Movie Review

Where is 15 Park Avenue?

It isn’t very often that one trembles with emotion after watching a movie. Switching channels over the weekend, I just chanced to catch a glimpse of the movie 15 Park Avenue on Sony TV. Two minutes into the movie and I could not surf and skip away to another channel. This was a compelling watch (if there is any such term!).

I’m not going to bore you with the story line, as it is already available on this link on Wikipedia. And if you do wish to watch the movie first, it is available on Youtube πŸ™‚

But a word of caution – if you do watch the movie, you must prepare yourself for a bit of confusion when it ends. For, it ends quite abruptly, and leaves plenty to the imagination / interpretation of the viewer.

The movie was extremely disturbing. From various angles.

First, ofcourse there is Meethi, the girl suffering from schizophrenia. Konkana’s performance is absolutely fantastic! You cannot but help feel touched by her innocence and feel awful about her medical condition. It was disturbing to see how engrossed a person can be in his/her ‘own world’. When we see so-called mad people on the road, they too, are probably suffering from something like this. Its terrible even to watch. One feels sorry, sad and angry. The poor patient, starts to believe that the family that cares for her, is infact against her and prohibits her from living what is reality, for her!

The scene where Mithi is raped is gut-wrenching. Unlike Bollywood/Kollywood movies where rape is cinematised, this particular scene is taken very decently, but has immensely disturbs the viewer. One can actually empathise with the trauma of rape. One feels sick (and sad and angry) at the thought of it.

The way she is abandoned again, is so touching. I especially liked the scene, where when Jojo tries to place an arm around Meethi, she first shrinks. Then she tries to nestle into him, but when he taps her shoulder, she notices something. She realises what his true emotions are. That he does not accept her any longer! And she returns to her shell.

Second, seeing the family suffering as much as the patient herself, again disturbs you. Everything, every action, has to revolve around the patient. And all the time. It must be so demanding on the family. A myriad of emotions there.. sadness, frustration, anger, helplessness, care and love!

Third, Meethi’s fiance, Jojo who has ‘settled down’ and has a beautiful family of his own. One can visibly notice his feeling of guilt (of having abandoned Meethi), the strong emotions of his wife (fear, anxiety) and the way he is torn between his conscience and practicality.

And finally, the character of the Mother was very movingly etched. Its hard to imagine the plight of a woman, whose children are suffering from different problems. One is schizophrenic, another has broken relationships and the third just does not care!

Altogether the movie was deeply disturbing. It makes one think, if do nothing else!!

And now, the most important scene of the movie – the finale:

Where, Meethi searches for 15 Park avenue.

Meethi unites with her family, whileΒ the others are left searching for her.

I found various interpretations of the ending of the movie on the internet.

One view was that infact, it was the older sister Anjali who was schizophrenic. This does seem a little plausible, considering that Anu herself had broken relationships and the Doc always seemed to be with her. Though, I thought the Doc had a little more than professional interest in her πŸ˜‰

Another interpretation was that Jojo was schizophrenic ?!! Now I don’t subscribe to this viewΒ because theΒ character seemed to be quite straight-forward.

Now, my interpretation of the ending is:

When Meethi finally sees her home and family atΒ ’15 Park Avenue’ she enters it. But well, all that is illusionary, so in reality, she actually just gets lost. Another name to the list of missing persons!

Anjali keeps looking for her, and keeps asking people for the ‘illusionary address’.

This is what is most striking about the movie.

Though Anu KNOWS it is not real, she believes in her sister’s delusions.

She believes that just as we live in the ‘real world’, the illusionary world of her sister’s is true too.

She believes that ’15 Park avenue’ IS a REAL address and that they will find it, and find Meethi there!!

Now that does not make her schizophrenic. While she is a strong, practical woman, this belief of hers, impractical as it sounds, is REAL to her. Again, while that is her reality, for passers-by, that again, seems to be a delusion.

So what is reality and what is delusion? Its a big big question. An unanswered one in that. Because there is no answer. Each to his own reality. Each to his/her delusions.

To me, the movie only serves to show how much reality is intertwined with what isn’t real. The delusionary Meethi finds her reality. The pratical Anjali actually believes in the delusions.

Now go watch the movie, and add your interpretations πŸ™‚

40 replies on “Where is 15 Park Avenue?”

Oh I hv to go watch this movie esp. with all the home work I hv to do πŸ˜›
I so wanna try and understand all these interpretations and arrive @ mine too πŸ˜‰

LOL @ ‘homework’ πŸ™‚ Ok, watch and come back. But don’t blame me if you feel depressed πŸ™‚

me second here! πŸ˜›

I liked the movie too, but didn’t quite get the ending!!
I guess I need to re-watch it now and try to understand it…

Pix, same pinch πŸ˜‰ I think we need to see it more than once to understand.. or come to our individual conclusion.

