Palekar says Alzheimer film `Dhoosar` is about hope
New Delhi: As he picked up the sensitive story of an Alzheimer`s affected woman and her daughter as the subject of his latest film, director Amol Palekar was certain about one thing -- for all its agony and pain, the film would still present a positive picture of hope and resilience.
With `Dhoosar`, his latest Marathi film that hit the screens recently with English subtitles, Palekar has tried to explore the life of a person living with the debilitating disorder and that of those who are closely attached to her,
yet blurring in her memory.
But the "streak of light at the end of the tunnel", as he calls it, is something the filmmaker strongly believes in.
`Dhoosar` or `blurred`, is the story of Suhasini, played by Reema Lagoo, who when afflicted by dementia starts losing the vital clues to her life, though she never loses the art of her poetic expression, and her daughter Suniti (Smita Tambey) who returns home to find her mother losing count of her past.
"We as film makers try to bring out the positive spirit while living life. This has been a strong point of `Dhoosar` script! I personally believe in looking for the streak of light at the end of the tunnel. We, as a team, sincerely hope
that our films do give the audience some resilience to tackle the intricacies of life," Palekar told reporters in an interview.
However, the 67-year-old director of films like `Daayraa`, `Kairee` and `Paheli`, who feels that most of our films dealing with disorders are lost in Bollywood-style "melodrama" and "artificially-trumpeted emotions", wanted to be perfectly sure about the authentic portrayal of the disease.
Therefore, he also shared his script with veteran neurologists to be sure that the certain artistic liberties taken in the film are not unscientific.
"There is a creeping fungus getting curled on my living. I was oblivious to it till yesterday! Do I remember something? Am I forgetting this? I`m petrified of this dilemma... Was I saying something?" writes Suhasini in her diaries which become a reflection of her thoughts as she is alarmed by her
impending memory loss.
"Articulating feelings while you are going through the trauma is so abstract that we have tried to bring that out through usage of poetry," says Palekar, who was compelled by Sandhya Gokhale`s script to research on the subject and make a film on it.
As he read extensively about the disorder, the alarming facts about its prevalence in India -- 3.7 million Indians suffer from Alzheimer`s -- further drew him to the subject.
"These are confirmed cases; what about those who are not diagnosed either due to ignorance, lack of awareness or poverty? This realisation compelled me to make this film," he says.
Filmmakers often turn towards real life instances for inspiration, but the story of Suhasini, is not `modelled` on on any real life experience. Though the director says it can be called a collage of various experiences.
The filmmaker has heavily relied on background music for his film and has used the sea as a metaphorical background to the abstract theme.
Palekar, whose film has already bagged three awards at the Maharashtra state awards, is all praises for his leading actors, Reema in particular.
"For the audience, I hope it will be equally fulfilling and appealing," says Palekar.