I was watching a beautiful and sensitive movie this afternoon; directed by “Onir”- My Brother Nikhil was released in 2005. MBN is story of a young energetic boy-Nikhil and his struggle for life after he diagnosed as a HIV positive. The time period of the story is shown as 1986-1992; when awareness of HIV/Aids was considerably low in most part of India; even people were not suppose to talk about it in open. When I am seeing this movie in 2014; many scenes of the film doesn’t go with the current social milieu. Thanks to all the awareness spread by some meaningful NGO’s, Internet and Media and to some extent by our Government.
Movie is in the form of narration where Anamika, elder sister of Nikhil is narrating her brother’s story to the viewers along with people associated with Nikhil’s life. Movie goes in flashback when Nikhil was a young boy and getting trained by his father for the state swimming championship; the role of his father is portrayed by Victor Banerjee and he has done full justice to the role of a typical Indian patriarch father who wants to live his dreams through his son. Movie gradually moves forward as Nikhil becomes the state swimming champion; his parents were looking for a suitable bride for him but suddenly story takes an unexpected turn when Nikhil get informed by his sports club doctor that his HIV report is positive. His life was changed and now starts the real movie showcasing the turbulence and uphill struggle in Nikhil’s life- how he deals with the suffering, trauma and loneliness of being a HIV positive patient in early nineties of India. How his sister- Anamika, played by Juhi Chawala struggles for him in rest of his journey braving social stigma, societal and family hate towards the victim more than the disease. Especially that was the time, when being a HIV positive patient means a big social crime and a permanent stamp of certified pervert. Juhi essayed the role of Anamika quite beautifully and convincingly; as a loving sister and strong lady fighting a battle for her younger brother- she is an absolute delight to watch.
Another important character is Nigel, (boy) friend of Nikhil; who stands with him throughout the story. Purab Kohli had played the role of Nigel with great maturity; the conversations between Nikhil and Nigel are short but strong enough to reflect the bond between them. The music of this Movie was great and captivating; songs were sung by Shaan, KK and Lucky Ali; all are genuine and gifted singers.
And lastly I would like to mention the two heroes of the film- Sanjay as Nikhil is great to watch because of his acting abilities; he was successful in showing the anger, frustration and disappointment of a HIV positive patient. Onir is another hero, who is behind the curtain but life of the film as we can feel the brilliance of the director in each scene, conversation and editing task.
The director has included an angle of homosexuality in this movie quite aesthetically and he has conveyed fruitfully the humane aspect of this truth of our society- our people. When their existence is unreasonably denied in our social structure- these films are the medium to pass the message that companionship is a very beautiful and strong creation of Almighty and it is free from any gender, age and social bondages. A nice movie to watch.