My Brother Nikhil: Movie Review

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Because everyone else in the company is terrified, his supervisor fires him for being HIV-positive. 

What options does Nikhil have? He smiles faintly and sarcastically asks whether he isn’t the one who should be worried. Because he is HIV-positive, he is susceptible to infection from any member of staff.

This is only one of many indignities he has to endure due to contracting a taboo condition.

My Brother Nikhil, director Onir’s first film, depicts the anguish of a talented young swimmer whose future and reputation are ripped away when he is diagnosed with HIV. It also demonstrates the societal stigma and significant misgivings that both the uneducated and the knowledgeable have about AIDS.

Set in Goa, the film follows Nikhil (Sanjay Suri) from 1987 to 1994, during a time when AIDS awareness was at an all-time low. Nikhil’s father (Victor Banerjee), mother (Lilette Dubey), buddy (Purab Kohli), lover (Dipannita Sharma), lawyer (Shweta Kawaatra), and sister (Juhi Chawla) tell the tale to the audience through their perspectives and world views. Before HIV, life is as beautiful as the scenery from Nikhil’s ocean-facing villa. However, the ramifications of this unforeseen turn of events will alter his life for the rest of his life.

His dad used to train him to be a champion. But, on the other hand, Nikhil made his dad’s wish come true by clinching the state swimming title. But, at a time when Nikhil most needs him, he rejects his kid.

His mom used to never grow tired of spoiling him. But, like her spouse, she fails to support her ‘little kid’ when he is in urgent need. Leena, his girlfriend, isn’t any different. The parents’ contempt for Nikhil is nearly unbelievable. It leads to regrets and disgrace in the end, but not without justification.

Anamika, his sister, fights unwaveringly for her brother’s cause alongside his pals Nigel and Sam (Gautam Kapoor) and the lawyer Anjali. And he triumphs in the end. But this isn’t the end. Nikhil’s mom and dad have yet to accept him, and he has yet to be embraced by society. Is he aware of this?

Onir makes a strong debut with My Brother Nikhil.  Though it starts on a banal note, it grows into a decent film that seeks to enlighten without becoming overbearing, whether it be about a person’s fundamental right to freedom or the difference between HIV+ and full-blown AIDS. Without a single explicit scene, it maturely treats the topic of homosexuality. 

My brother Nikhil is far more intimate and addresses the victim’s anxieties and frustrations, comparable to Revathy’s Phir Milenge, which addressed an AIDS patient suing her employer for sacking her. Only poignant performances can succeed with such an emotional topic.  And the cast does not disappoint you in the least.

Victor Banerjee and Lilette Dubey have a lot of acting experience. They express the contrasting nature of their characters with ease, thanks to their fantastic stage presence and passion.  Purab Kohli is appropriately sensitive in his role as Nikhil’s friend and more. Juhi Chawla’s character is surrounded by an atmosphere of benevolence. The script makes use of it to the film’s benefit. 

The actress portrays Nikhil’s loving older sister with unconditional kindness and strength of character.

But it’s Sanjay Suri, who plays the lead, who steals the show. His metamorphosis from a vivacious adolescent to an ashamed HIV patient looking for validation and the fundamental human right to coexist is astounding. In commercial potboilers, the gentle actor is frequently overlooked or forgotten.

Here, on the other hand, he makes his presence felt.

My brother Nikhil isn’t the most amusing of characters. As a result, there’s no need to worry about entertainment or the value of popcorn. It’s a moving event that both terrifies and moves you.

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