Starfish(2023) Review: A Hauntingly Beautiful Dive into the Depths of Grief

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This movie is an adaptation of Bina Nayak’s novel “Starfish Pickle”. 

Cast: Khushalii Kumar, Milind Soman, Ehan Bhat, Nikhat Khan.

Director: Akhilesh Jaiswal

Starfish Review

The movie starts with Tara Salgaonkar (Khushalii Kumar) leading a diving operation to retrieve the remains of a naval crew following a bomb on a ship. After then, the narrative follows her life, which includes panic attacks and a reckless lifestyle brought on by a sinister secret from her background that caused her mother Sukanya (Vidya Malavade) to kill herself and refer to Tara as a mistake.

 Tara then goes about attempting to decipher her mother’s intentions and the reason for her extreme action. In the process of seeking these answers, Tara falls in love with Aman Sharma (Tusharr Khanna), a navy commander, and then with Neel (Ehan Bhat), a singer. She wonders if she can ever find peace.


The idea that relationships may suffer as a result of guilt and ambiguity is mentioned briefly but not thoroughly. This implies that the love tales, which play a significant role in her journey of self-discovery, lack substance.

The film’s visual attractiveness is its most remarkable feature. Jim Edgar, the cinematographer, and Akhilesh Jaiswal, the director, masterfully depict the underwater sceneries and marine life, including the expertly staged rescue operations. The nightlife and the locations of Sicily and Malta are exquisitely captured in starfish.


Nevertheless, Akhilesh and Aditya Bhatnagar’s screenplay lacks a needless element and appears disjointed. This is partially due to the narrative’s overemphasis on Tara’s emotional struggles at the expense of the storyline.

Although Akhilesh does a respectable job directing, the story frequently feels like a series of incidents with the protagonist at its heart. Along the way, Tara meets Arlo (Milind Soman), a spiritual and musical guru who plays a crucial role in Tara’s life narrative.  

The film’s turning point is a confrontational incident, after which the scenes appear more rushed. Although Tara’s prior mystery was supposed to remain a mystery, the sudden finale leaves more questions than answers.


Stars performance

Khushalii Kumar does a great job portraying a wild youngster and a diver. When her mental struggle intensifies in the second part of the song, she excels even more.

Milind Soman does a nice job in his limited part, while Tusharr Khanna and Ehan Bhat are mediocre. The music of the movie is catchy, particularly the dance song Kudiye Ni Teri and the folk ballad Madhaniya Redux.

The main character’s part has room for a compelling character journey, and the movie has a solid idea. A tighter and more cohesive screenplay could have developed the story to its fullest and most nuanced potential. Nevertheless, seeing the film is a visual delight.

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