One of the best sequences of Alia Bhatt in Dear Zindagi did not make it into the final cut. The villain of the piece being the length.
The sequence shows Alia Bhatt giving a Daddyji onboard a flight before takeoff requesting her to sit in a seat away from the one she had reserved ,a dressing-down just before the flight takes off.
The sequence is a brilliantly conceived and executed slice-of-flight experience. We all have faced that high-handed co-passenger who thinks it’s perfectly fine to occupy your seat and gets rude when refused.
Every actor in the flight scene dazzles.Alia is in top form.
Then why delete?
“Creative decision,I guess,” shrugs Alia.
Director Gauri Shinde is far more vocal in expressing her displeasure at the exigencies that force filmmakers today to forcibly prune down their creativity. “We were under pressure to keep the film’s running-time to under 2.30 hours. This is the logic that goes into film exhibition these days. The film’s duration has to be checked so that there can be more shows and more sale of popcorn and samosa during interval.”
Given a choice Gauri admits she would have retained more footage inDear Zindagi. “My film would have actually been a little over 2 hours and 45 minutes ,if I had my way. But who has the patience any more to watch any film of more than two hours?”
Interestingly Gauri Shinde’s debut film English Vinglish also had one of its most interesting sequences inside a plane when Sridevi on the way to New York, meets Amitabh Bachchan in the seat next to hers.