Films | Listen Amaya – Movie Review

Listen Amaya – Movie Review

Posted by FATEMA H.KAGALWALA on February 4, 2013 | No Comments

PRODUCER – Ashok Sawhny, Thomas Kurian & Rajiv Malhotra (co-producer)
DIRECTOR – Avinash Kumar Singh
WRITER – Avinash Kumar Singh and Geeta Singh (screenplay and dialogues), Vikas Chandra (additional dialogue)
CAST – Farooq Shaikh, Deepti Naval, Swara Bhaskar
MUSIC – Indraneel Hariharan

‘Listen Amaya’ must be an exciting prospect for lover’s of that time in our cinema when simple romantic stories told with a charming sense of humour were personified in that much loved pair of Deepti Naval and Farooq Shaikh. Here they come back as a middle-aged couple to tell a mature story of post prime romance.

Leela (Deepti Naval) is a widow and single mother of Amaya (Swara Bhaskar), a headstrong, independent girl in her twenties. Leela runs a café and Amaya is a writer collaborating with a photographer Jayant (Farooq Shaikh) for her debut book. Jayant is a widower, having lost his wife and child years back in an accident. He and Leela begin to share a friendship that is above and beyond the mere need to fill loneliness. It blossoms into love but will Amaya understand the relationship and her mother’s wish for one?

As we grow, love takes on different meanings. For Leela and Jayant, at the cusp of their old age, it means companionship. But Amaya looks at it from the point of view of a daughter, a child. The film in many ways, without stating it, explores this aspect of parental identities being separate from an individual identity, a learning that becomes Amaya’s coming-of-age.

The film tackles its very many themes with sensitivity. There is a clear understanding of the dynamics of relationships and emotional complexities with which it explores Amaya, Leela and Jayant’s journey’s. However, an intuitive spark of a clear argument or building a case for unconventional relationships is missing. The subtlety, more than being a fulfilling touch, becomes a vacuum, a gap that we constantly wish was filled with more; more depth, more wisdom and more layers.

It is not an easy film to write, direct or perform. While the writing and direction is somewhat loose many times, the performances of the three central actors never falter. Deepti Naval and Farooq Shaikh breathe life into their parts with what seems like a unique understanding of their pathos. Their delivery is balanced and beautiful at the same time, emotions palpable and feelings real. But placed between these two experienced actors, the talented Swara Bhaskar holds her own commendably. Hers isn’t an easy role to essay but she portrays every nuance of her character’s journey with ease, heart and conviction, single-handedly bringing the film out of its general dullness.

Listen Amaya does what it sets out to do, bringing us closer to the realities of those past their prime, with a modicum of success. It may not be an exciting film to watch, but it is a brave one to make.

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