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Wednesday, May 11, 2011
Dhoosar : A movie based on Alzheimers Disease experience, India.
Dhoosar Review : A beautiful blur
Director Amol Palekar & scriptwriter Sandhya Gokhale
extract of article on : cinemaaonline.com
Indian filmmakers seem to have hit upon an unerring formula in the last few years. The success of Aamir Khan’s Taare Zameen Par brought about a new template under the Indian filmmakers’ radar – the lead character suffering from a monumental disability. And as is the usual trend, though the trend setter was fairly worth its salt (IMO), the followers did nothing to raise the bar. And we were left with highly pretentious portrayals of disabilities in many films that followed. In that light, the synopsis for veteran director Amol Palekar’s latest film Dhoosar had upped my apprehensions substantially (more so after his last outing, the disastrous And Once Again) but the film being premiered at IFFI, I still wanted to watch it.
Dhoosar centers around the life of Suhasini (Reema Lagoo), a poetess & writer and the other people in her life. Her daughter, Suniti (Smita Tambe) returns home to Goa from the US after two and a half years to see the signboard for one Arjun Kumbhojkar (Upendra Limaye) at her mother’s house. She’s outraged and intrigued when she also sees Suhasini walking around in the compound like a zombie. The domestic help (Jyoti Subhash), though empathetic, is just not willing to let a “stranger” in without Arjun’s permission and he’s not at home. This is where the film starts and as it progresses through a beautifully woven flashback based narrative, old relationships are contemplated upon and new ones are formed, thus creating a blur of emotions, expectations & sacrifices. Surprisingly, this was a blur I enjoyed watching.
Suhasini is unlike the cliched patient one gets to see in mainstream Indian cinema. She’s a woman of great emotional strength despite being in the throes of a scarily incapacitating disabilities like Alzheimer’s Syndrome & Dementia. Her responses may have dimmed but the brain underneath still has the spark of the artist in her alive. Having suffered from an abusive marriage, her concern and care for her daughter is immense. Yet, she’s not the overprotective, pampering mother that one would normally see in a screen portrayal of such marriages, the mother and daughter sharing a highly mature and non-intrusive relationship. The progressive upbringing results in Suniti being a fiery & independent girl with a hint of impulsiveness but also having a measured and rational thought process to make up for it. Initially guarded in her interactions with Arjun, she gradually warms up to him (one of the most engaging parts of the film) and the two go on to share a close bond, spurred on by their mutual concern for Suhasini.
The performances in the film are superb bar none.
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Publié par Ms Hendi Lingiah, clinical psychologist, France