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Times of India
A suicide survivor is taken under observation by a woman who is, ironically, recuperating from depression. She is determined to help the boy come out of this tumultuous time.
A majority of our films are made to entertain, but there are those exceptions that choose a different route. The National Award winning Kaasav is one such example. Not only does it add to directors Bhave and Sukthankar's list of acclaimed films but also puts a much needed thought process in motion- one that discusses depression and suicide like any other physical ailment and urges the society to do so too.
Battling depression and taking help from a psychiatrist for it, Janaki (Harshe) is on her way to a town in Konkan to work on an Olive Ridley turtle conservation project. On way, she comes across a young boy, Manav aka Niche (Rajwade) who is running a high fever and, from the looks of it, is a runaway. Janaki and her driver Yadu (Kadam) take the boy along and nurse him back to health. However, he seems to have a mental ailment rather than a physical one.
Of late, there has been a rising awareness around mental health, especially depression. Kaasav takes this to another level through a fantastic story. There are certain feelings you can't explain. The feeling of suffering in seclusion is one of them. Generally, the people around you are ready with labels for your behaviour but there are some who genuinely identify your issues and care to make things better. For Manav, Janaki is that person.
Bhave and Sukthankar's films boast of stellar actors and this one is no different. The duo team up with Harshe and Agashe again (the two were seen in the directors' Astu as well). While Agashe has a special appearance, Harshe makes the most of her role. Her portrayal of Janaki is so convincing that for a moment you actually believe it to be her real struggle. Another fine performance comes from youngster Alok Rajwade who brings out the emotional tussle in his mind through his expressions. Among the supporting actors, Kadam and child artiste Ghadi are pure gold.
Kaasav, which translates to turtle, is a fantastic metaphor for the story of the film. Why, is for you to figure out.
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