DIRECTION: Anu Menon
DURATION: 1 hour 39 minutes
STORY: Tara (Kalki Koechlin) is a fiercely independent woman whose life turns upside down after her husband Rajat (Arjun Mathur) meets with an accident. At the hospital, she meets Shiv, an elderly man whose wife of 40 years has been in the coma for eight months. The two strike an unlikely friendship that helps them cope with their grief.
Right from the first frame, Menon sketches them differently. Tara is a realist, whose first question to the doctor is – ‘Will my husband die?’ Shiv lives in the hope that his wife will wake up and ask for her favourite Thalassery biryani. The filmmaker skillfully describes the different stages of sorrow without letting melodrama seep in. Tara holds on to Shiv’s pearls of wisdom (some taught by experience and others picked up from medical journals), to make the cumbersome journey from denial to acceptance.
The layered screenplay poses some thought-provoking queries. In one of the film’s best scenes, Tara rants how she has 1500 friends on Facebook and 5000 followers on Twitter and yet, she stands alone in her time of suffering. Shiv innocently asks ‘what is twitter’. She calls it a notice board that helps one get more followers, making you wonder about its shallowness. In another flattering scene, a senior doctor teaches his junior how to give a patient bad news. These little moments have a far reaching impact.
However, the writing wears thin in the latter half. Shiv’s big revelation was unnecessary and the writers seemed unsure how to end it for Tara. And yet, none of it matters. For Kalki and Naseer’s effortless performances, this movie deserves to be watched.