Why 'Dil Bechara' is the Bollywood event of the year & maybe that's not a great thing
'Dil Bechara' is currently streaming free-for-all on Disney+Hotstar.
Going by how the year 2020 already has been, it's probably not a surprise that the Bollywood event of the year is as unusual as it gets. It neither features Khans and Kapoors, nor is it coming to any theatre near you. Instead, the entire nation is waiting to fall in love with a small film which marks the final outing of the late Sushant Singh Rajput.
An official remake of The Fault In Our Stars (2014), the film stars Sanjana Sanghi and Sushant Singh Rajput as a tragic couple battling the perils of cancer and the countdown to death in a bittersweet love story.
Tragedy that Merged Fiction and Reality
When Aristotle said that tragedy is not life itself, but life imitated on a stage, maybe he was speaking about something like this. In his last theatrical release, 'Chichhore', Sushant played a father speaking against suicide after his son jumped from the balcony failing to absorb pressure of expectations. Then in the middle of a pandemic-induced national lockdown, the successful rising star was found hanging in his highrise in Mumbai. And the last outing of the beloved star turns out to be a tale of star-crossed lovers trying to protect their love from the inevitability of death.
Find me a better story than this. No fiction writer can paint a "story" like this on the very real canvas of life. It's tragedy blurring the lines between fiction and reality. It's the dream of any artist.
For a nation living in the fear of a pandemic, the release of 'Dil Bechara' thus becomes many emotions jumbling up and blurring all lines of objectivity.
Guilt, Apology and Politics
The hysteria around Dil Bechara seems like a national apology to Sushant (albeit misguided) for not standing by him when he required it the most. As soon as the first trailer dropped on July 6, it almost broke all records, garnering 32 million views on YouTube in just 24 hours. At the time of writing, the trailer has almost 80 million hits.
Each song of the film is already a chartbuster and Disney+Hotstar made an event out of every promotional material. Everyone and their mothers are just waiting for the film to start streaming free for all at 7.30 PM on Friday.
This massive buzz around a little love story of cancer patients seems too unusual to be true. Or is it?
Bollywood or the Hindi film industry is going through a flux following Sushant's purported suicide and the social media storm about how Bollywood mafia drove the "outsider" to his demise. Ever since the news of his death spread, the entire nation started speaking about how Bollywood and especially a few powerful families/camps discriminate against outsiders and don't let them flourish.
Adding fuel to this sentimental David-Goliath fire was the political intentions of certain celebrities who wanted to make an issue out of Sushant's death to further their personal agenda. *Cough cough Kangana Ranaut*
Thus, we are presented with a situation where commando-comic news channels are running all kinds of conspiracy theories about Sushant's death and even managed to find Pakistan's hand behind it. Every move of every person associated with Sushant is making headlines, and several film personalities who are considered the "flag-bearers of Nepotism" are being attacked left, right and centre.
'Dil Bechara' is no longer just a film anymore, it's coming across as the guilty conscience of a nation crazy about films and filmstars. Maybe for a nation couped up in its houses will find an emotional release in this small film which has already become immortal. Just not sure how fair that would be in terms of setting an example.
Watch the film here: