Adheen: Short Film Review
“Large Short Films’ Adheen, starring Sanjay Mishra, showcases a father caring for his terminally-ill wife alone, while their two children stay away from home. He finally takes a stand, forcing his children to make a life-altering decision. Here’s our review.”
Adheen is the story of a dysfunctional household, wherein a father gets his son and daughter, Vir and Meera, to visit the house and meet their terminally ill bed-ridden mother. The two kids are busy with their own lives and hardly call or meet their parents, maintaining a distance from the family. The father, reaching a breaking point after taking care of his wife alone for years, finally takes a stand that forces his negligent children to take a decision that might alter their lives forever.
Adheen presents an excellent portrayal of a dysfunctional family, wherein the members in the household are continuously engaged in various conflicts with each other, leading to an increasing distance over differences. The short film encapsulates a long-lasting sibling rivalry, parent-children conflict, and so much more, effectively and with ease.
The disheartening image of such a broken and crumbling family, one marred with conflict, also does the job of serving as a poignant reminder of our own familial differences that we may end up revisiting and rethinking, after watching this short.
Adheen, as it progresses with its central storyline, also touches upon various aspects such as homosexuality, parental rejection, financial instability, irresponsibility and carelessness, Empty Nest syndrome, feelings of loneliness, etc. All of these add to the simmering feelings of anger and frustration that continues beneath the surface, ready to blow up at any moment. This growing tension between the family members finally leads to the father’s first and last stand that puts all conflicts to a stand-still in the face of a life-altering dilemma.
The short film also presents its take on the poor state and quality of public health care in India and the need for cost-effective long-term quality healthcare solutions for people who cannot afford the privilege of private options. It also gives a glimpse into issues such as the role of family members as caregivers, elder abandonment, consideration of old age homes, as well as the option of euthanasia with dignity. It tries to get as close to a realistic depiction of discussions over these issues without seeming preachy in its approach.
It is extremely difficult to create an impact in the minds of the audience within like 20 minutes, and this short film translates the emotions and the message really well on to the screen, meticulously and carefully establishing every single character, giving them a background, and taking the story forward.
Sanjay Mishra is brilliant in his portrayal of the helpless father, who has grown weary of his caregiving duties which he has to do alone, without financial or emotional support from his children. He does a splendid job portraying all of his character’s frustration on the screen. Neeraj Purohit as Vir and Anupriya Goenka as Meera, too, deliver strong performances as the bickering siblings who continue to blame each other, shun responsibilities, and justify their own actions.
The emotionally-heavy song at the end is like a cherry on the cake for this short film, adding a new sense of depth to the father’s situation. The ending is left justifiably open as a question to all of us: Will you take out time from your busy lives and be willing to accept this responsibility when the time comes?
There’s nothing wrong with this short film.
A commendable and emotionally-charged short film that touches upon several contemporary issues and leaves us with a lot to think about.
Veteran actor Sanjay Mishra, who plays the role of the father in Adheen, was also a part of another Yash Verma-directed short film, Monk, in 2015.
Anupriya Goenka was seen in several web series, such as Netflix’s Sacred Games, ZEE5’s The Final Call and Abhay, as well as Hotstar Specials’ Criminal Justice. She has also been a part of films like Tiger Zinda Hai, Padmaavat, and recently, War.
Neeraj Pradeep Purohit, who portrays the son Vir, is the voice behind the song ‘Mera Ye Ghar’ at the end. He is also credited as one of the writers of this short film, the other being Puruvara Rao.
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