Goldfish movie review: Of tangled pasts, uncertain futures, and coming together in the face of adversity

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ImportantDetails
Movie ReviewGoldfish
CastKalki Koechlin
Deepti Naval
Gordon Warnecke
Directed byPushan Kripalani
Written byPushan Kripalani
Arghya Lahiri
Release date25 August 2023

Goldfish movie review: Of tangled pasts, uncertain futures, and coming together in the face of adversity

By (Vegamovies Reviews)

Sadhana Tripathi (Deepti Naval), a veteran Indian classical singer battling the onset of dementia, looks out the window of her London home as she has her evening coffee with her estranged daughter Anamika (Kalki Koechlin) in the final scene of Pushan Kripalani’s latest film Goldfish. Ana takes her hand in hers and asks, “Do you know who I am?” Sadhana claims she does not. She squeezes Ana’s hand again and says, “But this is enough.”

Goldfish is a 102-minute film about a mother struggling to remember and a daughter desperately trying to forget. It revolves around identity, memory, community, and the human need to belong, with pensive silences and abrasive truths revealing a troubled past.Read More:Gadar 2 box office collection day 13: Film starring Sunny Deol and Ameesha Patel earns 10.4 crore, bringing its total to 411 crore.

Goldfish, set in London during the early days of the coronavirus pandemic, begins with Ana being summoned home after Sadhana unintentionally sets fire inside the house while cooking pakoras, forcing her neighbors to accept that she can no longer be trusted to live alone. Ana’s long-awaited return forces her to confront the haunting memories of her troubled past and make sense of her acrimonious relationship with her mother.

As the mother and daughter who have a history of scalding each other, some wounds still festering, but who also exhibit surprising kindness in unexpected moments, Koechlin and Naval give impressive, restrained performances, fueled by Kripalani and Arghya Lahiri’s thoughtful and moving screenplay. Following a heated exchange, Ana confesses to Sadhana, “For years, and even now sometimes, I tell people I’m adopted.” With a blank stare, Sadhana replies, “So do I.” The two women exchanged glances for a moment before laughing.

Another tender moment occurs when Ana, the daughter of an Indian woman and a British student she met while backpacking across the country, assists Sadhana in draping a pristine white silk saree as she prepares to send her to a care home. Friendly neighbors advise her to spend as much time as she can with her mother, but she does not have the time. She has a week to start a new job in Switzerland.

Goldfish examines what parents and children can do to each other, the hundreds of big and small ways we inflict trauma on those close to us, not always unintentionally. Remember how happy most families were to be reunited after years apart during the first wave of the pandemic? Then came the second wave, which was infinitely worse and more anxiety-inducing, and homes quickly turned into hellholes with no way out. Worms began to suppurate and spill. Ana tries to dissect as many as she can in Goldfish so she can be around without hurting herself or her mother, whom she barely knows anymore.

In addition to Koechlin and Naval, Rajit Kapur, Gordon Warnecke, and Bharti Patel play important roles in Goldfish. It had its India premiere at the recently concluded 53rd International Film Festival of India (IFFI), Goa, after a dream run at several international film festivals.

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