I had watched this movie long back. Konkona’s acting was very natural, as usual. Yes, I remember Konkona entering the 15, Park Avenue house and vanishing. Remember feeling sad after watching the movie.

You’re right MM, Konkana’s acting was great. Movies like these, they do leave the viewer sad, don’t they!!

I did hear a lot of good reviews about this movie. Havnt got a chance to catch it up. Somehow, I love movies with such theme and that too with abrupt endings πŸ™‚
I never used to like such open-ended movies earlier, Vimmu. But now I do.

Will come back for sure to comment on the movie, some day, when I finally get an opportunity to watch it and thats a promise ! πŸ˜€
Please do! Will wait for your comment, whenever it does make its way here πŸ™‚

Oh dear God, I love this movie. I have watched it numerous times and I can still empathize with the plights of all the main characters. They have their own problems and their own ways of dealing with it. Who are we to say what is real and what is not ??

I was about to get ready for school and sat here watching the youtube clips and now I’m late 😦 😦

He he, late for school… Meethi’s illusion had an impact on your reality πŸ™‚

well, I just assumed that meethi got into sumone’s home and got lost in her own illusions…

But they didn’t find her in that house, no Dew? Confusing, indeed πŸ™„

from what i remember, konkana (rather her mind) finally decides to settle down at the place of her alternate reality(15 park avenue) and continue staying there. Till that date it was wavering between 2 places i.e. a world with her family and her ideal location…Faced with trauma her mind created a perfect world for her to find recluse, but still had to hang on to the remaining vestiges of the real world (her family) because of the strong emotional bonds…once that bond was broken, it was freedom; that is 15 park avenue

Venu, thats a beautiful interpretation of her ‘ideal world’. Curious to know what you think of her ‘physical’ world then?

Being an Aparna Sen-the director’s fan had watched 15 park avenue 4 years back when it was released …. as far as I remember 15 Park Avenue was Jojo’s address and Mithi was searching it in Kolkata…. also since Mithi always believed her ‘imaginary’ family was in 15 Avenue where she will find peace and her ‘real’ family was stopping her from going there … she united with her ‘family’ at 15 Park avenue …. now Aparna Sen being great perfectionist showed us actually what happens …. schizophrenic people often get lost in their own world… I know it from very close experience….how someone just loses himself/herself …the “mad people” on the street are nothing but someone who is lost into their own world far away from their ‘real’ family…. very painful and scary…..

Its so sad, Dhiman. Thanks for adding your interpretation.

Rahul Bose…ooooooo!!!!

Hee hee hee πŸ™‚ Trust you to come up with that, Supps πŸ˜‰

Wow! the story line sounds very powerful πŸ™‚
Thanks for sharing it here, I’d love to see it sometime. Open ended stories help widen imagination and add lot of innovative ideas, I like that kind of movies πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€

It is, Chatterbox, am sure you will love it!

Now I have to see this movie !!! how come I dont know about this movie staying here in India and you in UK are reviewing this !!!!!!! sigh… my film gyaan… and all sigh… !!!!

Konkana btw is a GEM !!!!

Hitchy – very bad.. you better watch the movie.. and this isn’t even a new release πŸ™‚ Btw, I agree with your views on Konkana πŸ™‚

I had seen the movie and my brain went into coma until I read Don’s version of it…. Sols post brought back life into my brain I say.

It’s a simply awesome masterpiece of a movie.

‘it was the older sister Anjali who was schizophrenic.’-Exactly what I felt when I saw the movie. I was quite moved when I saw it. Although like you said, I felt the ending was a bit abrupt too. Konkana Sen’s one of the best performances I guess. Also liked the chemistry between her and Shabana Azmi

Loved reading your take, Pals πŸ™‚ Thinking of watching it again.

@Deeps: Thanks Deeps… awesome acting, really! And by every one of them.

