It’s an Indian film to cry and laugh, partly shot in London and told extravagantly from beyond the grave. Inspired by the life of Indian teenager Aisha Chaudhary, who was born with a rare immunodeficiency disease, this film invites you not to shed a tear, but to hold a bucket of chopped onions under your face until you can’t take it anymore. I have to admit it worked for me. Readers, I cried.
Aisha’s cheerful voice-over (“By the way, I’m dead, get over it”) is less irritating than the soundtrack to the tweezers. Postmortal tells the story of her parents – played by Bollywood stars Priyanka Chopra and Farhan Akhtar – who met and fell in love in Delhi. They took her to Great Ormond Street Hospital as a baby for a bone marrow transplant and settled in London. That’s where I had my first problem, when a radio station in London’s South Asian community launched an appeal to raise £120,000 for little Aisha’s operation, and donations poured in, five here, a few there.
When Aisha was a teenager, the family moved to India. Her father has now made a fortune in fast food and Aisha (Zaira Wasim) is an intrepid young woman who likes to have fun. But in Delhi, she develops pulmonary fibrosis and has to opt for a lung transplant that could earn her 10 years of life. Aisha interjects: “Do you think it’s easier to die at 28 than at 18?”. The Sky is Pink is a film full of molasses, but there are moments, like this one, that shine with truth. But the ending is unforgivable and the two and a quarter hour length is simply too long.
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