene he appeared in with youthful glow. If you think back on Augustus Waters, you might remember the ever so charming personality he flaunted. He seemed to be fueled by happiness, and Rajput gives new life to the already amazing role. Even the most tragic moments in Dil Bechara were sparkled with Immanual’s smiles and laughter. The parallels between Sushant and the character he so excellently crafted are impossible to ignore. Sushant also walked in blissful adventurousness during his time on earth, his Mumbai home’s crown jewel being a professional-grade telescope which he calls his “time machine.” How ironic that Sushant gazes at stars in his spare time when to many fans around the world, he was one the purest and brightest stars to ever grace Bollywood. 

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‘Supernova’ I wake up in the morning & I think of you, I think of all our chats, your habits & moods. Then it kicks in, a pain I couldn’t imagine I would feel for you. The 1st time we met, you told me you would show me the stars, in my head I wondered-ya whatever, what a cheese ball. Little did I know you meant every word you said. With a smile full of pride you showed it to us, this massive big black hole, your best friend, your telescope. I was like – wait, what, really, you got this here!!! Full of excitement, in the middle of nowhere, you jumped like a child, ready to take us all on a journey… You took us to the moon & back, I remember the moon being red then. You showed us Saturn, Jupiter and a million stars. All of a sudden my might came crashing down, you made me realise I was just a fractal in this pond. You challenged me to write with my left hand & narrate versus backwards… You challenged me to races & quizzes & it drove me nuts… We spoke of Van Gogh, Gaudi & Descartes. We spoke of breaking patterns & creating new ones. We spoke of theories, success & life. We had debates & many fights. We listened to Beethoven & Mozart, We tried understanding their music through algorithms & charts. You spoke of Faraday, Chatelet & tried explaining Newton’s theories through Art. Just like that, from a Co-Star you became a teacher. You turned me into a seeker, ready with her book and pen, waiting for class to begin. I remember your excitement on all the questions I asked, getting an answer from you wasn’t easy, you would turn that too into a learning task. You my friend gave me an experience of a lifetime. You were like the emergence of a Chaos. A chaos so different and potent it’s hard to explain. I know you can see the world grieving for you. There’s a sense of loss everyone feels, many that met & didn’t meet you. Your genius will live on with all the work you’ve done. And through that telescope I’ll spot you again, it will be easy- cause you will be the youngest & the brightest amoungst many we love up there. You truly are a double slit photon, A Neutron Star. You are going to be missed Our dear SSR. #SushantSinghRajput

A post shared by Bhumi✨ (@bhumipednekar) on

The Plot That Breaks Your Heart with its closeness to Sushant Singh Rajput’s reel-and-real life farewell

As the film treks on the pair grow closer and closer. They find refuge in each other’s problems, successes, fears and admirations. Though some could argue this film had too much looming over it with the original 2014 adaptation, I think the heart of this movie is different. Sure the original story remains similar, but these are two different characters in a completely different culture. The passion of Manny is palpable and the way the two main characters emotionally intertwine is truly something amazing to watch. Though we know how this story ends (John Green how dare you) it’s much bigger lesson comes from the baby steps. The bond of Kizie and Manny, the little things they each do to step out of their comfort zones. Whoever said ‘it’s the little things in life’ I get it now! Every scene, even the happy fleeting ones, really make you stop and take stock of what’s important in this life. I highly recommend grabbing some tissues before you sit down for this one. 

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An Amazing Cast 

Directed by Mukesh Chhabra, this film really would play a whole different tune if it weren’t for the actors. Sanjana Sanghi’s breakout role as Kizie is heartfelt and strong. At just 23 years old she is absolutely one to watch. She plays Kizie with a great sense of maturity for a character that has truly been through so much more than a ‘normal’ teen experiences day-to-day. But hey, what’s normal anyway. And of course, the ever so loveable Manny played by Sushant Singh Rajput. It is easy to tell that Rajput was the type of actor to give their all to a project. His performance leaves no stones unturned, as he plays Manny with incredible wit and edge. He is persistent, kind, and never really stops giving. Some characteristics I imagine Rajput to have had in real life as well.

You could say that teenage romance movies are a dime a dozen, but Dil Bechara speaks volumes. It’s fascinating how you can find bits of Hazel and Augustus within these characters, yet they create an entirely brand new world all at the same time. There is something raw and vulnerable about it that draws you in, even though the story has been told. Kizie and Manny feel less like two random characters, and more like two old friends whose love story you’ve heard a million times yet it never gets old. Everyone can relate to being opposites or maybe finding the right person at the not-so-right time. This film takes those familiar feelings and places them in the hands of two characters that harness so much power and courage. 

The film’s title track song’s video was filmed in one take, which is proof of Sushant Singh Rajput’s brilliance as an actor and dancer, as per choreographer Farah Khan. The song and dance sequence can be seen in the video below. The title track is a product of genius and Academy Award winner A. R. Rahman.

