Memories in March… Director Sanjoy Nag’s film evocatively journeys through landscapes such as death, grief, loss and love, but at the same time, it builds upon an unlikely relationship between strangers.
Deepti Naval plays Aarti Mishra, a mother who we see arriving at Kolkata airport, faced with the unimaginable tragedy of her son Siddharth’s fatal accident. She’s taken to the crematorium by Siddharth’s colleague Shahana, played by Raima Sen. Aarti is touched by the kindness of Siddharth’s colleagues, especially Siddharth’s boss, and creative director at his ad-agency, Arnab, played by Rituparno Ghosh, who is also the writer of Memories In March.
A single mother whose world revolves around her son, Aarti is shattered by Siddharth’s death, but we only see her break down in private, once she is in alone in his home. However, there is a bigger shock lurking for her. When Arnab and Arti lock heads over some photographs she wants to take from Siddharth’s office, she storms out, only to discover later that Arnab was her son’s big secret, his lover.
Deepti Naval tackles this part with grace, and you can feel her torn between grief and anger that her son was hiding his sexuality and his relationship from her. Despite their shaky start, it is the shared affection that they have for Siddharth that draws Aarti and Arnab closer, forming a strange bond as they reminisce over their loved one. Rituparno Ghosh plays a tricky role — his character Arnab walks the tightrope between maintaining a dignified façade, and giving way to his grief.
Skillfully written and directed, Memories In March is that rare film that sensitively handles prejudices that crumble in the face of love.