"Take movies, music, poetry out of life & its gone!"

GOODBYE - A confusing film, which even finds the audacity to depict the demise of a loving mother comically. (Review by Bobby Sing)

17 Oct, 2022 | Movie Reviews / 2022 Releases / Just In

Unconvincingly directed by Vikas Bahl, GOODBYE is the third film of the recent years revolving around death and a dysfunctional family, weirdly dealing with the cremation and its last rituals. But where both PAGGLAIT and RAM PRASAD KI TEHRVI had their focus and characterisation quite clear, GOODBYE turns out to be an utterly confused and directionless venture, unnecessarily mixing too many events and sequences in the script written like a comedy.
The film tries to present emotions around an untimely death in the family, along with a continuous comic tone and a subplot of a spiritual quest falling flat. Taking a good time in the second half, the scenes talking about the spiritual journey of a soul remain painfully annoying instead of bringing any kind of calmness or peace to the proceedings.
Besides, what’s actually wrong with the script is that while the two films mentioned above didn’t have the mother dying in the family, Goodbye revolves around the sudden death of the mother. A not-too-old, 60+ mother, loved by every family member, including two sons, a daughter (all settled abroad with their families), and a loving husband. The untimely death of the mother calls for an immediate family union and such a plot certainly cannot be presented as a comedy laced with Madhur Bhandarkar kind of PAGE 3 treatment of the cremation. 
As a fact of life, the death of any member of the family is tragic, particularly the ones who depart early before old age. But then, gracefully accepting the truth, we have often seen the death of elderly members talked about or presented in a humorous tone in fictional films and novels (as they have all lived their lives heading toward the ultimate truth). However, I honestly cannot recall any Indian film/book or drama, read or seen to date, which revolves around the death of a not-too-old MOTHER in a family, presenting it in a comic tone.
In my humble opinion, that somehow doesn’t fit into the term ‘creative liberty’ and it seriously makes one question, how could a sensible writer and director think of a light-hearted emotional comedy and many ‘supposed to be hilarious sequences’ related to the death of the beloved MOTHER in the family.
To give you an idea of the film’s bizarre conception and writing, while the son coming to attend the cremation is ordering butter chicken during his hotel stay on the connecting flight, the other is getting intimate with her wife on the very night after the cremation. And when the father knocks at the door hearing the noises quoting ‘sambhog’, the son comes up with the excuse that they were doing it for the mother as she wished to have grandkids in the family. 
If that was not enough, then the film also has a case of miscasting, wherein a new-age pandit is doing the final rituals at Ganga-ghats with his tab playing along. And that pandit happens to be none other than Sunil Grover (of Guthi fame), with a weird smile on his face that more appears to be foolish instead of anything spiritual or mystical.
That said, there still are a few positives in GOODBYE if one ignores the absurdity in its basic plot and presentation. The film has Amitabh Bachchan yet again excelling in his role of the lonely husband and his scenes with Neena Gupta are a treat to watch. It is also the debut Hindi film of the charming Rashmika Mandanna, who surprises with her flawless rendition of dialogues (assuming they are not dubbed) and does full justice to her role as an atheist daughter. 
Above all is the heart-touching monologue of Amitabh on the Ganga-ghats, which probably is his first monologue that has got no cut, even when the veteran actor gets a running nose within the shot. The sequence can easily be stated as the highlight of the two-hour long duration and also its saving grace. In other words, the film gets rescued by Amitabh and Neena alone and they are the only reason this can be seen looking beyond the glaring flaws.
Overall, GOODBYE just pretends to be emotional. While its subject demanded a thoughtful interpretation, its writing and direction remain more interested in presenting it as a comedy (not even satire). And thus, ruin an opportunity of making a sensible and relatable Bachchan classic of the present era. May be its personal, but I frankly cannot visualise a satire or comedy, written around the untimely death of The Mother in a family. 
Rating : 2 + 0.5 / 5 (with the additional 0.5 for just Amitabh Bachchan who can still sail out a film ...... and his monologue) 

Tags : GOODBYE review by Bobby Sing at bobbytalkscinema.com, New Hindi Films Reviews by Bobby Sing, New Bollywood Movies Reviews by Bobby Sing, Amitabh Bachchan's new film, Rashmika Mandanna's debut Hindi film
17 Oct 2022 / Comment ( 0 )
Leave A Comment
E-mail (will not be published)
Website (Optional)
Enter shown code