Movie Review Courtesy: Kanishk Devgan
The award-winning short film, Teaspoon, derives its name from a teaspoon that an old, paralyzed father uses to tap against objects to get his caregiver’s attention. The caregiver is a hard-working housewife, the old man’s daughter-in-law. This film explores her life as a caregiver.
The role of the caregiver weighs a heavy toll on Kavita. She can’t leave home as she has to constantly be within earshot of her ailing father-in-law. Along with being a caregiver, she handles the household and has a job selling cosmetic products from home. Tending to her father-in-law is a 24/7 job; the tapping of his teaspoon calls her to his aid throughout the day, with no care for if she is cooking, working, praying, relaxing or sleeping. Of course, this is understandable. The care receiver is almost paralyzed and can only call for help.
However, this film illustrates how the burden of this caring falls only on the shoulders of Kavita. The care receiver does not mean to burden her but the situation is unavoidable. On top of that, Kavita has no avenue to express herself nor to vent her frustrations. Her own well-being is ignored. Her frustration oozes out through quiet, passive aggressive quips to herself and to her husband about his father. She even has regular conflict with her husband when he catches on to these quips. Her husband, however, is not empathetic and cannot understand the burden that has been put on her. When she asks to go for a vacation, he is annoyed at how she doesn’t consider the fact that there will be no one to look after his father if they leave. Her frustration begins to spill onto the care receiver himself.
‘Teaspoon’ gives us an insight into how close to the edge caregiving can push someone if the correct precautions are not taken. It is a classic example of a caregiver suffering from burnout. The caregiver is not recognized as a caregiver, all the work falls on her and she has no support.
This movie is available to watch on Youtube.
In our next segment on Reel Caregiving, we will explore caregiving in another movie. Watch this space!