WION Web Team New Delhi
Oct 11, 2019, 03.08 PM
Death is the underlying theme of Shonali Bose's 'The Sky Is Pink'. A young girl is suffering from a terminal illness and it's her family's story through her eyes. But despite a very grim premise, Bose's film manages to make you smile, tear up and even feel warm and fuzzy.
Hindi cinema has dealt with death before and tried to give the flip side of the grim reality with the perky, positive protagonist suffering from terminal diseases. Films like 'Anand', 'Cheeni Kum' and 'Kal Ho Naa Ho' (and many more) have all had important characters suffering from a fatal disease being the fulcrum of the said story- giving life lessons to others, being upbeat about life even though doom looms large on their own future. In 'The Sky Is Pink', Aisha Chaudhary (Zaira Wasim) is already dead when the movie begins, but she as a narrator, tells the story of her parents Niren and Aditi ( Farhan Akhtar and Priyanka Chopra Jonas) who along with their son (Rohit Suresh Saraf) have spent their lifetime (well, 18 years seems like a lifetime ) tending to Aisha who dies of pulmonary fibrosis.
When the film opens in 2015, the couple is struggling to move on after Aisha's death. But as the story progresses, Aisha narrates the most heartwarming story of a family that stuck through all the odds. Bose along with co-writer Nilesh Maniyar not only gives a perky story of a very brave Aisha but also of her caregivers who are often pushed to the background despite their tireless efforts to keep the patient alive.
While you know the story- that of a family focussing their lives in giving the best treatment and comfort to their ailing child- it is the non-linear narrative, which travels to different years and gives different anecdotes of Niren and Aditi that keeps you engaged throughout. Spruced with relatable, funny dialogues, the writers engulf you into their world and even though you may not have lost a child, you feel their pain, you understand their urgency to live life to the fullest in their limited time and understand the grief they are put through.
Death and grief do not always bring a family together. In many cases, it tears people apart, breaks relationships and families- because no two people have the same way of dealing with grief, much like life itself. And while 'The Sky Is Pink' highlights the importance of living life to the fullest no matter what, it also points at what prolonged illness and death does to families, the caregivers. It breaks them emotionally and physically. Also read: The 'Sky Is Pink' celeb review
The story doesn't have too many dramatic twists and defining moments though. You know how the film will end and what will happen to its characters- yet its the compelling performances by the lead actors as well as a heartwarming story that keeps you engrossed.
The lead pair- Priyanka Chopra Jonas, Farhan Akhtar- play a couple's who life story is narrated over a span of 25 years. While Akhtar plays a rather restraint, quiet NIren who is main provider for the family, Jonas' character is shown to go through myriad emotions over the years. She is the gutsy college -girl who dares to sneak into her boyfriend's conservative household in Chandni Chowk, she is the young mother who just can't fathom why her child has such grave illness and she is also the feisty mother who can literally move mountains to get her daughter the best of medical treatments and even question the treatment itself. It is an exhaustive role, but Jonas as Aditi Chaudhary shines. Akhtar meanwhile plays a supportive role much like his character Niren.
The two young actors who play their kids, Saraf and Wasim, are absolutely splendid in their respective roles, sometimes even stealing the older actors' limelight with their confident performance. Saraf in his second film plays the neglected yet supportive older sibling to the hilt and the scenes where he breaks down are powerful. Wasim, who plays the central character, owns every scene that she is a part of. Much like the character she plays on screen, Aisha, Wasim leaves a lasting impression in her last film (she announced her retirement from acting a few months back) and delivers a strong, commendable performance.
Some would argue that the film looks at death through rose-tinted glasses or oversimplifies grave issues like illness but it is the underline message of finding joy and happiness even the darkest hour is what makes 'The Sky Is Pink' a winner. It celebrates the silver lining because that's what's worth living for.
While 'The Sky Is Pink' highlights the importance of living life to the fullest no matter what, it also points at what prolonged illness and death does to families, the caregivers. It breaks them emotionally and physically.