Reel Caregiving: Glimpses of Caregiving – Guzaarish

Movie Review Courtesy: Mansi Pase

Guzaarish is a movie about Ethan Mascarenhas, a former magician, who has been a quadriplegic since a performance went wrong 14 years ago. For the past 12 years, Ethan’s health has been relatively stable, largely due to the relentless dedication of his caretaker, Mrs. Sofia D’Souza. The movie explores the concept of euthanasia and revolves around the conflict and outrage that Ethan faces due to his appeal for mercy killing. The movie beautifully captures the emotions around euthanasia and the diverse views on it. In this review, we will explore the effects of caregiving on Sofia.

Sofia has been Ethan’s caretaker for the past 12 years, the movie highlights how she has been so engrossed in the caretaking responsibilities that her life revolves around Ethan. In the process of caretaking, Sofia’s social and psychological well being gets affected. She hasn’t enjoyed her own life, been out on a holiday or for dinner with the family for the past 12 years. We can also see how Sofia experiences guilt even at the thought of taking out some free time for herself.

We understand how their lives have been entangled with each other and the borders have been blurred when Ethan files a petition in court for euthanasia and Sophia is outraged at just the thought of it because she has played such an important part in his life. However, she suppresses all her emotions and continues with caregiving duties, this gives us a glimpse into how she puts caretaking above everything else, even her psychological well-being.

In the end, they beautifully portray how everyone around Ethan including Sofia understands his suffering and wishes the best for him. It also subtly points out that the patient’s life and caretaker’s life, no matter how entangled, are 2 different lives at the end; and that it is important for the caretaker to take a day off and care for themselves.

This movie is available to watch on Netflix.

In our next segment on Reel Caregiving, we will explore caregiving in another movie. Watch this space!

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