Film: Mai
Cast: Asha Bhonsale, Ram Kapoor, Padmini Kolhapure
Director: Mahesh Kodiyal
Film: Mai Cast: Asha Bhonsale, Ram Kapoor, Padmini Kolhapure Director: Mahesh Kodiyal

Mahesh Kodiyal’s film pitches a cause ‘home care for the Alzheimer’s affected’ and in that sense it works well. But as a cinematic work it falls well short. The story highlights the tragedy in a close knit family that has come up in life thanks to the struggles of the person, Mai (Asha Bhonsale) who is now afflicted by Alzheimer’s disease.

Film: Mai<br />Cast: Asha Bhonsale, Ram Kapoor, Padmini Kolhapure<br />Director: Mahesh Kodiyal
Film: Mai
Cast: Asha Bhonsale, Ram Kapoor, Padmini Kolhapure
Director: Mahesh Kodiyal

Mai was living with her son Munna and his family until he gets an offer to go to the USA for a period of three years. Munna wants to send Mai to a suitable home but his three sisters are up in arms about the decision. Madhu (Padmini Kolhapure) the oldest, steps forward and decides to take up responsibility by shifting her mother to her own home, a 2BHK which she shares with her journalist husband (Ram Kapoor) and a wilful daughter Charu. Madhu is a working woman with a challenging job and finds it difficult to cope with her mother’s erratic behaviour brought on by the illness, especially since her husband and daughter are vociferous in their antagonism towards her decision.

In the end she is forced to opt out of a promotion and eventually resign her job in order to take care of her ailing mother. Mai’s loss of memory, her being lost in a severe downpour, hospitalisation and eventual death bring about a reconciliation in the family which was not there when she was alive.

The director tries to play on our sympathies by emphasising on the many sacrifices that Mai made to bring up her children single-handedly and contrasting it with the behaviour they exhibit as adults when the need is for them to take care of her. Clearly the director takes a stand that daughters are more caring of their parents than the sons and therein lies the fissure in this production.

The experiences of the son and his family while his ailing mother was living with them are ignored totally. The concentration is entirely on making the son out to be the villain of the piece, which is not justified because even in the daughter’s house Mai is not treated with respect or love and her death is also caused by her son-in-law.

Asha Bhonsale’s debut performance is pretty much in character. She looks the part and enacts the role with assured ease. It’s by no means a great performance but it is convincing enough. The rest of the performances are also credit-worthy. But the script is a bit too symptom oriented taking a classroom approach to portray the illness. The narration is also concentrated on creating melodrama and painting a one-sided picture instead of making the portrayal  more balanced and realistic. The music is also quite uninteresting. So not much to lure you here other than versatile songstress Asha Bhonsale’s debut as an actress, at the grand old age of 80 years!

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