Arif Zakaria, Niharika Singh, Rajit Kapur, Plabita Borthakur, Abuli Mamaji
Will Finds Way Films
Nikhil Pherwani & Abhishek Pherwani
Directed by Nikhil Pherwani, Ahaan is a reminder that we complicate things a lot. We often forget about the smaller pleasures we take for granted. And that's the beauty of it at the core of it all.
Ahaan, a 25-year young man with Down Syndrome is endearing & free spirited who desires to lead a normal life; one that is financially independent and beyond the shadow of his parents. Ozzy, a self-indulgent man in his mid 40’s, suffers from OCD. His high-handedness and unwillingness to have a child, estranges him from his wife. Ozzy makes desperate attempts to win her back by slyly using Ahaan's help, and in the process develops a bond with him. Ahaan unknowingly brings out a more humane side of Ozzy, thus saving his marriage. Ozzy then takes upon him, the challenge to fulfill Ahaan’s dream; thus opening up a path to an independent life.
Let me start off by saying that this film does justice to portraying Down Syndrome in a just manner. Casting Abuli Mamaji to play Ahaan was the best thing about the film - because the life he brings to the film could have been brought by no other actor taking on "acting" like he or she has Down Syndrome. We have seen a meteoric rise in audiences wanted to ensure that accurate representations and portrayals are made in the entertainment industry, and while it is no small feat making a film like this, it is right for the filmmakers to do what they did - cast Abuli. He brings a smile to my face every time.
In terms of acting prowess, I'll give it to Arif Zakaria for doing justice to his character and portraying his part with conviction. His friendship with Ahaan is beautifully put, but I hoped more could have been fleshed out with his relationship and how it gets better. His OCD diagnosis was one that seemed to have been rushed through, and his steps towards treatment did not get the screen time it deserved. The screenplay could have been a bit longer, in fact, and the relationship between Ahaan and his parents could have been fleshed out more too. Plabita added a nice touch, but again, I wished I had gotten to know her better too.
Regardless, the effort in this film shows, and finally, we are seeing cinema with accurate representation. A huge thank you to the team for putting this film out there. As for Ahaan, thank you for making me re-think my answer to what I want to be in ten years.