PHIR ZINDAGI (Short Feature) | Hindi

When sensitivity knocks our door, we are often skeptical- aren’t we? What if life knocks at your doorstep, we would happily invite it. But, what if we have to lend a life to other’s doorstep, will we do it? Answer lies in the short feature which released back in 2015 with a tagline: life continues…

Sumitra Bhave-Sunil Sukthankar are the brilliant director-duo in Marathi who have handled sensitive subjects in films like Doghi (1995), Devrai (2004), Astu (2016) as well as experimenting in films like Samhita (2013) and Dahavi Fa (2002). While they have already handled subjects like Schizophrenia, Alzheimer, with their short feature they handle another sensitive yet social subject Organ Donation. The short feature which runs around 55 minutes dwells into the lives of an ensemble characters at an end of a life journey.

Sumedh (Siddharth Menon) meets with an accident, he is eventually declared brain dead and put on ventilator till his Doctor Mother (Ratna Pathak Shah) and Uncle (Naseeruddin Shah) come to visit him from Mumbai to Pune. The Social Worker (Amruta Subhash) has been given a job to convince his present relative, Uncle (Neeraj Kabi) to donate Sumedh’s organs. What lies ahead is an emotional and medical events revolving around the donation and the approaches towards it. The well-crafted Screenplay and at par Direction are the two crucially important factors to keep us captivating. The writing is simple and characters are kept real, without any melodrama. For an instance, Uncle who tells the Social Worker that he believes in Science is skeptical to donate but fond of miracles. Or the part where he has to convey about the donation to Sumedh’s Mother, he is afraid- his nervousness and his helplessness are true to the core.

I’ve spend many days, about a month outside ICU in a Multi-Special Hospital just like the one in the film and I’ve seen all the characters very close. The film doesn’t preach anything about Organ Donation to death but in a good way it has characters which own the cause. Nothing beats the fact that we are skeptical and have to take decisions wisely. Rather than burning into ashes or cremating the bodies, giving a life to many is always a wise thing. But how do you convince a Mother of a dead Son?

The technicalities of the film are fine owing to its limited budget. The setting and the mood is right while Cinematography by Dhananjay Kulkarni is captivating. Editing by the director duo could have been crisp and fine, there are too many void and unnecessary cuts disturbing the flow. The typical emotional score by Saket Kanetkar is crucial and plays an important role in lifting the film. And the Sound Design is close to real, makes you feel in the Hospital.  It’s not about getting the technicalities right, but even with limited budget what can be achieved through writing and acting.

Well, the most excellent factor of the short feature is its ensemble cast: Ratna Pathak Shah, Naseeruddin Shah, Neeraj Kabi, Amruta Subhash, Siddharth Menon, Parna Pethe, Alok Rajwade, Vikram Gokhale, Uttara Baokar, Jyoti Subhash, Krutika Deo, Renuka Daftardar and Sandesh Kulkarni. Do watch out the scenes of Amruta Subhash as the Social Worker, a phenomenal performance.

Overall, it’s a film for a cause and definitely worth donating your 55 minutes for a good. Look at the film as a life journey and not just another film that brags an issue. I wish it was publicized more and screened well.

Language: Hindi
Release: December 2015
Director: Sumita Bhave-Sunil Sukthankar
Rating: 3.5/5


Copyright ©2017 Ninad Kulkarni. This article may not be reproduced in its entirety without permission. A link to this URL, instead, would be appreciated.


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