Director Gauri Shinde, renowned for her impactful storytelling, recently opened up about her film “Dear Zindagi” and shared insights into her collaboration with Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan. Released in 2016, the film addressed the stigma around mental health, weaving a narrative that resonated with audiences globally.
In a candid interview with campaign companion Anupama Chopra, facilitated by the ITA F.I.A.M.A AX Nielsen IQ Feel Good with F.I.A.M.A Mental Health Survey 2023, Gauri Shinde discussed the significance of working with Shah Rukh Khan in a role that played a crucial part in conveying a vital message. The film revolves around a young and successful cinematographer, played by Alia Bhatt, navigating through emotional struggles, seeking therapy from the compassionate Dr. Jehangir Khan, portrayed by Shah Rukh Khan.
Expressing her thoughts on casting Shah Rukh Khan, Gauri Shinde stated, “I can’t imagine anyone else playing the character of Dr. Jehangir Khan and handling the therapy aspect with the seriousness it deserved. I needed a main lead and a star, but more importantly, someone whom the audience trusts and believes in. If it weren’t for someone like him, the message of therapy wouldn’t have reached as many people.”
Reflecting on the personal inspiration behind the story, Gauri Shinde shared, “I had the idea of a doctor and a patient because I had personal experiences with a doctor and a patient. I always aspired to have a therapist, and I found one. The beginning of this was thinking about how I can describe this beautiful relationship.”
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“Dear Zindagi” received worldwide acclaim for its portrayal of mental health in cinema and garnered immense love from fans. Gauri Shinde emphasized the need for a lead actor who could effectively convey the nuances of therapy while making it accessible to a wider audience.
The film is available for streaming on Netflix, showcasing Gauri Shinde’s writing and directorial prowess. Produced by Red Chillies Entertainment, Dharma Productions, and Hope Productions, the movie features an ensemble cast, including Ira Dubey, Kunal Kapoor, Angad Bedi, Ali Zafar, Yashaswini Dayama, and Rohit Suresh Saraf in pivotal roles. “Dear Zindagi” stands as a testament to the power of cinema to address important societal issues and create meaningful conversations.