Reel Caregiving: Glimpses of Caregiving – October

Movie Review Courtesy: Akshay Nalawade

October is contemporary cinema focusing on two main characters: Dan and Shiuli. Both are management trainees in a hotel. Shiuli accidentally falls from her hotel gallery suffering major injuries to the skull and spine. While doctors fear that the damage is irreversible, Shiulis’s battle to survive begins.

The movie ‘October’ portrays two caregivers and their emotional states. In this review, we will explore the impact of caregiving on the mother, Vidya, and the patient’s dedicated friend, Dan.

Understanding Vidya

Vidya, a single parent is the only earning member of the family. When her daughter is hospitalized she is forced to juggle between her work and her caregiving responsibilities. Apart from tending to her daughter at the hospital, Vidya also has the responsibility of her other two children, and not to forget mounting bills at the hospital.

This makes a relative suggest removing the life support system to end the misery. As a mother Vidya tries hard to maintain the balance between all her responsibilities. She wants to give Shiuli her chance to fight and recover. Despite the negativity from the relative, Vidya holds on to her daughter. She sees her daughter as a fighter. The emotional struggle of the mother is seen when she calls out to her daughter to get a response.

While Shiuli, who is in deep coma shows no positive signs of recovery, Vidya is seen breaking down, struggling with the finances, and postponing hospital payments.

It is only when Shiuli responds to external stimuli and the doctors say that she has gained her consciousness Vidya feels relieved.

In the end, Shiuli dies of a seizure.  Eventually Vidya decides to move back to her home town and move on with her life.

Understanding Dan

Dan is a typical teenager, carefree, grumpy, frustrated with what is happening around, and with him. When he hears of his friend Shiuli’s condition he starts visiting her at the hospital every day hoping for her to recover. He spends so much time at the hospital that it starts to affect his job and his relationship with his friends who try to cover his shifts at work and help him financially. Dan tries to maintain his routine but his sleep and social wellbeing are affected.

After a scuffle at the hotel, Dan is terminated and dedicates his entire time caring for Shiuli. This incident changes Dan as a person. He becomes more caring and soft. He becomes a great support to Vidya too.

Seeing Dan’s career and personal life taking a toll, Vidya sends Dan away telling him to take care of himself. Dan joins another hotel as a manager but is unable to take his mind off Shiuli. Soon he learns that her health is deteriorating and leaves to visit her.

After Shiuli’s demise, Dan is heartbroken and comforts her despaired family. He later completes his education and works as a sous chef.

October is available to watch on Amazon Prime Video.

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

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