An young film enthusiast from Thiruvananthapuram, Shah Alam (Munna Bhai), reviews the Marathi film “Astu (So Be It)” which featured in the 18th International Film Festival of Kerala (IFFK 2013) at Thiruvananthapuram. Shri.Shah Alam has done his Diploma in Visual Effects (Film Making) from Zee Institute of Creative Art (ZICA) and is a delegate in 18th IFFK.
Word “Astu” literally means “So Be It“, has metaphorical and filial associations. The film is about a father-daughter relationship that reverses the equation between father and daughter, when the father, a retired Sanskrit scholar, suddenly loses his memory and the daughter finds herself mothering him like a child. ‘Being in the moment’ is a strong subtext in this story as it is in all human relationships.
Veteran theatre and film actor Mohan Agashe, who is also a trained and practicing psychiatrist, plays the father in the film while Irawati Harshe plays the daughter.
The screen peeps into Dr.Chakrapani Shastri, retired director of a research institute ,who is suffering from Alzheimers. His daughter Ira and her partner Dr. Madhav are trying to cope with Appa’s decaying memory. One day Appa (Chakrapani) disappears and and is found by a couple (Anta and Channamma) who takes care of an elephant (Lakshmi). They are from Andhra Pradesh while Shastri and Ira are Maharashtrian. Here lies the twist in the story, the film stick on to the magnetic fluxes in relationships, wherein lies the power of script and screenplay.
The film delves into every corner of a perfect family system. Life captured in camera. The character of Channamma appears almost at the end, yet catches the attention of audience. Love, lessons of acceptance and strength, of a mother is highlighted by Channamma. The climactic scenes are very poignant
On the whole, Director Sumithra Bhave did his best. Rating: 4.0/5.0