Movie Review: Astu – So Be It
By Ravi Shet
Rating: 4 out of 5
#Astu is a must-watch for its realistic portrayal of #Alzheimer's disease and suffering the illness causes to the person and their family.
Today 20th July 2016, was wonderful day, being youngest person with 127 Senior Citizens, watching heart warming movie ASTU, at special show arranged by Silver Innings, a Social Enterprise working with Elders at INOX, Dahisar, Movie.
This film revolves around retired professor and Sanskrit scholar, Dr. Chakrapani Shastri (Mohan Agashe) also called as Appa who is moving towards advanced stage of Alzheimer’s disease. Once respected by people for his deep knowledge on Vedas, now Appa struggles to remember anything, including the names of his own family members.
Appa goes missing when his daughter Ira (Iravati Harshe) leaves alone him in car for a few minutes. By seeing an elephant passing by, Appa gets out of the car and starts moving with the elephant like an innocent child. From this moment, the film gets nicely divided into two phases wherein daughter and her husband, Dr. Madhav (Milind Soman) are running from police station to Appa’s institution where he had worked and other places in his search. The other phase of the film runs us through flashback consisting of string of memories which showcases range of emotions revolving around Appa’s health. Anta (Nachiket Purnapatre), owner of elephant and his wife Channama (Amruta Subhash) shower Appa with unconditional love and kindness.
Sumitra Bhave and Sunil Sukhtankar have done an excellent job in portraying the sufferings of those with Alzheimer’s disease and their families approach towards it. The use of flashback in the film has been used in an intelligent way which goes very well with the flow of the story. The concept of this film is to build awareness about the Alzheimer’s disease and it does very well by being sensitive and at the same time it takes care not to be overemotional by showing devastated and chest beating moments. Each character of this film has been crafted very well by the directors and they have extracted flawless performances from everyone. There are many scenes in the film which will move the audiences. The only flaw of this film is that it tends to bit dragged towards the end.
Mohan Agashe portrays his role with ease and delivers sparklingly good performance right from showing the signs of Alzheimer’s disease and his overall body language. Amruta Subhash and Iravati Harshe do impress the audiences with their excellent performances. The camerawork by Milind Jog is like icing on the cake for this film. To conclude, it is a must-watch film for its realistic portrayal of Alzheimer's disease that captures an old man’s gradual loss of his mental ability and family’s suffering through this journey.