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Thursday, September 28, 2023

LFF 2019: The Sky Is Pink Movie Review

The Sky is Pink promises to be a poignant yet uplifting film about parents who will stop at nothing to save their sick daughter.

It is based on the true story of Aisha Chaudhary (Zaira Wasim), a young motivational speaker and author who was born with an immune deficiency disorder and died at the age of 18.

As such, the heartbroken parents (Priyanka Chopra Jonas and Farhan Akhtar) give up their jobs and travel to London’s Great Ormond Street, the only place that offers hope for their daughter.

The generosity of people’s donations funds the treatment that saves young Aisha and the family eventually moves back home.

Years pass and all seems well, but the family is not out of the woods.

“Everyone has their own sky. If you think your sky colour is pink, then it’s pink.”

The title itself is emblematic of how one has to deal with circumstances in life, regardless of how good or bad it is.

The story itself is very heart-wrenching. To see a family constantly divided by medical challenges over two countries (India and UK) leaves us feeling quite broken-hearted.

But unlike other filmmakers, Shonali Bose avoids pulling on the heartstrings in the most obvious manner.

She adapts a very balanced, poetic and Hrishikesh Mukherjee style of storytelling: one which makes us laugh and cry at the same time.

It is incredible to see how both the parents Niren and Aditi (Akhtar and Chopra) make light-hearted suggestions while facing a serious, life-threatening circumstance symbolises the light amidst darkness.

Similar to Bose’s previous works like Konkona in Amu and Kalki in Margarita With a Straw, this too is narrated through the lens of a young, curious and vivacious girl – played by Zaira Wasim.

The non-linear storytelling style is effective in showcasing key aspects of Chaudhary family members’ life. During this, it neatly exhibits the insecurities/concerns of each character.

Especially the fact Aisha openly talks about her parents’ sex life represents how she is very secure about aspects that would otherwise be considered ‘taboo’ or ‘shameful’.

Plus, the omnipresent shots of the Great Ormond Street Hospital act like an instrumental character, a witness who is constantly observing the events happening in Aisha’s life.

Continuous and normal shots of the hospital act as a reminder that the clock is ticking for her, but not in a sinister way.

Such shots accompanied by the repetition of ‘Dil Hi Toh Hai’ song convey that we must embrace change together, fearlessly.

The crisp editing and picturesque cinematography enhance the visual aesthetics. Even though it has a duration of mins, we cannot move our eyes for a single moment from the screen.

Shonali once again presents a compelling, compassionate story that strikes a strong chord with viewers.

Prior to this film, RSVP Movies adapted a tongue-in-cheek narration style for medical conditions in Mard Ko Dard Nahin Hota.

Yet again with this film, there is a light-hearted touch to a medical illness.

However, this movie exhibits the main protagonist comes to terms with their condition as a natural conclusion of life, rather than a morbid conclusion.

In that sense, The Sky Is Pink is a teacher. It acts as a gentle but pivotal reminder that life is not a race. The film is so powerful that it can change perspectives.

Above all, the superlative performances enrich the viewers’ experience. Zaira Wasim is the true show-stealer.

Her vivacious nature as Aisha Chaudhary leaves us with a smile and a fountain of tears. This is definitely her career’s best work yet.

It is great to see Priyanka Chopra back in a Hindi film and this certainly is a great movie choice.

Exactly as one would initially think, The Sky Is Pink is Priyanka’s maturest role yet. Her performance as Aditi is outstanding.

She captures every nuance and characteristic of a protective mother to the core. Her sensitivity to emotional quotients is par excellence. This character has Priyanka written all over it.

Plus, she maintains realism throughout. For me, it’s a landmark performance in her career. We really missed you PC!

Farhan Akhtar plays the role of a caring father with such authenticity.

He gets the balance right between the humour seriousness parts well. It is refreshing and impressive seeing him in the father figure role.

Previously, Farhan and Priyanka impressed us with their subtle chemistry in Dil Dhadakne Do.

Here, however, they are presented with a much layered and ageing relationship, which they fulfil exceptionally well.

A special mention also goes out to Rohit Saraf. He is an actor to keep an eye out for. 

Saraf is solid as the support sibling… He has a very strong screen presence and he is on par with the other actors on screen.

With regular films, negative or weak tropes can be identified very easily. However, this movie is a rare and major exception.

In fact, some films are more than just cinematic expressions. Many come as a lesson in which one has to live according to our circumstances.

Subsequently, The Sky Is Pink is one such film as it encapsulates the true essence of life and death.

I have never given this rating, but I genuinely feel this one earnestly deserves it!

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ (5/5 stars)

Anuj Radia
Journalist and film enthusiast.

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