Aye Zindagi makes a heartwarming case for organ donation

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Revathy with Satyajeet Dubey in Aye Zindagi. Photo: Parull Gossain 

This is a small film that espouses organ donation. This time, it focuses on the liver. We have had many films (and shorts) promoting eye donations and have also looked at heart transplant and kidney donations. Statistics provided herein show an alarming fact: 500,000 Indians die annually because they cannot get organ donors. And depending on their health and cause of death, a single human being’s organs can save up to seven people’s lives!

The fundamental need is grief counseling for those who have lost someone close. It is lack of awareness among them that creates this acute shortfall. What needs to be corrected, therefore, is this lacuna, which can be done with grief counseling at the right time in the right manner.

The story of this small film centers round this aspect. In his twenties, Vinay Chawla (Satyajeet Dubey) of Lucknow is suffering from cirrhosis of the liver, a disease normally associated with drunkards. He has been given a few months to live. He sees an ad in a newspaper and rushes secretly to Hyderabad and meets a counselor, Revathi Rajan (Revathi) who tells him the pros and cons.

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He is in two minds about a liver transplant (that costs upward of Rs. 2 million) but finds that this impossible figure can be met cumulatively by his colleagues and other noble people. But there is no liver donor available.

And then, in a twist of fate connected to his case, a liver donor is ‘found’! Meanwhile, in the hospital itself, a love story blossoms. The climax sees Vinay (full name Vinayak, meaning Lord Ganpati) presenting a strong case for organ donation to the big-name Indians in Chicago, where he is now posted. He is happily married, and has a daughter too.

The unreal elements in this story are not unreal at all. A real case with similar details has happened and the facts about it is presented in the end-credits of the heartwarming film that juggles tears with smiles and pain with optimism. Probably because the story is real, the lead actors do a splendid job. It is obvious that one will have to possess a heart of stone not to be moved by the real-life events that take place and are depicted with rare passion by the writer and director.

Satyajeet Dubey as Vinay and Sawan Tank as his intense elder brother who is a doctor lead the honors’ list. Satyajeet, who made his first appearance in the 2010 Shah Rukh Khan production, Always Kabhi Kabhi, is just superb in the various shades he has to endow his character with—cheerful, stressed, distressed, desperate and more. Sawan Tank, a barely known name, is a revelation as the determined brother who wants to save his sibling at all costs. Revathy is supremely understanding and mature in her interpretation of the grief counselor who has to undergo great trauma herself and come to understand the psyche of the people she advises as part of her profession. Hemant Kher as the surgeon and Shrikant Verma as the boss are terrific.

Revathy’s two children (essayed by Pranjal Trivedi and Muskaan Agarwal) and even more, Mrinmayee Godbole as the local nurse, Manjula, are all outstanding in their respective characters.

The film is about its tagline—Aye Zindagi—Life finds a way. In 104 crisp minutes, it reflects on human nature, frailty and strength with remarkable warmth. And if taken in the right spirit, will show the way for many to save lines—their own as well as those of others.

Rating: ***1/2 

Platoon One Films & KDM Media presents Aye Zindagi Produced by: Shiladitya Bora  Written & Directed by: Anirban Bose Music: Anirban Bose & Surel Ingale Starring: Revathi, Satyajeet Dubey, Mrinmayee Godbole, Sawan Tank, Hemant Kher, Shrikant Verma, Pranjal Trivedi, Muskaan Agarwal, Himanshu Malik & others

 

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