8 December, 2019
The article was originally published in the December edition of The Plus.
Cast: Priyanka Chopra Jonas, Farhan Akthar, Zaira Wasim, Rohit Saraf
Director: Shonali Bose
For starters, the movie might seem like a love story of a couple at the outset but it represents much more than that: far more than that, to be precise. The movie begins on the roads of Chandni Chowk and takes us to the lavish streets of London. It is about a family that struggles, enjoys and hopes for a happy life. It is a story about a couple who puts their lives on hold to get the best for their daughter. It is about how during this journey, they lose each other and find each other, in their struggle to keep their daughter Aisha alive.
The couple lives apart for years to trying to balance work and caregiving. It is largely about Aditi Chaudhary, a mother who spends almost two decades to protect her daughter, knowing deep down that she will never be able to do it. But she keeps at it relentlessly: each day, trying with greater gusto. The film captures how her desperation makes her so adorably vulnerable. It also beautifully captures Rohit Saraf who plays Ishaan, Aisha’s brother. Ishaan, being the ‘healthy child’ loses out on his childhood with his mother and shoulders the burden of his sister always being the priority: without being resentful.
The story and the movie is an inspiration. It captures the conviction of a family to make the impossible possible. Some might say at the end, the girl did lose her life. But if we look at from a different perspective, it shows how family, as an institution and support system made it possible for their child to live for 18 more years, despite medical odds.
The movie is based on the true story of Aisha Chaudhary, a motivational speaker who loses the battle to pulmonary fibrosis at the age of 18. The movie rightfully captures the magic of life and the somber beauty of the inevitable. The movie will make you laugh and cry at the same time: and will leave a lump in your throat.
The movie is also a reflection of the fact that death is a reality. It is inevitable and all our worries, egos and stress are useless. It also touches on grieving: for those who are left behind.