It’s All About Self-Love And Acceptance In Naseeruddin Shah & Rasika Dugal Short Film The Broken Table

A wonderful, nuanced short film, The Broken Table by Large Short Films delves into the complexity of Alzheimers and of relationships.

Were you ever taught to love yourself for who you are? Directed by Chintan Sarda, the short film The Broken Table (2023) (streaming on YouTube) raises this question in a profound manner. The film is a paean to positivity and enforces the idea that no matter what you are, you are always enough.

A sneak peek into The Broken Table

The story unfolds on an evening when Deepti (Rasika Dugal) comes to take care of Giri (Naseeruddin Shah), a man who is suffering from Alzheimer’s. She is an aspiring psychologist, and it is an opportunity for her to learn about the illness.

Giri, who was a lawyer, has forgotten that he has retired, and he tries several times to go to work. However, he has intermittent memories and reminisces about the lovely times he had with his wife. He cherishes her and is therefore offended when Deepti speaks of her as being dead.

Deepti has her own problems to handle. She battles with her emotions and insecurities, totally perplexed, being unable to tell her husband that she cannot conceive. Not being able to get pregnant, she considers that as a weakness that she blames herself for.

In a short span of time, Deepti develops a friendship with Giri and is at ease to confide in him. She attains some level of comfort in talking to him about her husband as someone who “can be short-tempered and controlling but not abusive.”

They share facts about their spouses with each other. It is just one evening that Deepti spends with Giri, but he teaches her beautiful life lessons, all centering around a truth he refers to as Rule Number 1.

So will it be the beginning of a new dawn when Deepti breathes the fresh air around her and feels liberated and complete?

Watch this film to find out. Also be prepared to be greeted by a surprise at the end that could possibly blow you out of your wits!

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A wonderfully written film with mesmerizing performances

The Broken Table is beautifully scripted, and the flawless performances by the two lead actors lend gravity to the themes that flow in parallel. It is an established fact that a powerful, versatile actor like Naseeruddin Shah will never cease to amaze with any role that he takes upon his shoulders.

The few times that I have watched Rasika Dugal on films and web series, she has always impressed me with her sharp skills, and she manages to do so here too. I would especially like to give a shout-out to her facial expressions that always strike the right note.

Life’s realities are embedded in fine layers

Our lives are fraught with difficulties, and we can triumph only when we discover our strength in our vulnerabilities. The story of Deepti echoes that thought.

With great poignancy, the film showcases the agony of an Alzheimer’s patient. Giri is confused and irritated by fragments of a forgotten past which meld together with the present. That is the reality that needs to be accepted, no matter how heart-breaking the condition is.

An apt title adorns the film. Without divulging any spoilers, I’d say that there is a story behind the broken table that doubles as a brilliant metaphor. The underlying idea that surfaces is that the best can be made out of a seemingly hopeless situation.

The film throws light on those sensitive truths which define the lives of the characters. What emerges is the understanding that every person is imperfectly perfect, and that is nothing else but the beauty of being human.

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About the Author

Rashmi Bora Das

Rashmi Bora Das is a freelance writer settled in the suburbs of Atlanta. She has a master’s degree in English from India, and a second master’s in Public Administration from the University of read more...

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