When news surfaced that Margarita With A Straw director Shonali Bose would be collaborating with Priyanka Chopra and Farhan Akhtar on her next film, it seemed like an exciting partnership to look forward to. Bose’s first film, starring Kalki Koechlin, Revathy and Sayani Gupta, was a sincere and irreverent take on people afflicted with cerebral palsy. The film explored the many motivations of its principal character, without a hint of pity. With the trailer of The Sky Is Pink dropping, the irreverence is visible in Bose’s latest film too, where the narrator (played by Zaira Wasim) is diagnosed with a terminal condition.
The film is pegged as a ‘love story’ between ‘Panda’ (Farhan Akhtar) and ‘Moose’ (Priyanka Chopra). Cute nicknames in the ‘cool parents universe’ reminiscent of Siddharth Anand’s Ta Ra Rum Pum, where Saif Ali Khan’s character names his kids ‘Princess’ and ‘Champ’. Any way, coming back to Shonali Bose’s film, the trailer sees Farhan Akhtar go back to his Karthik Calling Karthik days to ooze the charm of a rom-com hero, and later as an unsure husband we see him slip back into his Shaadi Ke Side Effects mould. Priyanka Chopra effortlessly slips into the role of teenagers’ mum.
It’s all familiar and breezy till Zaira Wasim enters the picture, and introduces herself as the ‘villain’ of the story. Her character is diagnosed with Bulsufan Lung Damage, considered to be an incurable condition. At this point, the cute background score jarringly transforms into melodramatic violins. As characters scream at each other to deal with frustration of seeing a loved one die a slow death, one cannot help but wonder if the trailer’s shift in tone is foreshadowing for the final film. By the end of the trailer, the ‘tone’ is back to that of an optimistic outlook on death. Something that has been tackled from the times of Rajesh Khanna-starrer, Anand.
Even recent films like the film adaptation of The Fault In Our Stars, offered something similar where both the leads are diagnosed with terminal illness. Handled with a light touch, the film managed to deliver on the laughs, charm and also tears (by the end). It’s a tricky path, making a cheerful film around a character destined to die by the end. Will Shonali Bose be up to the task, or will she be another disappointment after a promising debut? With its (largely) decent cast, here’s hoping it’s the former.
Here’s the trailer for The Sky Is Pink:
The Sky Is Pink releases on October 11, 2019.