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Dil Bechara: An appreciation post for an achingly beautiful film

When an actor passes away, the film that releases after his death isn’t just a film. It becomes a memory, a cult, a legend. Dil Bechara starring Sushant Singh Rajput is one such film.



Dil Bechara

Director: Mukesh Chhabra

Cast: Sushant Singh Rajput, Sanjana Sanghi

Streaming on: Disney+ Hotstar

When an actor passes away, the film that releases after his death isn’t just a film. It becomes a memory, a cult, a legend. The world still remembers Heath Ledger mostly for his iconic portrayal of ‘The Joker’ in Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight that was released six months after the actor’s death. Mukesh Chhabra’s directorial debut Dil Bechara starring Sushant Singh Rajput is one such film. It is the story of Kizie and Manny (it was also the film’s working title), two dying youngsters who fall in love with each other.

The film starts with a few glimpses of Sushant Singh Rajput on set during the filming. The character he plays, Immanuel Rajkumar Junior aka Manny, has quite a few traits of real Sushant that we have seen during his media interactions, interviews – always smiling, a bright mind and his #selfmusings on social media.

Dil Bechara is based upon the novel The Fault In Our Stars by John Green. The screenplay is adapted from the Hollywood movie of the same name by Suprotim Sengupta and Shashank Khaitan. They have kept the narrative crisply smooth and get to the point without wasting time. Dil Bechara has Mukesh Chhabra (a sort of revolutionist in the casting in Hindi cinema) as the debutant director. Never does he show that he’s a first timer though. Cinematography by Setu keeps the treatment cool and classy. AR Rahman’s fresh soundtrack and Amitabh Bhattacharya’s lyrics weave the whole narrative beautifully.

Dil Bechara – A musical tribute to Sushant Singh Rajput:

I had misty eyes while watching the end of The Fault In Our Stars. It had the heartbreakingly beautiful chemistry of Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort. Dil Bechara too has the contagious energy and smile of Sushant Singh Rajput and the affable debutant Sanjana Sanghi (brilliantly natural). Their contrasting characteristics play out really well. These two are ably supported by a fresh cast of supporting characters (Sahil Vaid, Saswata Chatterjee, and Swastika Mukherjee). There’s a special appearance by the rom-com mascot Saif Ali Khan as an eccentric musician in one remarkably written-acted scene. Much credit goes to director Chhabra.

What’s difficult to watch in Dil Bechara are the constant references to dreams, death and dying. Every line said by Sushant has a different impact now. The line “Janam kab lena hai aur marna kab hai yeh hum decide nahin kar sakte. Lekin jeena kaise hai yeh humare haath mein hai” will keep haunting you. When in one scene Sushant says “Main bohot bade bade sapne dekhta hoon, par unhe poore karne ka mann nahin karta”, in another he says, “Can we just pretend that I am not dying?” or when Saif in his solitary scene says “Khud ko maarna illegal hai toh jeena padta hai”, make your gut wrench. Had a similar feeling while watching Angrezi Medium, being aware of the illness of its lead actor Irrfan which eventually took his life. You don’t review such films. You just absorb everything you can.

Trailer of Dil Bechara starring Sushant Singh Rajput and Sanjana Sanghi:


In his last release Chhichhore, Sushant played a father who tells his son that suicide is never an option. What happened months later is something that an entire country is still trying to fathom. Sushant did eleven films – all different from each other and made his impact in every one of those. Many celebrated superstars don’t even have those many remarkable performances in their entire career.

In Dil Bechara, the actor again showed how well versed he was with his craft. He nails a wordless scene in the climax when his parents visit him. This is not to analyze a performance of a deceased actor but to appreciate a rare talent that was never acknowledged enough. His death is a monumental loss to Hindi cinema. A fault in ‘our’ stars.

Also read: In memory of Sushant Singh Rajput, CineBlitz June July issue out now!

Sushant’s death has affected a whole generation who dreamed and saw him as their poster boy – the one who achieved it all. His passing has made us introspect. Much has to change in the way we make films, watch films, criticize films and nurture outstanding talents. Sushant’s legacy shall be celebrated and learned from. Hope he finds his peace. Dil Bechara; one last time for Sushant Singh Rajput.