The Sky Is Pink Shows How Priyanka Chopra has Matured as an Actor
In her latest movie The Sky Is Pink, Priyanka Chopra delivers a dignified, nuanced turn as the ferociously protective mother to a teenager, Aisha Chaudhary (Zaira Wasim), suffering from a terminal illness.
A still from The Sky Is Pink.
What a remarkable actor Priyanka Chopra has become. From the obsessive lover of Aitraaz to the the autistic girl of Barfi! via the aspiring model of Fashion, she has proved herself one of cinema’s most astutely authentic artistes. While she's constantly been at the top of the A-list for most of her career, the roles Chopra has taken have changed dramatically.
In her latest The Sky Is Pink, she delivers a dignified, nuanced turn as the ferociously protective mother to a teenager Aisha Chaudhary (Zaira Wasim), suffering from a terminal illness. As Aditi Chaudhary, Chopra is a constant presence throughout, and though the film is largely bent towards tracking Aisha’s 18 years and how she uses her impending death to inspire her to live an eventful life, Aditi’s journey is just as crucial to the film in all its complex, transfixing and wrenching dynamics. And no, it’s not a ennobling portrait of motherhood but a courageous and sobering one.
The despondent opening to Shonali Bose’s directorial triggers a flashback into the moving tale of onetime “almost” Miss India, Aditi, and her middle class husband Niren Chaudhary (Farhan Akhtar) as they battle with their daughter's rare condition while raising their elder child Ishaan, played by Ishaan Suresh Saraf.
Scenes like the one where Aditi watches Aisha embrace her pain highlight Chopra’s ability to give a silent yet powerful performance. In one specific moment, where Aditi experiences a psychotic attack due to severe sleep deprivation, Chopra brilliantly shows off vulnerability in her personality.
Priyanka Chopra and Zaira Wasim in a still from The Sky Is Pink.
To covey the emotions of a mother who is also internally struggling with the guilt of not being able to give enough attention to her other child is no easy feat, but Chopra extraordinarily rises to the challenge and then completely nails it. However, the scene that stands out the most to me is when Aditi sits motionless opposite Aisha so that the latter can make her portrait, and suddenly spots an emotional Niren looking on them from the kitchen. In that particular moment, the way Chopra emotes Aditi’s helplessness via her eyes is devastating and affecting almost as if the actor’s actually going through it.
Notably, in an interview with CNN-News18’s Rajeev Masand, Chopra noted that the script of The Sky Is Pink felt extremely personal to her.
“When my father was unwell for about eight years what my mother went through and the emotions that we felt was so visceral in the script. It just took me back instantly and it took me a second to remember that no one actually remembers the caretakers, and what happens to a marriage, to a relationship and to you as a human being when you see the deterioration of someone you love so much,” Chopra said when asked about what spoke to her in the script.
Nonetheless, Chopra’s Aditi could have been even great had the trials and tribulations of motherhood astutely surfaced on the actor’s face, something which bothered me throughout the movie. But I sincerely hope the excellent star won’t be blamed for that because no other female actor this year deserves to win any award more so than Priyanka Chopra for her career-best performance in this movie.
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