Bright Times News: Dealing with death and its consequences is a well-known issue. In the film “Goodbye,” a dispersed Chandigarh family learns about the loss of a cherished family member in different ways. It also deals with what occurs when you return to an empty house where the deceased person’s soul is still very much present.
We recently watched two movies on the same topic, “Ramprasad Ki Terhvin” and “Pagglait,” both of which centered on large joint families in tiny villages. The only Chandigarh-specific elements in “Goodbye” are a few sardars and a large group of mourners who have a Punjabi accent.
However, what we see is a large enough immediate family rather than distant relatives. Three sons, a daughter, an aunt, a grandfather, and the grieving husband who lost his loving wife are all present.
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Another well-known mechanism is how an unexpected death can bring distant family members together. And that is the main goal of Bahl’s most recent movie, who appears to have moved over his #MeToo claims. That and getting the audience to cry.
The uncomfortable blend of genres in “Goodbye”—tragi-comedy, broad humor, and heavy-handed sentimentality—works best when the emotion occasionally rises to the surface without being belabored. And that is due to the bond that the bereaved Harish (Amitabh Bachchan) had with his beloved late wife Gayatri (Neena Gupta).
The two get along well. Gupta, who ought to have been on the screen for more time, shines. And Bachchan, after a long time, allows himself to halt and inject true feeling into his character as a husband who is unsure of what to do with himself now that his lodestar has disappeared and a father who is attempting valiantly to bring back the previous level of connection among his flock. Yes, there is the standard monologue—could a Bachchan movie exist without one of those?
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