Remarkable short The Broken Table makes us ponder positively on life

Naseeruddin Shah and Rasika Dugal deliver terrific performances in The Broken Table. Photo: Trailer Video Grab 

A short film that has the usual solid twist typical of this genre, The Broken Table, in its 24-minutes of runtime, gives us messages to ponder on for life: One, that companions must be accepted for who and what they are, and two, that what is seemingly negative in one’s life can be looked at with minor changes as something beautiful.

The broken table here represents both the crucial messages above, as one finds midway through this layered story of an Alzheimer’s Disease-affected old man, Giridhar (Naseeruddin Shah) and a budding psychologist training as his caregiver, Deepti (Rasika Dugal).

Deepti is tremendously disturbed by her own troubles—in Giri’s house to look after him while his son, daughter-in-law and grandson (whom Giri does not frequently recognize) attend a marriage, she gets a call from her gynecologist stating that she will never be able to have a child. She wonders how her “extra-practical” husband will react and how their relationship might be affected.

Giri, coincidentally, is a divorce lawyer known to see dysfunctional couples, who has left practice after his affliction all of eight years ago, but still believes he has to go to work every day. His memory is vivid about his past experiences with his wife, Prabha (Nyla Masood), who is no more. He attributes his happiness and success to a single rule of thumb—her belief: “Tum jaise bhi ho, kaafi ho (no matter what you are, you’re always enough).”

And in so many ways, Deepti lives Giridhar’s household a woman happier and richer. To know why, watch this delightful 24-minute charmer of a movie.

Naseeruddin Shah is amazing as Giridhar: the sequences where he is enraged that the caregiver’s notes show Prabha as dead are his best. Rasika Dugal, for someone of her comparatively very limited experience, is incredibly good: she is a revelation, especially, when she takes leave of the family with a heartfelt “Thank you!” with her eyes speaking volumes in myriad emotions all at once. The rest of the cast is good too.

But the concept, writing and direction are extraordinary.

Rating: ****

Royal Stag Barrel Select Large Short Films present Film Ninja Company’s The Broken Table Produced & directed by: Chintan Sarda  Written by: Vikram Gupta & Chintan Sarda  Starring: Naseeruddin Shah, Rasika Dugal, Manyuu Doshi, Gauri Nalawade, Ajit Ranjan, Nyla Masood & Ishan Kunte     





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