Directed by Lakshmi R. Iyer, First Second Chance tells a sad but cute story about parenthood, old age and new beginnings.

I’m a sucker for romance and watching two humans get their happily ever after leaves me teary eyed each time especially when it’s their first love. Maybe that’s why I gushed over Anant Mahadevan getting the romance he deserved in First Second Chance. While many movies have been made about the evils surrounding old age, this 24 minute short film successfully tells a cute tale packed with so many feelings in a rather short time.

Cast – Renuka Shahane plays Vaidehi Kulkarni with so much nuance. Anant Mahadevan plays Raman Krishnan. Sahil Uppal plays Ajit Kulkarni, Vaidehi’s son.

Storyline – A grandmother now, Vaidehi is suffering from cancer when her son, Ajit drops her off without any conversation or prior talk to an old-age home. Vaidehi struggles to cope with this abandonment but also finds friendship in the form of her old colleague, Raman. A fellow resident, Raman has a backstory of his own that landed him here and the two of them seem to pick up right where they left off. Once Raman finds out about Vaidehi’s cancer, he makes sure that she’s always cared for.

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Watch the trailer here!

What I liked – As hurt as Vaidehi is, she chooses to focus on the life she wants to build instead of mulling over how she was treated by her son. Along with battling cancer, she focuses on the now. A narrative like this breaks the stereotypes around how grandmothers are portrayed onscreen. Watching a woman choose herself even at 60 and 70 is so rare in Indian cinema. Even old age romance, while being ridiculously cute isn’t explored much onscreen which makes it so meaningful in this one. First Second Chance shows you that love doesn’t always look the same, sometimes it shows up as simply caring for someone while they’re sick. Renuka Shahane does such a good job at expressing various emotions.

What I didn’t quite like – Sahil Uppal has no expression throughout First Second Chance especially in the last scene. Vaidehi’s battle with cancer over 6 months seems too rushed maybe because it was a short film.

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