(director/writer: Agam Darshi; cinematographer: Leonardo Harim; editor: Bridget Durnford ; music: Alessandro Juliani; cast: Kim Coates (Brent), Agam Darshi (Mona), Marvin Ishmael (Mona’s father), Stephan Lobo (Parm), Sandy Sidhu (Sandy), Huse Madhavji (Rup), Balinder Johal (Sikh Aunt); Runtime: 106; MPAA Rating: NR; producers; Kelly Balon/Anand Ramayya/Agam Darshi: Netflix; 2022-Canada-in English)
“Enriching but trite family drama.”
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
Agam Darshi in her debut feature film directs and stars in this enriching but trite family drama set in Canada.
The aspiring failed writer Mona (Agam Darshi), in her mid-30s, has messed up her life and moves back to her father’s house in the Sikh community of Regina, Saskatchewan, where she grew up in. Meanwhile her three older siblings have moved away and in contrast to her have all found success.
Mona keeps busy looking after her cancer-ridden Punjabi immigrant father (Marvin Ishmael), though not competent to do so. She’s also involved in an affair with her father’s married attorney (Kim Coates).
When her father gets a severe stroke and is on a death watch, she gives a shout out to her siblings to come help. They are — the businessman Rup (Huse Madhavji), the married doctor Sandy (Sandy Sidhu), and the London doctor Parm (Stephen Lobo), Mona’s twin brother.
But their arrival causes her further problems and lingering arguments, especially as all of her siblings have joint power of attorney over her father’s estate. When Mona insists they check out the will with her father’s attorney, hoping it will show she has complete control to act for her father. But checking the will out does not clear up the problem, and instead leaves more problems. It comes out her father favors her twin brother over her to act for him.
During the course of the visit by her stuffy relatives, family secrets emerge and Mona, considered the black sheep of the family, grows up enough during this period to shake off her bad image and deal with her siblings, who she finds out are not as perfect as she once thought. In this coming-of-age tale, Mona’s viewed as a late bloomer who finally figures things out and now knows what she has to do.
REVIEWED ON 2/27/2022 GRADE: B-