The journey of life and death
Writer-director Nisheeta Keni’s debut film Bogda showcases the delicate bond between a terminal mother and her daughter who set off on a road trip to make memories of a lifetime
Life is an unpredictable journey. You never know which day would be your last. So as cliché as it may sound, you need to make the most of the time you have with the people who matter to you the most.
Exploring the topic of death and how it affects relationships, the film Bogda starring Mrunmayee Deshpande, Suhas Joshi and Rohit Kokate, is slated to release on September 7. It is the debut project of writer-director Nisheeta Keni. “The film explores a unique mother-daughter relationship which hasn’t been brought to the screen before. We all have this love-hate relationship we share with our mothers. No matter how much we care for our moms, there always comes a time when you want to break free from their over-protection. But how would this change if the daughter knew she had limited time with her mother?” says Keni, adding, “The character of the mother, Mai, is bold and full of life during her earlier days. She is someone who doesn’t want to die a slow painful death. She knows that she has little time left, and she wants to use it to make memories with her daughter.”
While Suhas Joshi plays the mother, Mrunmayee Deshpande plays the daughter Teju. The film follows the duo on the road trip they set off on to have the time of their lives. Keni deals with the topic of dignity in death in a very subtle manner.
Talking about the movie, Suhas says that she found the story very interesting. What caught her fancy was the fact that she got a chance to work with enthusiastic debutants who were brimming with ideas that she had never come across in her career before. “I have always been keen on learning new things, especially from new people in the industry,” Suhas says referring to the technique of capturing silhouttes instead of close-up shots of the actors in some of the scenes.
Though Suhas has essayed many roles as a grandmother or a mother, she claims that playing this character was totally a different experience because of such a novel storyline. “I have never played a role which focuses on this kind of a relationship between a mother and her daughter. The story excited me, and I was delighted when I found out that Mrunmayee was playing the role of the daughter,” she says.
“Since we have worked together before, we had a certain rapport that made our performances more convincing. We share a similar relationship even off-screen,” says Mrunmayee, adding that she hasn’t got a chance to watch the full movie yet, but she is excited to see the story come to life on the screen.
Apart from the mother-daughter bond, the film features a romantic subplot. The character of Kishor, played by Rohit, has a soft-spot for Teju. “Though there is hardly any romance shown in the movie, Kishor provides emotional support to Teju who is dealing with the fact that she’s going to lose her mother to illness very soon,” says Rohit.
Keni shares that she wanted the movie to have a very “natural” look and feel, which is why she limited the number of cuts and shot the scenes at a stretch to capture candid and convincing emotions.
She adds that people should watch the movie because it gives out a message that it is important to make memories, no matter where one is in life. “Just like Mai who knows she is going to die-- she does not want to be sad about it, but instead spend her last days doing what she likes, and most importantly spend time with her loved ones,” ends Keni.