As human beings, we have many privileges, and living a good life is one of them. Sadly we take it for granted, yes, we get into the rut of winning the race of life and leave behind the beautiful moments it brings to us. But have you ever wondered what if life would just be a limited-period offer? What would you do if you knew that you only had a few weeks in hand to live? Well not everyone is as positive and high on life as Venkatesh Prasad, who lived his life larger than it could be. Right from the trailer of Salaam Venky, I agreed that zindagi lambi nahi badi honi chahiye, and seeing Vishal Jethwa live that actual sentiment in the film was just so beautiful. Every moment of the story was emotionally moving, and seeing Kajol as his mother Sujata Krishnan fighting all odds to fulfill her son’s last wish pierced right through my heart.

Salaam Venky is a 2 hours 16 minutes film directed by Revathy and produced by Suuraj Singh, Shraddha Agrawal, and Varsha Kukreja. The supporting cast includes Aahana Kumra, Rajeev Khandelwal, and Rahul Bose, while Aamir Khan has an extended cameo in the story. The film is a simple story about a boy and his mother, who only fought with the State (judiciary) for a basic human right. The right to die with dignity, and the right to opt for euthanasia. Trust me the subject will surely leave your mind in conflict about if what Venky is asking for is right or not, but along with that tears will trickle down your face as the clock is ticking for this extraordinary boy.

Things I liked about Salaam Venky…

1. Vishal Jethwa as Venky (Venkatesh Prasad)

Essaying a role that has been drawn from a real-life person gets very tricky, but Vishal made me believe that he has mastered his craft very well. He played this character so brilliantly that you too would wish to have met Venky at least once in life. From taking his pain with a pinch of salt to laughing through all that he suffered, Vishal as Venky carried a great spirit throughout the film. Not only did he prepare himself, but even everyone around him for letting him go soon. What I loved about Vishal the most was he expressed every emotion on screen in the right amount, and as a viewer, I could relate to what he was feeling or thinking.

2. Kajol as Sujata Krishnan

As a parent, it was so emotional and painful for me to see Vishal go through so much, I can only imagine what it would have been for Kajol. But the craftswoman that she is, is what showed me how Kajol aced it. Even though I felt her craft was underutilized, the grace and poise, the string-headedness that she carried only connects. In fact, with every emotion that Kajol’s character goes through you will feel it too. As a mother who was constantly preparing herself to let her beloved son succumb to his illness, to those last moments when it was still hard for her to let him go, amidst all this, she managed to fight with the world for her child who wanted to go in dignity. All of this did pinch my heart but it also left me in admiration for Kajol’s performance.

3. Revathy’s direction

After watching the entire film, and feeling all the emotions that this family went through I was in awe of how beautifully the story was told. Obviously, encompassing 24 years of somebody’s life in just two hours is a herculean task, but being true to the essence of it was what Revathy did right. She brought to us those moments of his life that were the most precious, and a glimpse of those that told us the life he led. In all of it the emotions were intact, not for a moment would the heaviness of your heart go while the film is on. I can say, that Revathy has held this story in her hands and walked with it very carefully, the love, passion, and dedication with which Salaam Venky is made can be seen.

Things that could have been better…

1. The drama element

As I said it is a sweet story, a little flaw that I felt it had was with the writing. I felt there were a lot of overdramatic moments that could have been subtle, a few sequences seemed unnecessarily dragged. The screenplay had a scope of being crisper.

Still, I would say the story was a hero because of the person it was about and you really need to see Venky’s world through his eyes only to know him. So do watch this film, because it will make you look at life very differently.

MM Verdict: 4 stars out of 5