Kalki Koechlin’s second film within a week has the talented actress playing a committed and dutiful parent as opposed to the carefree and ebullient Jia in the eponymous ‘Jia Aur Jia.’ The film opens with Sahana Mehra (Kalki) being given the ‘good news’ by her gynaecologist, much to the former’s discomfiture. A heated argument at her husband Karan’s (Sumeet Vyas) construction site, where he is a top-level engineer, and we are shown the urbane couple leading a lavish though hectic lifestyle. Maternity leave leads to trouble at the workplace – a demotion, feathers are ruffled and Sahana is given the boot, amidst overt scenes of gender discrimination. At the end of the first half, which is slow and unhurried, one wonders in which direction the story is headed – till the twist in the plot appears and the pace gathers.
It’s a welcome subject and the tale is told with a great deal of sensitivity and the ordeal of the couple is vividly depicted. Debutante director Rakhee Sandilya, who has co-written the film with Rajeev Upadhyay, has helmed an at-times poignant, but largely pragmatic tale of a career-conscious couple veering through the vagaries of parenthood while struggling to rear their daughter. There are some touching and realistic scenes too – eg. when Sahana returns home unexpected only to find the ayah’s family having a free run of her house. The mother’s concern and apprehension is all too evident.
The sub-plot of the series of job interviews Sahana goes through seem to be hurriedly written and holds barely any conviction. Also, the pace of the film in the first half suffers. Kalki, with her uninhibited acting is gradually showing up to be one of the better performers of the current lot. Sumeet Vyas, too, has given more than a decent performance while Kiearra, as the young daughter Aashi, lands adequate support.
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