The Sky Is Pink
02 Hours 14 Minutes
Drama, Romance, Family
Star Cast: Farhan Akhtar, Zaira Wasim, Rohit Saraf and Priyanka Chopra Jonas
Directors: Shonali Bose
Producer: Siddharth Roy Kapur, Priyanka Chopra and Ronnie Screwvala
In Theaters: 11 October 2019
Writer-director Shonali Bose and co-writer Nilesh Maniyar employ Aisha’s voice from beyond the grave to tell the story of Aditi and Niren who live on the edge for 18 years facing the inevitable.
It’s a dilemma that lingers uncomfortably throughout the film. Should parents with a genetic disorder who’ve already lost an infant and were fortunate enough to later have a healthy son, risk yet another pregnancy? Or terminate it as practical husband Niren advises?
But the Christian faith Aditi Chaudhary has embraced makes her stubbornly go ahead with the pregnancy, knowing fully well that it’s fraught with chances of having a very sick child. “Your body, your decision,” shrugs Niren, an upscale executive.
When Baby Aisha which ironically means life, does arrive with life-threatening complications, Niren swears to give her all he’s got to keep her alive. Unlike her older sister Tania who passed away as an infant.
There are many ‘handkerchief moments’ one of which is Niren’sappeal over the local radio to raise 1,20,000 pounds for Aisha’s treatment and his tears at the generosity of a diverse public.
There’s also the reality of having a long-distance marriage for years as Aditi stays in London with Aisha whose body is “a war zone” while Niren builds his career and takes care of son Ishaan in Delhi.
Aditi and a healthier Aisha do ultimately return to Delhi but only for a handful of years before the fragile teenager is diagnosed with pulmonary fibrosis. And it’s only a matter of time thereafter.
Writer-director Shonali Bose and co-writer Nilesh Maniyar employ Aisha’s voice from beyond the grave to tell the story of Aditi and Niren who live on the edge for 18 years facing the inevitable. But it’s life they celebrate whatever its span may be. As Aisha who rejects the idea of a lung transplant that will keep her alive for ten more years asks her father, “Will dying at 28 be easier?”
Instead, Aditi sets aside the paranoia that she has lived with by constantly being on vigil over Aisha’s immunity and decides to pack every possible experience into her short life. Aisha feels the ecstasy of having a Labrador enter their lives, getting dates fixed up with a guy she has a crush on, and going through heartbreak too. The latter is cushioned by the ever-watchful Aditi who gets them all to go on a family vacation for Aisha to get over her heartbreak.
By making it the parents’ story, Shonal itakes her own sweet time, going into their romance, their “complicated sex life” as Aisha puts it, Niren’s moment of doubt over son Ishaan’s paternity, Aditi’s insecurities over a woman getting Niren’s attention in Delhi, his success that gives them financial comfort along with a swank bungalow and a swimming pool. And juggling with a son who shouldn’t be neglected even as the perennial focus is on Aisha.
There are unreasonable times too with Aditi blaming Niren for Tania’s death or getting worked up and sometimes uncontrollable on a flight or on a shopping spree.
Aisha dots her narration with pithy Fun Facts that include, “I’m around because of Tani’s death” or bemoaning the lack of burial space. And she keeps referring to her parents as Moose and Panda which is a bit overdone.
It’s a full life as Aisha paints, writes, even gives inspirational pep talks on Happiness and Life. But along with the sunshine moments, the handkerchief moments are continuous, like Niren and Ishaan breaking down with Rolo the Labrador. The living have to cope with life in their own different ways.
Priyanka Chopra as the bossy, caring tiger mom is powerful and Farhan Akhtar moves you as the father who has to battle it all with understated strength. Rohit Saraf makes a very likeable Ishaan. As for Zaira Wasim, I do think she’s so effective an actress that she will one day return to films.
Verdict: For an emotional cathartic ride, The Sky Is Pink gets a 3* rating.
Disclaimer: We are proud that LehrenTV reviewer Bharathi S Pradhan has been appointed an advisory member of the prestigious CBFC. However, her reviews reflect her personal appraisal of a film and do not in any way speak on behalf of the Censor Board.
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