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15 Park Avenue (2005)

 |  Drama  |  6 January 2006 (India)
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 761 users  
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An exploration of the impact of schizophrenia on a young woman and her family in today's Calcutta. The narrative pivots around the relationship of two sisters, older sister Anjali is a ... See full summary »



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Director: Aparna Sen
Stars: Jennifer Kendal, Dhritiman Chatterjee, Debashree Roy


Cast overview, first billed only:
Konkona Sen Sharma ...
Meethi (as Konkona Sensharma)
Rahul Bose ...
Dhritiman Chatterjee ...
Dr. Kunal Barua (as Dhritiman Chaterji)
Kanwaljit Singh ...
Shefali Shetty ...
Lakshmi (as Shefali Shah)
Yama Shroff ...
Alexandra McLuskie ...
Gregen McLuskie ...
Sanjib De ...
Suranjana Dasgupta ...
Sumit Roy ...
Tina Nobis ...


An exploration of the impact of schizophrenia on a young woman and her family in today's Calcutta. The narrative pivots around the relationship of two sisters, older sister Anjali is a successful professor with a powerful personality. She is the anchoring rock for her family and carer for her sister Meethi whose progression into schizophrenia has been speed ed up by traumatic experiences. Anjali has always dominated the life of her attractive younger sister, and jealously warded off Meethi's handsome fiancé Jojo with fear of Meethi's impending illness. Years later when Meethi and Anjali are on holiday in the Hills there is a chance meeting with Jojo, now with his new wife and children. He is shocked to discover that Meethi does not now recognize him, but lives in a world visited by an imaginary husband and children of her own. Written by

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A quite mature theme and excellent performances... but Sen is not at her creative peak.
25 January 2006 | by (India) – See all my reviews

After Mr. and Mrs. Iyer it's again Aparna Sen's take on so-called 'parallel' films, this time again with the same lead cast of Konkona Sen and Rahul Bose, both highly gifted actors. And along with them this time she's got the genius of Shabana Azmi. Now as far as the theme of the movie is concerned, I must say it is indeed very mature especially in terms of Indian cinema. It deals with a very common yet disturbing example of social problems. And Sen included many social clichés to make that flavor of this film complete. Though there are a few (romantic) subplots that I personally feel unnecessary.

I won't waste space discussing the story. It's better to dive straight into the film's analysis. Sen is indeed lucky to have a cast that deliver excellent performances altogether. Konkona is her usual natural talented self as the schizophrenic girl Meethi. After "Page 3" and this, it is quite clear that she's going to be one of those very few actresses who are remembered for a long time solely for their acting abilities. But Azmi is just magnificent as Meethi's tough and over-protective elder sister. Her performance is indeed worthy to be nominated for any international award. Rahul Bose, though appears in a much shorter duration of the film, does a perfect job as Meethi's love interest Joydeep. There are also fine performances by Dhritiman Chatterjee and Waheeda Rehman.

There are three minor drawbacks of this film, if I'm at all to discuss them. One is screenplay. Overall it's not bad, but should have been better especially when it deals with such a ripe subject. There are many places where the script lacked the necessary sharpness. And Sen sometimes seemed to forget that the characters are actually peoples of Calcutta. No Calcuttan, even when speaking English, refers to a taxi as "cab"; or the drug Diazepam is never marketed in India as "Valium" -- it's only a US trade name. Such examples only make the script appear a tad artificial. Two is background music. Well, it utterly lacked variation. Every time I paid attention to the background music it appeared as if some horror film is going on... even during Joy and Meethi's wedding. And three is the ending.

I heard many people who think that the ending is highly influenced by a famous scene in the film "Finding Neverland". I don't argue with them... in fact in a way they are quite right. I can only say that though the 'presenting fashion' of this ending is indeed similar to that scene, the substances of the two are hardly comparable as these two are completely different kinds of films. Even though I didn't like its presentation, I still think the ending (and perhaps only the ending) carries the best signature of Sen's creative genius.

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