Memories In March” is a soft cinematic brush-stroke on a subject still very much taboo in Indian society in terms of popular acceptance despite the occasional hullaballoo stirred by NGOs, human right activists, the gay community and above all the Judiciary with its historic verdict decriminalizing homosexuality (2011).

Aarati (Deepti Naval), shell-shocked by the news of her son Siddharth’s sudden demise, rushes off to Kolkata, to attend his last rites and pack his memories back with her to Delhi. During her short stay in the city, a grieving Aarati finds solace and support in beautiful Shahana (Raima Sen) whom she presumes to be her dead son’s girl-friend. It is, therefore, a bolt out of the blue when a visibly distraught Aarati finds out that her son was intimate with his boss, Ornob (Rituparno Ghosh). Thereafter, the screen play revolves around Aarati and Ornab, their quests, doubts and self-discoveries, a touching journey from incredulity to denial to ultimate acceptance.

Director Sanjoy Nag skilfully circumvents volatility and approaches the sensitive theme with extreme caution and elegance. In spite of the intrinsically dramatic content, the portrayal is distinctly understated and subtle. The anguish of an inconsolable mother is conveyed by a drawn face and hollow eyes. A lone egg resting on the egg tray in the refrigerator reinforces the sepulchral mood of irretrievable loss. The ice-laden deep freezer effectively symbolizes the stiffening coldness of death. The camera roves around an unoccupied flat wherein the telephone rings on incessantly and the whirring of an unattended answering machine wordlessly captures the oceanic emptiness that death leaves behind. On the contrary, Ornob’s tearful outburst subdues the audience into mournful silence.

Memories In March” does not remain confined within the stifling boundaries of stigmatized relation and its complexities. It transcends beyond and handles the poignancy of eternal loss with a poetic grace which is novel in itself. Thus, Aarati addresses Siddharth in present tense. “I am leaving a bit of me with you” sums his final adieu on Face Book. The “I Love You” ring tone of his Mobile wistfully hangs in air. These vespers of memories bespeak of deathless presence. “Memories In March” unobtrusively repeals the finality of death and lends visuals to a timeless abstraction that has overwhelmed human hearts with wonder, fear and melancholia.

Again, in stark contrast, it is death which defies all earthly challenges and oppositions. It is by death that Ornob and Siddharth’s bond of love is eternally sealed. It is in death that Aarati finds the strength to accept his son as he is. It is in death that every worldly squabble comes to an end. It is in death that every man-made conflict is unequivocally put to rest.

Deepti Naval as Aarati is magically moving. Raima as Shahana is the pragmatist who takes advantage of waylaid opportunities to squirm out of a painful situation. Rituparno as Ornob personifies innocence of love and surprises by his naturalness and honesty.

Memories In March” is a movie to be watched with an open mind and a caring heart!

 

Advertisements

About gc1963

A working woman with interests in reading, writing, music, poetry and fine arts.

4 responses »

  1. Sneha says:

    Seems like a must-see movie. I like unconventional cinema, if that term is alright with you.

    Like

  2. Geeta Ji,

    Namaskar.

    Let me complete the ritual of admiring your review first which cannot be skipped. You are always able to pick the pulse of the subject concerned with utmost accuracy. Now for the movie. I suppose, it’s a full-fledged feature film. Deepti Naval has been one of the greatest actresses of the Indian cinema who got very less recognition which is disproportionate to her abundant talent and superlative performances.

    As far as the issue is concerned, we the Indians are yet to come out of our shells and feel the light and the sunshine spread in the environment. We can do certain things but we cannot discuss them because they are considered as taboo (by the social structure we are a part of). If something is a reality, it is to be expected. And nobody has a right to discard a section of living beings just because of their sexual preference. It’s a crime against humanity.

    Finally, the sentiments are always above the physical and sensual things. When something goes beyond life and becomes a part of memory, it gets transformed to something divine and nothing that is divine can be considered a taboo. I am in complete agreement with you regarding your views pertaining to death. Death abstractize several things and ends many mundane issues, grudges and ill-feelings.

    And I will be obliged if you keep on sending me the links of your posts without any exception.

    Regards.

    Jitendra Mathur

    Like

    • gc1963 says:

      Mathur Sahab,

      How do I thank you for understanding me so well. You always capture effortlessly what I intend to say and that which remains unsaid as well in between the lines. Yes, I agree with you that Deepti Naval has always been stamped as a peripheral actress whereas the level of perfection and subtelity in her performances has been something to be witnessed with awe. I wish you would see this movie to appreciate all the more the poignancy of the theme.

      I am also glad to note that you have endorsed the unconventional issue around which the movie pivots with understanding, intelligence and empathy. Seldom do we see such broadmindedness in male readers. I hope you won’t mind if I say they are more conservative and reactionary than the womenfolk.

      I would always like to send the links of my posts without fail henceforth.

      Thanks once again for being on this post and your esteemed views on the subject.

      Regards

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s