'Life Goes On' is a decently executed realistic film which touches your heart and definitely strikes a chord with the masses deep down somewhere.
Set in London, 'Life Goes On' is a story about an affluent, highly-educated and culturally opulent Probaashi Bangali (Bengalies residing outside Bengal) family comprised of Dr. Sanjay Banerjee (Girish Karnad), his wife Manju (Sharmila Tagore) and their three daughters- Lolita (Mukulika Banerjee), Tuli (Neerja Naik), and Dia(Soha Ali Khan). One fine day, Manju passes away and that spasmodically judders the lives of her husband and her three daughters. Her sudden death leaves her family flummoxed with grief in the beginning, but gradually brings them closer unveiling there true selves behind their false facades.
'Life Goes On' is a beautifully penned down story about memories, nostalgia, the feeling of emptiness, bonding and realizations and also explores several different worlds living in a one larger matrix. The film also showcases different conflicts of values, conflicts about sexual orientation, about pregnancy before marriage, about a Hindu girls relationship with a Bangladeshi Muslim boy and the memories of Partition that is still alive in people's hearts and minds in the form of life-long hatred against particular communities. One scene which I feel is worth mentioning here is the one where the three sisters watch their mother sing a beautiful Tagore song first in Bengali and then in Hindi on their laptop which makes them laugh and cry both at the same time. It is an utterly realistic scene and will definitely touch directly the bottom of your heart with a thud.
All the actors, especially Om Puri who plays the role of a close family friend to the Banerjees', have delivered inimitably realistic performances without looking ostentatious even for a moment. Sangeeta Datta has played a decent raconteur but at the same time has gone a little too overboard in adding a plethora of elements right from Shakespeare to Ritwik Ghatak to Satyajit Ray making a hotch-potch.
But overall, 'Life Goes On' is a beautiful emotional drama laced with some lilting music by Soumik Datta which includes songs of Tagore, Bangla folk, Rap etc. Hip-Hop. The cinematographer of the film has done a tremendous job and the amazingly rich visuals and some highly stylized shots makes this film a treat to the eyes. However, the film lacks the dose of entertainment which the audience of today generally look out for and hence, will be a cherish-able watch only for a particular chunk of mass.
GO FOR IT: 1) If you are hardcore bong. 2) If you like rich realistic cinema. 3) If you want to cherish some really brilliant visuals accompanied by great music.
IGNORE IT: 1) If you are looking for entertainment. 2) If the idea of watching a realistic emotional drama turns you off. 3) If you do not want to watch a film that activates you tear ducts.