A heartfelt homage to hope and friendship

Life Is Good Story: Bereaved and desolate, Rameshwar is an accountant at a local post office in the mountains. Tired of loneliness, he contemplates taking his life when hope and friendship come knocking in the form of a seven-year-old girl, Mishti. This is the story of their bond through 15 years when Rameshwar learns the meaning of letting go.

Life Is Good Review: The film opens with Rameshwar (Jackie Shroff) coping with grief when his mother passes away. As the middle-aged accountant at a post office grapples with loneliness, he attempts to die by suicide but fails to go through with his plan as a new neighbour, seven-year-old Mishti (Saniya), walks into his life. Constantly relocating with her aunt, Reema (Suneeta Sen Gupta), she finally finds a footing when Rameshwar manages to prevent his selfish father from taking her away. They form a deep bond that lasts for 15 years until Mishti marries and goes to Chicago. Life has something else in the store, and Rameshwar is left alone again. Will there be another ray of hope like Mishti?

Director Ananth Narayan Mahadevan’s venture is so poignant that it will tug at your heart’s strings. Despite a premise like Mishti being motherless and abandoned by her father and Rameshwar being a lonesome man, there are no cliched trappings, melodrama or going overboard while depicting their relationship. Writer Sujit Sen presents a mature story where a single man and a woman (the aunt) do not fall in love, nor does Rameshwar try to be Mishti’s father. It’s purely about their friendship, the highs and lows, and the tenderness.

Jackie Shroff as Rameshwar is phenomenal. He looks like an accountant and has a slight paunch, like many average middle-aged men from a small town. He especially shines in a scene when a teenage Mishti takes his boss (Rajit Kapur) for a double-seat bicycle ride, and he hears a loud vehicle horn — the fear of an accident and losing Mishti is so palpable on his face. Suneeta Sen Gupta, as Mishti’s aunt, stands her ground, and the child actors Saniya and Ananya are good, too.

The themes of loss, longing, and hope find a heartrending portrayal in the film. Alphonse Roy’s cinematography in the hills of Panchgani, Mahabaleshwar, the blue river, sunsets and the misty milieu is a balm and melancholy in equal measures. Abhishek Ray’s music adds to the film’s charm.

Head to the theatres for a peaceful watch during these days of fast-paced and edgy fares.

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