Mumbai, 12 May 2019 9:00 IST
The short film by Swati Semwal draws focus on the darker, hidden aftermath of childbirth.
Actress and filmmaker Swati Semwal’s latest short film, which is out this Mother’s Day weekend, highlights a pertinent and quite common mental health issue in new mothers — postpartum depression.
The 15-minute film focuses on a young couple, Sid (Karan Wahi) and Jenny (Pooja Gor), who are awaiting the birth of their first child. Even before she gives birth, Jenny is unsettled. She has a continuing dream in which she feels trapped.
Once the baby, a girl, arrives, it seems like all the joy is snapped out of Jenny’s life. She moves about in a daze and can’t calm down her constantly crying daughter. Thankfully, her husband notices her distress and helps her to overcome her anxiety and feelings.
According to the statistics presented at the end of the film, postpartum depression affects around 50% to 75% of women around the world, 40% to 60% of women in India.
The short film, written and directed by Semwal, puts this unspoken, scary new situation for first-time mothers into focus. Gor is convincing in her portrayal of a depressed young mother. Wahi is decent, though soft-spoken, as the supportive husband, although the logistics of the story bother me a bit.
Though it is a short, it would have been nice to see Jenny speak to someone else besides her husband about her issues. A mental health professional or another family member would have also worked.
Furthermore, for a young couple who have careers in music, how are they affording this large home and supporting themselves? These are just thoughts that nagged me during the viewing.
Overall, the short film is a timely snapshot of the world of modern mums, who don’t have to bear the burden of motherhood by themselves. I’m sure there might be many women who might see a little bit of themselves in Jenny.
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