Leaving a review: Amitabh Bachchan tops the list when it comes to acting because of his unwavering honesty, conviction, and masterful ability to blend emotions in each scene. In her first Hindi film, Rashmika is passable at best.
Cast: Elli AvrRam, Pavail Gulati, Sahil Mehra, Rashmika Mandanna, Neena Gupta, and Amitabh Bachchan
Neena Gupta’s character Gayatri Bhalla, the family matriarch, passed away unexpectedly. As Gayatri’s family and husband Harish Bhalla (Amitabh Bachchan) wait for their turn at the cremation site, the women in her neighbourhood are busy brainstorming names for the WhatsApp group they are creating in honour of the deceased. Gayatri, gone Before they agree to title it “Chandigarh Bubblies,” some proposals are made aloud, including “gone,” “lonely Harish ji,” and “Harish ji needs us.” Why? Because Gayatri referred to the group by this name and she wants her memories to endure. Wait. And there’s more. A new WhatsApp group necessitates a new profile photo, so the so-called group of friends pose for a happy selfie. This is only 0.1%, though. In this emotionally charged funeral film called Goodbye, writer-director Vikas Bahl tosses us a total of 0.1% insensitivity and stupidity. I apologise for using the words drama and funeral in the same sentence. Goodbye is a muddled tale that wants to say a lot but is so mired in its problems that it never rises above a funeral, as you watch the scenario play out.
In fact, I kept wondering throughout the first half of the film what Bahl was attempting to convey through his tale and characters. Is the plot of Goodbye about a grieving, broken family? Or a dissident daughter who rejects the archaic and conventional rites and traditions. Is it the tale of four siblings who have made their homes in various locations and who come together to say their final goodbyes to their deceased mother? is a conflict between science and religion. Is it a parody of the common death rituals in our culture? Or false emotional relatives. The films Paggalit and Ram Prasad ki Tehrvi from the previous year, which I must mention, did a fantastic job of illustrating the last two qualities. I must say that it set a good standard. Unfortunately, Goodbye either completely lacks or barely approaches that impact.
They all return to Chandigarh soon after learning of Gayatri’s passing, where they all live. A newly successful lawyer named Tara (Rashmika Mandanna) is consumed by regret about not picking up her mother’s final call or responding to her message. Daisy (Elli AvrRam), Karan’s wife, orders a desi lunch since she “loves the spicy Indian chicken” when they fly down from the United States. Karan is a workaholic who is unable to function without his laptop and earbuds, even as he supports the body of his deceased mother. Gayatri loves Angad (Sahil Mehta), and while travelling from Dubai, he makes sure to get butter chicken and butter garlic naan during his hotel layover before his father picks him up. guilt-tripping about a call and eating party food while grieving the loss of his mother. Then, Angad does get khichdi! Another son, Nakul (Abhishekh Khan), learns of the loss much later than the rest of the family while on a hiking adventure.
The tasks to be completed for Gayatri’s funeral and last rites are being discussed by Harish, his Labrador named “Stupid,” and a house helper in the midst of all of this. Although Goodbye is fundamentally a comedy-drama, something doesn’t quite add up each time a joke is made while depicting death and pain. As an illustration, Harish naively complies with his friend PP’s (Ashish Vidyarthi) requests and permits Gayatri’s body to be moved around while being maintained facing a specific direction. The humour around the deceased is frequently offensive and disgusting.
Goodbye has numerous heartwarming and emotionally stirring passages that will occasionally cause you to cry, but the screenplay doesn’t allow you to get lost in them for too long because the unnecessary humour interrupts the action far too frequently. Mind you, even clever comedy won’t make people laugh. It’s not easy to inject humour into a delicate loss like death, in fact. Goodbye, however, does it a little too in your face rather than doing it subtly.
Imagine this: After cremating their mother, Angad and Daisy indulge in an unrepentant “sambhog.” We are doing this for mom, he responds when the father asks. She desired grandchildren. I’m not sure if Bahl was attempting to convey a message or was just acting strangely.
Talk of performances, Amitabh Bachchan takes the cake for his sheer sincerity, conviction and blending emotions so well in each scene. Rashmika, in her debut Hindi outing is decent and that’s about it. Her dialogue delivery doesn’t seem forced though her expressions could have been way better in varied situations. Pavail, Sahil and Elli are good in their parts and do justice to the screentime they get. Neena Gupta lights up the screen each time she appears in flashback sequences. Her chemistry with Amitabh Bachchan is endearing. There’s also Sunil Grover as the priest who performs last rites. He lifts the storyline from a boring and super dragged first half to a somewhat interesting beginning to the second half. It’s interesting to see how he becomes the force to make Tara believe in faith over science.
Although there are many emotions involved in saying goodbye, they don’t last very long. The comedy takes centre stage, and imperfections are now too obvious to ignore. Watch it nonetheless if you enjoy dramas about everyday life.