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By Abhishek Sharma | October 26, 2023

Anamika’s bond with her neighborhood delves deeper into her psyche and mental state. While the story predominantly concerns conversations between a mother and a daughter, the supporting cast adds depth to Anamika’s personality and behavioral traits. Instead of coming forth as a vengeful woman, these small encounters help viewers view her as a conflicted and scarred human being. In these same conversations, we witness a one-sided societal point of view of Anamika’s situation – judgment and accusations for abandoning her mother.

Throughout Goldfish, Kalki excellently portrays her part’s individualistic approach to life and peculiar battle with time, memories, and animosity. Naval delivers a poignant performance that becomes a central spike in the overall impact. Suffering from dementia, Sadhana struggles to put together pieces of her memories, unable to even recollect her troubled past with Anamika, which adds to the latter’s apathy. Yet Naval’s portrayal is more of a vaguely regretful mother and not a remorseless one. There are references to her declining capacity to comprehend words and their meanings, which corresponds to the slowly erasing quarrel between her and her child. Sadhana slaps herself as she’s forgetting the essential events that define her life. This scene is evidence of Naval’s phenomenal understanding of the role and her character’s condition.

Led by two dedicated and captivating performances…”

In Sadhana and Anamika, you witness two distinct personalities. One holds onto the past while the other sways away from it. But even in their clash, there is a subtle hint at a long-forgotten happiness they shared, as the movie cleverly places their anger against their innocence. With every insult Anamika and Sadhana hurl at each other, their expressions relay more grief and helplessness than a grudge. They both sit for a daily tea, and what follows are moments of short-lived happiness between her and Sadhana, implying that their bond has a more optimistic foundation.

Goldfish is a mature character study of two grown-ups who ultimately wish to talk things to a rational conclusion for final closure. Even when they fail to hide their emotions, and past pain is glimpsed, there’s never an over-the-top outburst. Kripalani keeps everything grounded, and the screenplay wisely teases out its information. Led by two dedicated and captivating performances, the drama successfully traverses the themes of grief, trauma, love, and hate.

Goldfish (2023)

Directed: Pushan Kripalani

Written: Pushan Kripalani, Arghya Lahiri

Starring: Kalki Koechlin, Deepti Naval, Rajit Kapoor, Shanaya Rafaat, Bharti Patel, etc.

Movie score: 8/10

Goldfish Image

"…a mature character study..."

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