Apna AsmaanCast: Irrfan Khan, Shobana, Anupam Kher, Rajat Kapoor, Dhruv Piyush Panjnani, Utkarsha Naik, Nassar Abdulla, Barkha Singh; Director: Kaushik Roy; Rating: ***

Watching Apna Asmaan came as a refreshing break from the usual big budget extravaganzas churned out every week

The film opens with an urban, middle class couple struggling to come to terms with their autistic child (Dhruv Panjuani). Hailing from a family of scholars, the mother (Shobana) is almost embarrassed about her son’s limited intellect and tries every possible remedy to make her son normal (read studious). The father (Irrfan Khan) is burdened with the guilt of dropping his son as an infant. It is however suggested in the plot that the accident has no link to the boy’s autism.

Although the boy is a talented artist his parents fail to recognise his skill and keep giving importance to studies. One evening, Irrfan meets Dr Sathya (Anupam Kher) who claims to have a medicine called ‘brain booster’ which can turn any human into a super brain. The side effect – amnesia; the patient will lose all contact with his past. Willing to risk their son’s life, the parents inject the boy with the brain booster. As promised he transforms into a genius, performing the most complicated mathematical calculations with ease. So much so that the boy becomes a celebrity. He however refuses to acknowledge his parents and turns into a person devoid of any emotion… almost a robot.

This forces the parents to rethink their decision, as they start missing their mentally challenged but loving son.

Irrfan Khan once again comes up with a brilliant performance. With his trademark witty one-liners, he is a ‘natural’ throughout the film. The music though situational, flows well with the film’s storyline. The film has a message for those over-ambitious parents who don’t appreciate their children for what they are.

The entire Anupam Kher track about the brain booster seems a little far-fetched. A more believable therapy would have worked better. Also in the second half, the boy’s transformation into a selfish wizard who develops criminal tendencies is a trifle hard to digest. A tighter editing would have also helped as the director adds too many unnecessary scenes in the name of symbolism.

All Irrfan Khan fans should just go for it. As for the film, it works but only in parts.

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