I just watched Aparna Sen’s 15,Park Avenue. It is about Mitali(Konkana Sensharma) who suffers from schizophrenia and how her disease affects her and the relationships of those around her.
It is interesting because it brings into focus the schizophrenic’s point of view. What is reality anyway? Whose reality is more real? Meethi’s world of saddam and him helping her escape to her husband’s house where her five children are? .Or Anjali’s (her sister played by Shabana Azmi) world of being a physics professor and day to day life?
‘How would you feel if I told you, you were not a professor and you were imagining it’? , Meethi says making even the self convinced Anjali pause for a minute.
The film explores how such an illness affects people around the patient. Anjali feels responsible for her sister and has put her own life on hold, caring for her sister, leaving no time even for self pity.
Rahul Bose does a fairly good job playing the fiancé of Meethi who leaves her when he realizes he cannot be with a ‘woman he only feels pity for.’ A chanced encounter while on holiday in Bhutan eleven years later presents him Mitali who doesn’t recognize him. And yet believes herself to be married to him.
The most disturbing scene is indeed the rape scene. When on a journalistic assignment outside Kolkata, Meethi is attacked and gang raped by political men. Needless to say this aggravated her to a point of no return.
The scene itself is not as rape scenes in Hindi movies are portrayed dramatic. It simply shows the latching of a door and people walking in and out and moans. At the end of it Meethi I hurled outside bleeding and vulnerable.
It was terrible and made me think about how woman can never be free when the ever present threat of rape lingers around the corner .jojo’s reaction to the rape incident is shocking but real. One part of him wanted to hold her and the other was too repulsed to even touch her again.
That’s how things are?
The movie ends rather abruptly. It is open ended .But, I can’t think of any other ending that would have done justice to the rest of the film.
This is by no means a review of the film but Konkana was as always brilliant. Shabana , I felt was schoolish in some parts and the rest did a fairly good job.