Sky is Pink director Shonali Bose says death of her son, end of marriage drew her to the story
Director Shonali Bose has said that she was drawn to make The Sky is Pink because she herself had dealt with the disintegration of her marriage, after she lost her child. The film is about a young woman who is diagnosed with a terminal illness, and it affects her parents’ relationship.
Speaking to Variety at the ongoing Toronto International Film Festival, where the film premiered, Shonali said that Ayesha Chaudhary, the girl upon whom the story is based, watched the trailer of her previous film, Margarita with a Straw 30 times in one month. She told her parents, “I hope I live to see this film.” Starring Kalki Koechlin, Margarita with a Straw tells the story of a teenager with cerebral palsy. Ayesh died two weeks later, ‘having not seen the film’.
Shonali said that Ayesha’s parents watched it when it released in theatres four months later, “and at the end of the film, they saw that it was dedicated to (Shonali’s) son, Ishaan.” Shonali said it took Ayesha’s parents six months to track her down - she was living in Los Angeles at the time - and when they met, Ayesha’s mother burst out by saying “I’ve lost my child and I want only one filmmaker in the world to tell her story” and that it was Ayesha’s dying wish to see Margarita with a Straw.
The filmmaker added, “For me as a filmmaker I was drawn to it for precisely that reason. I wanted to delve into that subject matter. I myself was very comfortable with my son’s death; at peace with it. I wanted to explore the couple’s relationship. I wanted to explore what happens to a love story, to a marriage, when faced with the loss of a child. My own marriage ended when I lost my son. 80% of people’s marriages end when they lose a child.”
Shonali said that she was fascinated by the fact that Ayesha’s parents ‘made it’. They fell in love when they were 16, ‘and here they were at 53, having lost their child, and they were still together.’
The Sky is Pink features Farhan Akhtar and Priyanka Chopra as the parents of the terminally ill child, played by Zaira Wasim. The film is slated for release on October 19.
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