@ Uma: Youtube at your service, ma’am πŸ˜‰

Beautiful post! I saw the movie long back, but want to watch it again, after reading your post. Well, Meethi chooses to dwell in a world she has created around herself because that is where she feels most safe, most loved and cared for. 15 park avenue exists in reality – in HER reality, in her imagination only. How do you really define reality then? My reality will cease to be a reality the moment 10 people get together and say it is not. What is real in my imagination will be totally imaginary / hallucinatory if society as a whole so deem it to be. Reality is relative. Reality is what the common majority perceive things to be. And hence if someone`s idea of reality is in startling contrast to the majority, it is labelled as delusional! That said, schizophrenia is a medical disorder where one`s cognitive boundaries are lost and one perceives vivid imageries which the ‘normal’ person does not(because of cognitive inhibitions that we have been conditioned to!).
Anyway, before I end up confusing you any further (and myself too), let me stop! :):) I`ll come back again after I`ve seen the movie! :):)

πŸ™‚ And now I think I need to watch the movie again to digest your comment πŸ˜‰

Yet to see the movie pal… Seems quite emotional… Will watch it and then will share my views.. πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

Hmm, now the number is increasing. Will wait and see how many of you actually end up watching the movie πŸ™‚

Okkkk… I stopped reading half way through πŸ˜€ will continue after i watched the movie myself… You made it a must watch πŸ™‚

Thank you LR, and now I hope you do return once you have watched the movie. Btw, did you receive that big cheque yet? When/where’s the party??

“if you do watch the movie, you must prepare yourself for a bit of confusion when it ends.”

Its not small confusion,but BIG confusion..

Its been years since i watched it,still i wonder show was really sick,Shabana or Konkana ???

Honestly,i am not able to put forward my own interpretation..Maybe Konkana itself was ill..

one of the movies I watched alone..I usually do that..I watch certain movies alone..and this movie is one of my favourites..

I have heard a few interpretation of the movie climax..mine is:

whose world is more real? the world that we live in is real or her world is real? isn’t it all on our beliefs? no, the end was not abrupt at all..if you believe in something very strongly, it will come true for you πŸ™‚

Just saw this movie. very disturbing. I think the character of Meethi does not exist but the entire movie is a figment of Anjali’s imagination. the doctor’s convo about the vase was the give away. I think that Meethi committed suicide after Jojo left her (Shabana mentions that she had tried to commit suicide before) and that it is Anjali who is suffering from delusions. Her delusions of a schizo Meethi and her alternate reality are based on guilt over the suicide of her sister and her overbearing influence in her sister’s life decisions, her refusal to go with her to Bihar, etc, ect. This is why the doctor appears only with her and not Meethi the patient. The doctor’s prescence only with her is the indicator to me that her entire reality is a delusion. She feels so guilty of her sister’s suicide that she has created this illusion of a helpless kid sister who cannot be anyone else’s responsibility but hers.

I too think that Anjali was the patient all along. The entire “therapy” session was for Anjali and not Meethi. If you notice, ONLY Anjali (and Meethi) see and talk to Rahul Bose and not Kunal or Sanjeev(Two characters who are OUR anchors to the what’s real in the movie). The mother and the maid are passive observers.
1. She drives Meethi alone to find 15 park avenue. She is the ONLY one who knows and talks about Meethi’s hallucinations and fixation on 15 park avenue.
2. Sanjeev asks her to move to USA. In reality, the mother is the only dependent If Anjali was a caregiver to a real patient, he would’nt be so sure of that option.
3. They manage to take her away to some himalayan resort away from calcutta but she finds a reason to go back to 15 park avenue by bringing in Meethi’s “ex-boyfriend”.
4. In one scene a little boy comes out from under the car and says he is looking for his lost cat and her reaction is “Oh!”
5. The doctor is always trying to address Anjali’s “guilt” and not Meethi’s real issues. He seems to be more interested in how Anjali views the problem. Anjali imagines the romantic angle. and the “reason ” for Sanjeev’s departure,
6. The events that happen to Meethi are sort of unbelievable and inconsistent.

Maybe in the past, Meethi commits suicide or is commited to a mental hospital by the dad when she turns suicidal. OR maybe Meethi dies during the journalistic adventure 11 years back and there indeed was a hearbroken boyfriend who moves on settles down in 15 park avenue NY.
Anjali is so wrought with guilt by these events that she wants to keep the “problem” alive, bring back the boyfriend of 11 years in her mind and play the strong caregiver.

The therapy starts when they stage Meethi’s second suicide and take Anjali to the hospital.

In the end, Meethi disappears into an illusory world and Anjali is slowly moved away from the infamous address. Rahul Bose and the rest walk away. Kunal and Anjali are the only ones left.
seems like a symbolic end of Anjali’s therapy.
Just my 2 cents.