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Sushant’s Final Tribute in Reel-and-Real Life

Watching Immanuel Rajkumar Junior live his life to the fullest while grappling with his mortality revealed a litany of teachings. In the context of Sushant’s death, every lesson in the movie is magnified and made startlingly tangible. The last scene, so brilliantly done, shows Kizie watching Manny in the film they made, as well as actress Sanjana/director Chhabra and the millions of fans watching Sushant in his last performance on film, a literal goodbye to Sushant himself. In one of the most revealing scenes about Immanuel, the character states: “but I’m a fighter and I fought well. And sir, I want to act… I want to be a real-life hero.” For his fans, the character Immanuel must have floated away in this scene, as these same words could have just as easily been spoken by Sushant himself. Indeed, he was a true hero, a fighter down to the end—a real-life shooting star. Sadly, shooting stars are only with us for a brief period of time – while they are here they dazzle the world with everyone’s attention on them, but they leave as quickly as they arrived. 

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Sushant Singh Rajput’s Shadow over Bollywood

For some, his death was the last straw for an industry that often leans into corruption. Many celebrities have denounced Bollywood’s complicit barriers against outsiders/actors who are not kids of famous stars/directors, including Bollywood’s number one actress Kangana Ranaut who happens to be an outsider herself.  Hopefully, Sushant’s death will not be in vain, and Bollywood will work together with celebrities and fans to establish a more fair, healthy and welcoming industry instead of a high-school clique or Beverly Hills Housewives reality show environment.  

On June 14th, mere hours after a phone call with his sister and later TV star Mahesh Shetty, Sushant Singh Rajput was found hanging (allegedly) in his Bandra home, cause of death deemed an alleged suicide. His untimely death has sent a global wave of heartache as one of Bollywood’s most treasured actor’s time was cut short. Fans worldwide are distressed and perplexed at what could have led someone with such zest for life to suicide. 

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Bollywood is deeply established on nepotism. Because of that, it is challenging for someone outside of the entertainment family empire to breakthrough. Sushant was one of the few highly successful outsiders in Bollywood. He was talented enough for Bafta-winning director Shekhar Kapur to offer him the leading man role in his film ‘Paani’ and for Bollywood’s number one director Sanjay Leela Bhansali to offer him the leading man role in multiple movies. Some other successful outsiders happen to be Ayushmann Khurrana, Kangana Ranaut, Priyanka Chopra, Madhuri Dixit, Manisha Koirala, Akshay Kumar,  etc. Sushant’s entry into the industry was the pride of his hometown Maldiha, and anyone from anywhere who dared to dream big. He was not born into this industry. That minuscule component of his story was enough to set him down a path of great adversity. “What makes Bollywood a world so unfair to the outsider so much isn’t just the dynasties and cliques. It is essentially the fact that it is a brutally competitive game with no umpires, adjudicators, or whistle-blowers”, says The Print

Sushant was a symbol of the possibility of change in Bollywood. When his death was deemed a suicide, social media was outraged as they believe that there is foul-play and Sushant was possibly murdered. Foul-play and murder have not been proven yet. The hashtag Candle4SSR” had over one million hits as fans worldwide called for the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to take over Sushant’s case. However, the calls all around the world for an investigation of potential murder have led to no avail; as of July 25th, the Mumbai police’s verdict on Sushant’s death is still suicide. Was it foul play? Was it suicide? Was it murder?

Call to action: #SUSHANTING A fan of Sushant’s has requested: ‘Everytime we do something inspired by Sushant Singh Rajput, whether we are reading, or stargazing, learning something new or just fulfilling any dream, and want to share it on social media, let us use the hashtag #sushanting – Let’s work on a global community of like-minded people who would like to carry forward his legacy and stay inspired.

We, at Hollywood Insider, will always admire Sushant Singh Rajput for his talent, magic and humanity and would like to pay our heartfelt condolences to Sushant’s family, friends and fans all over the world. Cinema will keep the memory of Sushant alive for generations to come. Sushant was truly a bright star and his legendary life will continue on in the love and hearts of millions of admirers all over the world.

 

Dil Bechara: “The Helpless Heart”

If you are struggling with depression due to heavy news and current COVID-19 related lockdown, know that there are resources for you. Stay safe and surround yourself with those that love you. Click here for the American national suicide hotline. Click here for a list of Indian suicide hotlines.

By Rebecca Breitfeller and Tyler Bey

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Author

  • Rebecca is a writer with a passion for all things entertainment. With a heavy emphasis on pop culture, Rebecca touches on how contemporary mediums are shaping the way in which we present ourselves to the world. She often focuses her writing on how deeply affected younger generations are by Hollywood. Determined to deliver the fan perspective, as she is a fan herself, Rebecca hopes to highlight the ways in which our forms of entertainment can unite us which is exactly why she writes for Hollywood Insider. Rebecca writes reviews and feature stories that take a deeper look into the stories that have shaped us all.

  • Tyler Isaiah Bey is a writer and actor from Atlanta, Georgia. His emphasis on storytelling through his work guides him through his writing. His theatre background has given him a love for honest performance and a strong appreciation for art. Hollywood Insider's focus on education, philanthropy, and anti-drama is the perfect platform for Tyler who's unique and often intersectional perspective gives him a honed edge to the work he creates. He finds joy in discovering powerful crossroads of current events and media and infuses this cultural awareness into his writing. For it’s these intersections that make art so powerful and writing such a pleasure for Tyler.

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