Goodbye Review: Poignant and heartwarming in equal measures
Vikas Bahl’s latest film ‘Goodbye’ tries to explore how different people of the same family deal with the passing away of a dear one. Exploration of grief is a theme that has been dealt several times before, but put in the right moments and apt actors to pull off, it’s always a potential one.
‘Goodbye’ begins with Tara Bhalla (Rashmika Mandanna), an advocate partying and getting sloshed after winning her first case. Her mother Gayatri (Neena Gupta) tries calling her to know about the case’s verdict, but is unreachable. Later, her father Harish keeps trying to get to Tara, but isn’t able to. In the morning, Tara wakes up to the worst news possible — her mother has passed away. That’s the thing with death. It comes without any invite, snatches someone and leaves their dear ones shattered.
Harish has three more songs, one of whom is adopted. Except for the youngest of them, Nakul, who is on a trecking tour, all others get to the funeral. Karan (Pavail Gulati) is the eldest. He comes home with his foreigner wife to attend the funeral. But his mind is still caught up with his busy American worklife. On the night of the funeral, his dad gets angry on him for having an intimate moment with his wife. Similarly Angad, the adopted son, gets a mouthful from his dad for having butter chicken. Harish feels left alone and thinks that only he is grieving, while the reality is everyone in the family is. It’s just that each person has their own way of dealing with it.
‘Goodbye’ is extremely emotional but also has a lot of fun moments. It’s basically a funeral comedy, where the family members don’t have any idea of the rituals and traditions. It is their family friend PP (Ashish Vidyarthi), who takes care of it. While most of the fun moments land, some don’t. Like the stretched sequence involving a few neighbour women.
‘Goodbye’ boasts of some excellent performances. As always, it’s the two veterans — Neena Gupta and Amitabh Bachchan who stand out. Though Neena’s character dies in the beginning itself, she keeps coming back as memories and her graceful presence adds so much ‘life’ to the film. Amitabh Bachchan has done similar roles before, but you never get tired of him. The monologue by the banks of Ganga is sure to tug anyone’s heartstrings. One cannot help but wish if there were more portions involving Neena and Bachchan together. Rashmika Mandanna, in her Bollywood debut, is also impressive as the feisty, rational young woman.
In short, ‘Goodbye’ is a wholesome experience that will make you reach out to your family immediately after the show.