I watched this movie while Amit and the kids were in Calcutta. I had made up my mind to watch a movie, any movie, while on my mini-break and this seemed the best of the lot. However, it sounded rather depressing. It was supposed to be about a couple who had just lost their four-year-old in an accident. Not the best thing for a mom of two four-year-olds to dwell on, you’d think.
But it was a superb movie. It didn’t dwell on the death of the child so much; it was all about how the two parents were grieving in their different ways. The mom stoically practical, moving on, trying to bury or deny her grief; the dad almost relishing it, relinquishing himself to it, holding on to the past, almost as though letting go of it would belittle his love for his son or his grief over his son’s death. Both partners find it difficult to understand the other’s way of handling their grief. The dad does try to reach out to the mom, but he also seems to resent her hard, level-headed practicality, and her need to move on. She can’t handle his hanging on style of grieving. The movie is beautifully done – you can understand each person’s pain, see each person struggling to deal with it, and identify in some part with both of them. You can see just how difficult it would be for them to bridge the gap. And how easy it would be to turn to someone else for solace. Yet, the movie doesn’t go down that path – it doesn’t become yet another tale of an extra-marital affair. It also doesn’t commit that other crime against reality – the crime of showing a really superficial happy ending. The ending, as much as the middle, is true to life. It’s not a happy ending, so much as it is a small tiny step towards what might be a happy beginning, or maybe a happy resuming. I haven’t seen a movie so delicately, so sensitively done in a long time. Of course, I haven’t seen too many movies in the last so many years, so that may not be saying much, but it really was a brilliant movie.