My Brother Nikhil boasts of a very unique theme as it is a story not only about an AIDS patient, but also because it delves into the subject of homosexuality, a still debated topic in our culture. The story of My Brother Nikhil unfolds in Goa between the years 1987 and 1994 and tells the story of Nikhil (Sanjay Suri). All the characters in the film introduce themselves to the viewers and narrate the story of the guy they all loved--Nikhil.
Navin Kapoor (Victor Bannerjee), who is Nikhil's father and coach is very proud of his son Nikhil's achievement, since he is a state-level swimming champion. Nikhil is a very adorable guy whom everybody loves and has also won a scholarship from the sports ministry. His life comprises of his family, including his mother Anita Kapoor (Lillette Dubey), his elder sister Anamika (Juhi Chawla), who is his closest pal and confidante, Leena Gomes (Dipannita Sharma), who wants to marry him and boyfriend Nigel (Purab Kohli).
The movie takes a turn when Nikhil is arrested for some reasons. His parents who are unable to face social humiliation abandon him and friends and colleagues shun him too. Life is never the same for Nikhil as he is later sent to a secluded hospital ward and kept in solitary confinement, the reason being that he has been tested HIV Positive. During this time, it is only the love of his sister Anu and the comradeship of his friend Nigel that pulls him through the crisis. The two along with Nikhil fight relentlessly in pursuit of justice and social acceptance.
The theme of My Brother Nikhil is both emotionally compelling and socially relevant backed with some brilliant performances. The entire film has a certain amount of subtleness to it. The fact that the main protagonist Nikhil is a homosexual too has been treated with utmost sensitivity and there is absolutely no vulgarity or grossness about it.
Sanjay Suri, who turns producer with this film has given an extraordinary performance. Very few people can do justice to this unique role with dignity. This only goes to prove that he has immense potential in him, which needs to be nurtured and director Onir has done just that. Juhi Chawla as the endearing, supportive and defiant elder sister has given her career best performance. Purab Kohli as the gay lover is simply marvellous. Victor Bannerjee, as always is tremendous. The other star cast includes Gautam Kapoor, Dipannita Sharma, Shweta Kawatra, Shayan Munshi, Piya Rai Chaudhary and Sujoy Ghosh..
The cinematography by Arvind Kannabiran is striking, especially the locales of Goa and the various emotions of the characters which have been captured well in the camera. The music by Vivek Philip is good and the dialogues by Amitabh Varma are a welcome change from the other movies as this has a very natural appeal.
A must see movie for all those people who love intelligent yet artistic movies. On the ratings scale of one to five, this one gets a three and a half.