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Hey, Jude

"Hey, Jude" is the story of a man with Asperger's syndrome. I do not know much about the condition to comment on how accurate the portrayal is, but nonetheless, I loved the film. Apparently, I have a thing for movies about mental conditions. That said, I believe it is not just my bias, but the film is indeed a very good attempt. So, I urge you to give it a shot.

The story is pretty simple and not unlike other films of this genre. There is a guy with a lot of issues, but by the end of the film, he succeeds to cope up and leads a happier life. Even more, this change is brought by a woman (person of opposite gender). That said, there are many factors which put the film apart from the others.

Now that I think about it, Mili is another movie which shared some of these features. To begin with, there is very little focus on romance. In both these films, love and affection though important are not the only cause for the change. The necessary guidance comes from the heroine's father - who is a psychiatrist - in this film. They have given enough time for the change and even after that, there is not much change. In some sense, the movie suggests that he does not need to change much. The only change required is that which make him more confident and happy. In this aspect, I think this film wins a point over Mili.

Another thing that sets the film apart, even from Mili, is that the heroine also has issues. She suffers from bipolar disorder. Now, I am undecided whether to count it as a positive or not. In some sense, this can be called as the usual cliche of two incomplete people completing each other. But, as it is presented really well, it won't hit you hard.

Siddique's acting also added to the enjoyability of the film. It was really outstanding. Amazing comic timing and some very emotional scenes. Without ever saying anything about it explicitly, his tensions about the future of his son is evident throughout the movie. Not that he is shown as an ideal father. But, with all his imperfections, he is a father trying his level best.

The movie also made me wonder about something. The basic problem faced by people with Asperger's syndrome is an inability to understand other people's emotions - mind reading. Frankly, I too find it very difficult to understand the emotions of others. And I kind of came up with a theory. Actually, no one is really good at mind reading. We just guess. If our personality is closer to "normal", our guesses would be more likely to be correct. So, I am curious to what extent can a person with Asperger's syndrome empathise with another person having Asperger's syndrome. This question is also partially motivated by the observation that we are very bad at empathising with such people. I guess people working on these issues would have thought about this already. I should look it up.

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