Saturday, 2 April 2011

Life Goes On [2010]


Life Goes On opens on a bleak note. The loving matriarch of a Bengali family residing in London suddenly dies of a massive heart attack. And that kick-starts a journey of grief, angst and soul-searching for her respectable doctor-husband, her three daughters, her husband’s closest friend, and other non-family members connected to her daughters. The family might be a success story for the Indian community residing there, but one need not scratch too deep to realize that it is falling apart at its seams. The mother, when alive, was the string that bound the family together, and she continue to be the binding force even after her tragic death. Though Sharmila Tagore’s role isn’t very large per se, she acts as the pivot for the other characters through each of their memories of her; moreover, it is always a pleasure to see the effervescent actress, who had begun her illustrious celluloid journey as the young Aparna in the Satyajit Ray-masterpiece Apur Sansar, perform. The marvelous ensemble cast also has in its foyer renowned veteran thespians Girish Karnad and Om Puri, and Sharmila's real-life daughter Soha Ali Khan, among others. The acting is good throughout, and the leisurely paced film is nicely photographed. Apart from the extended Hindu-Muslim angle, which I found very discordant - both thematically and structurally, this exposition of a near-dysfunctional family is a lilting watch on the whole.








Director: Sangeeta Datta
Genre: Drama/Family Drama/Ensemble Film
Language: English/Bengali/Hindi
Country: UK

3 comments:

Sam Juliano said...

"Apart from the extended Hindu-Muslim angle, which I found very discordant - both thematically and structurally, this exposition of a near-dysfunctional family is a lilting watch on the whole"

Fair enough Shubhajit. I am thinking here of Assayas's SUMMER HOURS, a film that also featured the sudden death of a matriarch, those the implications take that masterwork in other directions. Yet, there are some striking similarities, including the 'family falling apart at the seams' arc that follows, and apparently the beautiful cinematography and terrific cast.

I'm definitely interested. Great work here!

Shubhajit said...

Sam, thanks for stopping by. Well, unfortunately I haven't watched Summer Hours, but given your implicit recommendation of the film, I'll surely try & catch that Assayas film.

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