Sunday, February 20, 2011

15 Park Avenue...

...a film by Arpana Sen screened by the Indian Cultural Centre.

Not your usual Indian picture, but a haunting film about a family coping with one of the children having a mental illness-- can't spell schizophrenia -- I was very glad to see this subject tackled, however there was a very disturbing scene which has 'stuck' in my mind, where she is allowed to go to another city seemingly by herself where she gets gang-raped which puts her in a Tail-spin where previously she was just about clinging the right side of sanity. I felt that THAT was unlikely as everyone in the family was particultarly protective of her.
I thought the actress Konkona SenSharma was amazing as Meethi as she was required to play the girl in her innocent youth and in her deranged 'current' state.

The story is also about the older sister who takes on a protective role from an early age and I was sorry to see her being dismissed, by the sister's perspective groom, when she was grilling and warning him about the extra work required, with a 'who would want/put up with her anyway' in response to the fact that she had got divorced-- ouch! I rather liked the Older sister but all the reviews slammed her an being aggressively dominant- Shabana played her rather well and she didn't come over as a horrible person as the Indian reviewers seem to think!
There were quite a few nice touches like the 'madlady' living on the street outside the family's house as a contrast to Meethi's very sheltered life.
The only downside was the fact that they 'did' the film in English-- with their Indian accents, high voices and distorted sound from the speakers I missed most of the early dialogue.

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