Soumya Nadkarni (Nisha Bains) is the stuff dreams are made of. The only child of her indulgent
parents, she has the best of everything. She is brilliant: a topper throughout,
talented, live wire and pretty. She is her papa's darling and mama's pet. And
for her boyfriend Ninad (Sunil Barve), she is life itself. She is about to appear for her
HSC. Life is one big song for this fan of Sanjay Dutt.
It turns into a nightmarish cacophony in no time. The Nadkarnis' world is shattered
when Soumya tests HIV positive. The blood transfusion she underwent during her
appendoctomy is the culprit. The loving parents try to hide the harsh Nidaan
(the Hindi word for diagnosis) from her for a long time. Nevertheless, she soon
comes to know.
How the family, with sincere support from a mature Ninad, copes
with the tragedy and makes her last few days joyful, forms the touching tale,
made quite vivid by the genuinely felt depiction of the agony of the loving
parents when their beloved child is in pain.
So the film is indeed what all these celebrities have been telling us it is.
It is effective entertainment on one level. The actors might not be stars but
they sure live their roles. The story is a straight narration, making it poignant
and heart wrenching. Nowhere is there an attempt to either sensationalise or
trivialise the grave issue that the film handles. Rahul Ranade's music and Vijay
Arora's cinematography deserve a special mention.
As for the message it conveys, and the way it gets conveyed, the makers sure
deserve our congratulations. The propaganda never jars. The film shows that
an upper middle class, innocent girl could be an AIDS victim. So AIDS is not
allowed to remain something out there, in jhopadpattis, not our bother.
The film thus makes a serious case for taking the dreaded disease seriously.
Similarly, the why's and what's of the disease form part of the narrative, but
so effortlessly are they woven in to the story that they do not sound like preaching.
The film, moreover, makes a strong case for sensitivity for the unfortunate
In a country where brides are for burning, it is quite heartwarming
to see a film advocating the marriage of an AIDS infected girl for the peace
of her mind. Quite some consolation to see that in our post-everything world,
there exist decent souls.
Such subtle and responsible use of media is the need of the hour in our problem-infested
polity. Yet the film is not syrupy sweet. Reality intrudes in the form of callous
friends and business-conscious doctors. In brief, a film worth watching.
As it is tax-free, it will cost you as much as a coke but could teach you a
lot. So how about foregoing the fizz for a well-told fable of our times? You
would sure not regret the Nidaan! Better never than late, right?