The movie is set in Goa of late 1980s. Nikhil is a state swimming champion groomed by his sporting father Navin (Victor Banerjee) and doting mother Anita (Lillete Dubey). He shares a rather friendly relation with his elder sister Anamika (Juhi).
Before Nikhil can have his own tryst with life and find his own place in society, it abandons him after he is tested HIV positive. He is sacked from his work, ignored by his girlfriend and shunned by his own parents.
He is incarcerated into a gloomy confinement that was meant to be a TB sanatorium. Life becomes nothing but the wait for death for this young man, ostracized by society and his dear ones.
But don?t forget. Nikhil is a champ and he won?t go down without clinching his last win. And in this fight, he gets the support of his sister Anamika, his gay partner Nigel (Purab) and lawyer (Shweta Kawaatra).
My Brother Nikhil is certainly a commendable directorial debut by Onir. It begins on an unassuming note but soon acquires a serious tone without making the proceeding grave or ?artistically boring?.
It speaks about subjects like AIDS, or the homosexual orientation of the protagonist without any preachy harangues on these subjects. It educates and, above all, it stirs you emotionally, almost making you empathize with the main character, his helplessness and his spirit to fight for what is rightfully his.
Sanjay Suri springs up from his mere eye-filling performances in previous films to the level of a very promising actor with his portrayal of Nikhil in this film. He captures the transformation of his character deftly enough and brings on a subtle intensity into his acting in the latter half of the movie.
Juhi Chawla?s acting is very natural. The emotional warmth that she exudes in real life shows on the screen too. Her facial reactions speak a lot particularly in the second half as she observes her brother?s life waning away.
Victor Banerjee and Lillete Dubey are impressive in their portrayal of parents who justify their act of turning their backs to their son but at the same time they have concern and sympathy for him.
On the whole, ?My Brother Nikhil? is very unlike the usual Bollywood fares. The story is told quite realistically without any eye-candy interludes of soppy escapades. The story touches you because it is believable. And it also teaches you to be positive in life.