I don’t agree that Anu is delusional, everyone in the family and close friends knew there was a meethi who suffers from schiz. The story was clear on who the patient was. E.g. We all saw the hesitancy of everyone including their mum to let meethi carry a baby, it was only Anu who asked that the baby be given her as this would be good for her. Again, we see actual children who tease her about the names of her 5 children. The part where we see the doctor asking Anu about the details of meethi’s case was done in the presence of her brother who lent his voice to his being among those who didn’t support meethi’s coming home. If all that face time with the doctor was because Anu was the delusional one, the the brother too was delusional. This of course is not so. My point is, clearly meethi is the sick one, no one else. Now to the ending, here’s my take: a fiercely protective sister who literally gave up her life for her sick meethi is completely at her wits end even in a state of panic when she can’t find her sis. The only info she has as to her whereabouts is the address 15park avenue. Any panicking,loving and sane sister would still have reacted by asking for that address. Believe it or not, when our options are few, desperation is clutching at us and fear is high, we would take anyone’s word for something. In her moment of frenzy, Anu believed her sister’s illusion, perhaps not consciously done for such a strong mind but the question for every viewer is, where would you start searching if not to first put it out that the missing person was on her way to a certain 15park avenue, real or imagined.

In addition to my first comment, The movie is a brilliant one and the director and actors did a wonderful job. Konkona was at her best. She is a splendid actress. Very natural as usual. One more word on that ending, really we must remember that there is artistic license and the makers of the movie have the right to employ it. What else can the writer say in a movie dancing back and forth from meethi’s reality than to give her (because she suffered throughout the movie and needs a bit of joy herself) and the viewers something beautiful to remember her by. Despite all we will always remember the meethi that reunited with the family of her dreams. We know they really don’t exist but we are happy for meethi. Now does that make us all delusional?

I think I made a biggest mistake by watching this movie. The ending is super frustrating. Everybody is just assuming about the ending. I think the writer should be more clear about how they should project the ending because it’s making everybody confused about it. I really want to know about the correct ending but reading all the reviews it is making me even more confused.

Well I feel meethi had died some time back.. And the doc and rahul Bose enact the disappearing of meethi so that anjali accepts her sister went missing and is no more. So that she comes out of her delusion .

I watch this movie yesterday n I got confused with the ending so I check movie review what happen actual n now I am with conclusion that shabana azmi (anu) was suffering from mental disorder . she was divorced n even she was 18 yrs elder to her sister konkana (meethi) as shabana (anu) was not having her own child she treats her sister as her own daughter bcoz in movie one dialogue is given when anu was having conversations with doctor “meethi n I have 18 yrs age difference which was like mother n daughter” n as she was physics professor or due to mental disturbances she (anu) thinks her sister (mithi) lives in imagination world but it was (anu) who was actually lives in imagination world. Second conversation with jojo when he came to meet mithi parents to talk about their relation even there (anu) said that due to mental disturbances problem mithi cannot handle her married life n was against of mithi marriage but its was anu who cannot handle its married life so that’s y she was divorce.
As per my view may b mithi shares all her talks with her sister anu about what jojo n meethi talk in private that they will live in 15 park avenue , they will have 5 children this n that will b their names so she (anu) thinks n made imagination that her sister (mithi) is mad thinking herself as 5 children mother got married to jojo but in actual anu made imagination that mithi is thinking all these thoughts after her (mithi) rape n broken relationship incident but mithi was not alive to think all these thoughts.
My view is Anu’s sister mithi was died very earlier may b bcoz rape incident n brokerage of relationship she gone mad n attempt suicide many times but anu kept her alive in her mind thats y u will everywhere anu n doctor is having conversation not mithi n doctor.
N there is sanjay in movie he was also imagination may he was anu’s husband or anu was in relationship with this man earlier bcoz when she was in treatment meeting doctor she was actually getting proper n 1 by 1 her (anu) imagination character is moving away as it’s shown in movie that sanjay went no more to see him in future n even mithi lost by getting her dream house 15 park avenue somewhere standing there its self anu not able to see mithi anywhere n think she (mithi) is lost but in actual anu was overcoming from her imagination problem that y she is not able to see her imagination people.
But one scene made me still confuse where mithi n jojo is talking that mithi got scare to see one man who sees her n even call her sometime when jojo is not near by to mithi but jojo saw no one there this made me to think that even mithi was mental disorder person or what ?or may b full family was mad hahaha.
I will suggest that this movie is not picturise properly n even end is incomplete who is mad?,who is not mad?u will not come to know but after watching this movie its we who will b mad of thinking about end of this movie . hahaha so b prepare before watching this movie

Watched the movie just yesterday
Arrghhh… I’ve gone delusional…so much so that I ended up searching the meaning of its end on Google!! I would say the movie is a fine piece if art…just the ending spoilt it. My point is, you’ve put in so much energy, so much of ur spirit in making a movie, why to end it so abruptly that then nothing makes sense. It makes mockery of our intellectual powers.
Unable to interpret in any way. Feel that Meethi was schizophrenic, Anu was not. And that the writer wants us to believe that Meethi is now finally happy after losing herself in her delusional world. We all live in our delusions…just that we are yet to be tagged schizophrenics.

So, what do you think?

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