There can’t be more fitting title for this lovely little piece of gem.
Archana Atul Phadke takes the term ‘personal film’ a step higher with About Love by filming everything that happens in her home. To put it simply, the film is about her family and well, about the love they share. Can I record my parents, grandparents, their conversations, and the happenings in my home and make it into a feature-length film? “Hell no! Wouldn’t that be awful and boring?” would have been the answer had I not seen this. Now, I feel every conversation my parents have, has years of understanding and togetherness behind it. And this was possible only because of the filmmaker’s ability to put her inhibitions behind her and start filming her family. And I realised how special every family is, only after watching this film.
About Love is ‘Simply beautiful’, to put in a phrase. We see three couples, the grandfather and grandmother(Madhav and Neela Phadke) the father and mother(Atul and Maneesha Phadke) and the brother and his fiance(Rohan Phadke and Gurbani Bagga). These relationships and dynamics are beautifully explored because there is years of actual ‘character development’ behind these people if you look at them as characters. My favourites are the grandparents who have been married for 68 years. The grandfather might come across as a stubborn old man picking on his spouse. But it is love, you will see. Even the father, gets very agitated and removes his stress on his wife, again, it is love. The mother’s life revolves around her family, and she is happy to give away anything for them, it is again, love. Through these couples, we also see how women in a household have evolved over the decades.
Archana Atul Phadke’s success as a filmmaker lies in letting us experience decades of unity and togetherness of a family in just under 90 minutes, without actually showing everything. The grand mother’s state of mind after her husband’s death wrenched my heart even though it is not explicit. When the mother, father and lie together on a bed, each indulged into their mobile, it felt like a scene from my own home. My mother tells me not to use the phone at least when she is around me. She asks me to talk to her. I, being a cold-hearted mobile addict, tell her how her physical presence around makes me feel safe and comforting. She doesn’t buy it, though. But it is true, though. Maybe I should sit and talk to her understand what’s deep down in her heart other than her desire to see her son pursue MBA.
About Love is a heartwarming film that is sure to make you appreciate your parents, siblings, grandparents, lover(s), and everything about your home, the place your heart is because after all it is about, you know what.
About Love is now playing at 21st Mumbai International Film Festival. Check out the trailer here: