Amol Palekar's Marathi film Dhoosar is a cry for compassion to those trapped in Alzheimer's disease.

That moment when one fails to recognise one's reflection in the mirror can be beyond imagination, as will be the pain of losing one's identity. Unfortunately, until one faces the situation, hardly any thought is given to it. And that is what veteran filmmaker Amol Palekar is attempting to convey through his latest venture, Dhoosar, a Marathi film that was screened here on Thursday.

Mr. Palekar, interacting with the media on Friday, said Kerala, closely followed by Maharashtra, had the highest incidence of Alzheimer's disease. But, just like other States, awareness on the disease here was dismally low. This had prompted a work like Dhoosar, which he was now taking to all parts of the country along with his wife Sandhya Gokhale, also the film's scriptwriter.

Admitting that he had not expected the film, which goes “far beyond entertainment,” to run for more than two weeks — he would be happy even with that —, Mr. Palekar said it was a pleasant feeling to see the movie running for over six weeks with the audience “responding with warmth” to the concept.

Ms. Gokhale, pointing out that it was tough to get Marathi movies released even in Maharashtra, with big-budget Hindi movies hogging the limelight, said the effort was to convey the message that a gentle approach was necessary towards those suffering from Alzheimer's.

Cry for compassion

Dhoosar, Mr. Palekar said, would hopefully trigger compassion apart from creating awareness on the dire situation of Alzheimer's disease. Many were not even aware that they had the disease, and hence, were not being treated. The symptoms were not known to most.

It would be a great feeling as a filmmaker if the movie managed to bring about a change to this situation, he added. Dhoosar deals with the story of Suhasini and her daughter Suniti, with Suhasini facing the painful deterioration of her memory. While exploring different shades of human bonds, the story unfolds the starkness of dementia, according to the director's note on the film.