Reel Caregiving: Glimpses of Caregiving – Sadma

Movie Review Courtesy: Mansi Pase

Sadma is a movie about a carefree, fun-loving girl- Nehalata Malhotra who suffers from amnesia and is regressed to her childhood self as a result of an accident. She is kidnapped and sold off to a brothel where Somu meets her and understands her condition. He rescues her from the brothel and brings her to his hometown to take care of her. Somu is a school teacher and lives alone. He takes care of Nehalata and provides her with everything she needs. Eventually, Nehalata recovers and in the process loses memory of everything that has happened after the accident. She fails to recognize Somu and he is left heartbroken.

Impact of Caregiving on Somu’s Psychological well-being:

Somu barely has any other social support, the only person that shares his caregiving responsibility while he goes off to work is his old neighbour. Though initially, he handles the caregiving responsibilities well, eventually there are subtle signs of burnout and fatigue.

We also get to see how his life starts to revolve around Nehalata’s wants and needs. In the process, he fails to realise how he is neglecting his own need for support. He has no one to talk to about his emotions and stress.

The movie may not have an entirely happy end to it but it does beautifully capture the role of a caregiver and how caregivers often feel lost and don’t understand what comes next once the caregiving responsibilities are fulfilled. It shows how important it is to have social support systems throughout the journey.

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