15 Park Avenue – Film Review
Very deep and thought provoking movie – much to learn as well !
Let me make it point wise for better understanding for the readers :
1. An Indian Army Officer’s wife (Waheeda Reheman) was already a mother of 2 kids – a son and a daughter (Shabana Azmi as Anjali) -“ when her husband dies. She decides to marry again – with her husband’s friend Sunil (Soumitra) and because she is a typical Indian woman – takes it her responsibility to beget her new husband a child !!So when her daughter (Shabana Azmi) is already 18, she gives birth to Mitali (Konkona Sen) – which also means she must have already crossed the age of 40 when she delivers Mitali !
2. Now science has already discovered that after 30 , there are high chances of the birth of an abnormal child suffering from Idiocy, Down’s syndrome or other genetically brought about disorders since the ovum begins to disintegrate after a certain age in women -children are less immune and more prone to diseases !Moreover pregnancy problems and other related tensions & headaches are too much of a torture as one grows older ! Such symptoms creeps in the child – invariable and definitely-“ and this is what exactly happens to their last born child – Mitali !
3. She is a quiet child –she is shy and ashamed to play with other kids… who must be having younger looking parents and moreover some servant had told her that the ones she addresses as brother & sister are not her own – so all this makes her an unconfident , secluded child who likes to remain alone and aloof with her own thoughts. She is diagnosed as a patient of Schizophrenia and epilepsy and given medicines to keep her normal .
4. Somehow she grows up and behaves normally -singing with friends, doing facials , manicure, pedicure (all symptoms of normal life for a girl) and also falls in love. She could not stay in one job for a longer period of time but once she joined as a reporter , her lover suggested her to stick to the job. Just to prove him her worth she sticks to the job and even agrees to go alone to a Bengal-Bihar border to shoot and interview some thugs. The thugs rape her for 3 continuous hours and leave her bleeding in the corridor of the hotel ! Her life changes from hereafter – well, anyone’s life would have changed after the gory rape that happened to her. Her engagement breaks off and she becomes more lonelier and starts imagining and counseling herself of her good life -with husband , children. Often they show her looking at mad people on the streets and the mad people kind of acknowledged her state / behavior – as if they understood her realm – probably they also belonged to the same state as hers.
5. Her step sister (Shabana) is shown as a very practical and sacrificing and responsible woman but no one really understands her. She refuses to have any good time but takes on the responsibility of the aged mother along with her insane sister – all this she was basically doing thanklessly as the sister believed that she makes her do the household chores etc. and is not letting her enjoy life !She lets go of her handsome boyfriend (Kanwaljeet) and even agrees to go for an older & not at all looking looking doctor just with the hope that a doctor in the family can be of some help after all !The brother , is as usual , shown as a typical Indian, thankless , selfish & irresponsible man – happy to be with his wife and children and not bothering about his aging mother or his sister !
6. In the last scene, Mitali’s ex boyfriend meets her again after 11 years and tries to help her out to find an imaginary house for her – the number being 15 Park Avenue – Mitali is seen entering a house numbered as 15 – but not Park Avenue and finds all her imaginary characters there and is very happy to see them all there – along with her husband – her ex boyfriend actually who she fails to recognize in real life -and happily leaves with them …. basically goes with them -and in reality just vanishes from the scene ….and the rest of her relatives are shown searching for her. Probably she will join the league of other mad people who are often seen on the streets talking to themselves or other imaginary characters !!
7. If the rape episode hadn’t happened to her – she would not have become that mad… but would have survived on medicines – therefore it is highly recommended that Ladies should not take up such jobs as reporters and go alone in places inhabited by thugs ! Parents should be more careful .