Watch Asukh

  • 1999
  • 7.4  (97)

Asukh is a Bengali drama film from 1999 directed by Rituparno Ghosh. The movie tells the story of a renowned psychiatrist, Dr. Sabyasachi Mitra (Soumitra Chatterjee), who tries to unravel the mystery of his daughter's mental illness. Debashree Roy portrays Dr. Mitra's wife, Sudeshna Mitra, while Arpita Chatterjee plays the role of the couple's daughter-in-law, who is observing the family's dynamics from outside.

Asukh begins with Dr. Mitra's daughter, Antara (Laboni Sarkar), returning from abroad after completing her filmmaking course. Dr. Mitra is overjoyed to see her daughter after a long time, but he starts noticing strange behavior in her. Antara shows symptoms of mental illness: she talks to herself, wakes up at odd hours, and avoids interacting with others. Dr. Mitra tries to figure out what is causing her distress but fails to get through to her.

Dr. Mitra seeks help from Dr. Aniket Majumdar (Prosenjit Chatterjee), a former student, and colleague. Dr. Majumdar is an expert in psychiatry and tries to diagnose Antara's illness. However, the more they delve into Antara's behavior, the more complicated the situation becomes. The doctors realize that Antara's illness is not merely a clinical condition but is rooted in her past trauma.

On the other hand, Sudeshna's brother, Sudhir (Rupa Ganguly), arrives with his partner, Sampa (Mamata Shankar), to seek Dr. Mitra's opinion on Sampa's mental condition. Sudhir reveals that Sampa has been taking medication for a while, and he wants Dr. Mitra to prescribe the medication again. Dr. Mitra refuses and advises Sudhir to take Sampa to a specialist instead.

Asukh is a movie that explores human emotions, relationships, and society's attitude towards mental illness. The film touches upon various themes such as the complexities of family dynamics, the stigma attached to mental illness, and the challenges of coping with mental illness. The movie is a ruthless critique of the Indian middle class's hypocrisy and closed-mindedness, which makes it harder to recognize and cope with mental illness.

The movie's narrative is slow and deliberate, with no background music or overt sound effects. The film's realism is palpable in its depiction of human behavior and the conversations between the characters. The director emphasizes on the characters' thoughts as they confront the reality of mental illness in their loved ones. Dr. Mitra's helplessness in understanding his daughter's condition, Sudeshna's despair in witnessing her daughter's suffering, Sampa's loneliness in the face of her illness all evoke feelings of empathy and compassion.

Soumitra Chatterjee's portrayal of Dr. Mitra is understated yet commanding. His calm demeanor and nuanced acting convey a sense of vulnerability and helplessness that are intrinsic to the character. Debashree Roy's performance as Sudeshna is empathetic and convincing. She encapsulates the character's pain and confusion as a mother struggling to come to terms with her child's illness. Arpita Chatterjee complements the cast with her understated yet impactful performance. Her portrayal of the daughter-in-law brings an outsider's perspective on the family's internal conflicts.

In conclusion, Asukh is a deeply moving film that explores mental illness and its far-reaching impact on families. It is a poignant reminder of the need to shed the taboo surrounding mental health and seek help when needed. The movie's strength lies in its ability to evoke empathy and compassion towards characters navigating a complex, challenging phase of their lives. Asukh is a movie that needs to be watched with patience and openness to fully appreciate its grasp of human emotions.

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  • Release Date
  • Language
    Bengali, Bangla
  • IMDB Rating
    7.4  (97)