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Goodbye Movie Review

by rameshe

Critic’s Rating : / 5

Goodbye Movie Review : A heartfelt funeral dramedy with poignant premise, sketchy execution

Synopsis: Engrossed in celebrating her first career milestone with friends, Tara Bhalla (Rashmika Mandanna) misses her father Harish’s (Amitabh Bachchan) phone calls. Her world falls apart when she wakes up to discover that those calls were made to inform her of her mother Gayatri’s (Neena Gupta) untimely demise. What transpires after, forms the story.

Review: “I suppose in the end, the whole of life becomes an act of letting go, but what always hurts the most is not taking a moment to say goodbye.” These heart-aching lines from ‘Life of Pi’ lie at the crux of ‘Goodbye’. We never know when’s the last time we get to see or talk to our parents & loved ones. Do you allow life to pass you by or make the most of it? Should you harbour that sentiment of fear and uncertainty of the future or get on with your lives, living each moment to its fullest?

A funeral drama, tragicomedy, satire on death, conflict between old and new values and closure…Vikas Bahl’s film tries to juggle genres and time. His coping with grief tale with a comic twist has a poignant premise, something it shares with films like Paglet and Ramprasad Ki Tehrvi. Unlike the other two, characters here are one-dimensional and superficial.

Goodbye is not an easy watch if you have lost a parent or are dealing with an ailing one. The thought of losing a parent itself is difficult to fathom but the execution struggles to establish a tone. The film shuttles between moods and past-present with multiple characters thrown in and stringing it all together feels episodic and scrambled. The story oscillates between some heart-warming moments and then something absolutely irrelevant. The conflict between the family members is more Baghban than Piku, though it tries to lean towards the latter. The story also feels stagnant beyond a point.

What works for the film despite the occasional distractions is its quiet observation of people and society at large when tragedy strikes. The story speaks volumes when silence is allowed to enter the chaos. The process of the family progressing to conversing with each other from simply talking, is impactful. Huge credit goes to actor Sunil Grover who becomes the face of that change in the story. The actor infuses life into the proceedings and gets a clever and compassionate character to portray.

While you wish there was more of Neena Gupta in the film, she makes the most of her endearing part. This territory isn’t new to Amitabh Bachchan, but in his 80th year, he once again reinforces the fact that a good actor can elevate a script. Despite his massive aura and stardom, he never forgets that this is essentially an ensemble film, giving enough room for others to flourish. His portrayal of sorrow and loneliness is heart-breaking. Rashmika Mandanna in her debut Hindi film struggles with the accent as she sounds too south for a Punjabi role but gets the essence of her character right. Pavail Gulati, Ashish Vidyarthi and Elli AvrRam have their moments as well.

Goodbye is a story of a family coping with grief and laughing through their pain. Keep the tissues handy before watching this one.

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