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Lessons In Forgetting  : Unforgettable experience
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Friday, April 19, 2013
Social drama
Unni Vijayan
Adil Hussain, Maya Tideman, Roshni Achreja, Raaghav Chanana, Anuja Vaidya, Veena Sajnani, Lakshmi Krishnamurthy
This year’s National Award-winning film, based on Anita Nair’s book, is the chilling tale of a desperate father’s attempt at seeking closure which leads to a rocky trail and turns his life upside down.

The plot: Spunky teen, Smriti Krishnamurthy (Maya Tideman), brought up in the US, falls in love with Rishi Soman (Raaghav Chanana). When she is left paralysed after meeting with a freak accident in a remote village called Minjikapuram, her father Dr J A Krishnamurthy aka Jak (Adil Hussain) tries to find out what actually happened to her. What follows is a track of delicate clues which lead him to a female foeticide scam that was uncovered by Smriti. By the end of it, you’ll be left stunned at what you witness.

The good: Adil Hussain as the helpless father is effective and the love, care and disbelief that he experiences over his daughter’s unfamiliar life and the reality of what transpired will move you limitlessly. Maya Tideman as the lively, westernised Smriti is incredible and her standing up for what’s right will leave you inspired. Roshni Achreja as Meera is perfect as the incredulous wife whose husband leaves her all of a sudden, leaving her to take care of her aging grandmother (Lakshmi Krishnamurthy), mom (Veena Sajnani) and her kids. Lakshmi Krishnamurthy and Veena Sajnani are pretty good with their witty rejoinders. Anita Nair’s story is exceptional and heartwarming as it talks about the issues of gender discrimination and female foeticide, with dialogues that are natural and realistic. The climax is so powerful that it will leave an indelible impression on your mind. The best part is that it tells a story without being preachy. It’s short and doesn’t stretch your limits too far. A well-deserved National Award.

The bad: Roshni’s character as Meera is sketchy and has loopholes such as, she’s hardly spoken to Jak at a party and the next thing we know, she’s working with him. When she is serenaded by Rishi who is half her age, she tells her daughter Nayantara (Anuja Vaidya), “Will it be too bad if he is my boyfriend?” And she’s so busy having a good time with Rishi that when her mom dies in a road accident, her grandmother and kids seem more affected by it than her. There are dysfunctional families in such a context, it comes off as far-fetched. Smriti sports tank tops which bare her tummy, tattered jeans or hot shorts in a conservative village and says she doesn’t want to pretend when Rishi asks her to cover up. Hmm, not very sensible in a milieu where even an educated doctor callously casts aspersions on Smriti’s character simply because of her clothes. Yes, clothes are not responsible for rape but dressing for the occasion (and location) makes plain common sense?  

Overall: An incredible story that deserved to be told – and watched. 

– Latika Mehta

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