The 53rd IFFI (International Film Festival of India), Goa, organised by the NFDC (National Film Development Corporation) along with the ESG (Entertainment Society of Goa) and currently held at the Old GMC and ESG complex at Panjim, has an amazing collection of well-made movies, especially world cinema.
The selection of Indian movies at IFFI is not that great compared to the cinema of the world. Recently, I watched two excellent movies at the 53rd IFFI, which are worth mentioning and are, in a way, talking about the same issues—dementia and relationships.
Three of Us (directed by Avinash Arun Dhaware which is part of Indian Panorama) and Goldfish (by Pushan Kriplani).
Both movies have women as the protagonist, who are suffering from this neurological condition and how it impacts the relationship with their loved ones.
ABOUT THE MOVIES
Even though the subject matter sounds similar, these are completely different stories, set in different countries, and deal with different kinds of relationships.
Three of Us deals with a husband, wife and her childhood friend, whereas Goldfish is about a mother-daughter relationship which is full of ups and downs.
In Three of Us, Shailaja (Shefali Shah) a middle-aged woman is in the initial stages of dementia, and the movie is about a journey that she makes to a small town in the Konkan, Vengurla, to reconnect with her childhood memories before she forgets everything.
In this movie, dementia is not at the centre, as there is no direct mention at the beginning. The movie focuses on the relationship she shares with her husband, Dibakar (Swanand Kirkire), and her childhood friend, Pradip (Jaideep Ahlawat).
The movie is about friendship, nostalgia and also recollecting one’s past amidst scenic locations of the Konkan. The slow life and natural surroundings add on to the story that deals with memories and days gone by.
Interestingly, the director’s first movie, Killa (2014), which received critical acclaim, was also shot in the Konkan.
In the second movie, Goldfish, which was part of the Gala Premieres & Special Screenings of the 53rd IFFI, was screened for the first time in India on November 24, 2022, after doing various festival rounds including the 27th Busan International Film Festival (BIFF).
In this movie, Sadhana (Deepti Naval), who lives alone in London, is visited by her daughter Anamika (Kalki Koechlin), who plans to send her mother to a care home as she is suffering from dementia. But, it’s not an easy process as Sadhana is very much attached to her home, her music and is well aware of her condition.
The movie delves on the tender relationship that mother-daughter share—their issues, trivial fights, amidst some helpful neighbours and in that whole process, trying to understand each other.
The movie also addresses how it is a difficult situation for a caregiver as most of time, they have to deal with unforeseen situations, which they are not prepared for.
The base of both these movies is dementia which is an important topic in today’s times. The number of dementia cases in India is expected to almost double by the year 2050, according to a Lancet report.
The tally will increase from 3,843,118 in 2019 to 11,422,692, according to the analysis published January 2022. Worldwide, the caseload is set to almost triple to 153 million in 2050 from 57 million in 2019. The study also pointed out that a higher proportion of women than men will suffer from the disease during the period.
These are some grim numbers that indicate that, in times to come, we need to be more prepared to deal with such situations. It is necessary that such topics are part of our everyday conversation as that will help us in giving the right care and attention to such people who need our support to deal with it.
Three of Us and Goldfish are doing exactly that. They are not preachy, and don’t delve in to medical terms or look at the victim as a patient, but someone who needs our time and love.