Take Care Poster created by Imani Christopher
Take Care Poster created by Imani Christopher

The emotionally informative power of film is mammoth. Earning a host of awards and nominations, as well as massive praise from the industry during its festival run, Take Care is a film proving that it is necessary for certain stories to be told by certain people. This love letter to interracial love illuminates the intimacy of modern romance and relationships in a way seemingly never before achieved. Actor Ary Satish is not only the lead actor but also the producer of Take Care, a role he felt impassioned about in regards to telling this type of story with the authenticity it deserves.

He states, “It was incredible to give life to a story that no one has ever seen told the way it was told, with the characters and actors of color that we had. The story showed brown and black lives in a very special way that is uncommon for them, in so many ways. It also shed light on universal conflicts and things that come up in arguments between all couples, so the fact that it was shown through an “Blindian” couple made it special.”

Mr. Satish’s performance is marvelously layered as Kavi Sehgal, an actor of Indian descent on the verge of major stardom who struggles to find balance with his live-in girlfriend Maya Alden (actress Imani Christopher). Take Care won the Best Drama Award and a Best Picture Nomination at the New York Film Awards, while Ary Satish took home the Best Actor Award at this prestigious event.

Amongst several official selections for Take Care at various other film festivals, the film has also won the Best Romantic Short Award at the Independent Shorts Awards and Ary Satish was given a Best Actor nomination at the New York Independent Cinema Awards. Take Care’s trailer alone has surpassed 100,000 views in its first week of debuting on YouTube.

Ary Satish on the Red Carpet Photo courtesy of Imani Christopher
Ary Satish on the Red Carpet Photo courtesy of Imani Christopher

From the first moments of Take Care, Ary and Imani establish something quite rare in film, palpable intimacy. Not the overt physical-carnal kind (though there is a potent romantic chemistry on screen) but that familiarity real couples have which blends the mundane and the joyous. Entering their apartment from a party, the couple is instantly recognizable to those of us who share a loving yet comfortable shorthand with our partner. There’s almost a voyeuristic quality to the camera angles and the unsheltered conversation taking place as this couple lets insecurities quickly change the mood of their evening.

While both Ary and Imani desire each other, they have strongly differing views of how to achieve a better future together. Even amidst raised voices and tears, the actors exhibit great subtlety. We get the feeling that there is far more that they want to say but are holding most of their feelings inside, afraid to emotionally wound each other.

The genius of this approach is that in doing so, Ary and Imani pull the audience into their emotional space and transfer this anxiety to the viewer. The result is that watching Take Care feels as if one has been emotionally blindsided in a ground swell of empathy. The perspective and arguments of both characters seems completely legitimate, making the heartbreak even more believable. 

Take Care featuring Ary Satish (right) playing the role of Kavi Seghal and Imani Christopher (left) playing the role of Maya Alden. Photo courtesy of Take Care Cinematographers, Lydia Erickson and Willis Zetter
Take Care featuring Ary Satish (right) playing the role of Kavi Seghal and Imani Christopher (left) playing the role of Maya Alden. Photo courtesy of Take Care Cinematographers, Lydia Erickson and Willis Zetter

Ary Satish’s portrayal of Kavi Sehgal is extraordinarily complex. It would be easy to write Kavi off as a self-important rising celebrity, if not for the humanity that is manifested by Ary. Kavi is tender and attentive, not at all seeking validation or attention from his partner. It’s easy to feel his pain when Maya is unhappy and he feels wedged between the need to make her happy and pursue what he sees as a solid foundation for their future.

Kavi is a problem solver who is deeply invested in the concept of family. Of course, it’s imperative that this film is seen as more than just a simple love story; it’s a modern story of a successful interracial couple. Walking that line between commonalities with other couples and those unique to an interracial couple was a large part of Mr. Satish’s decision to take on this project.

Add to that the opportunity to portray an Indian-American in an uncommon light, Ary declares, “Whenever do we get to see an Indian be the star up-an-coming actor, getting interviews by Vogue and living out his dream in Hollywood? This made portraying Kavi so rewarding, because you know that this story will open eyes to seeing people of color in new light in a film. We were able to tell black and brown stories a different way, and tell them together, side-by-side.”

“There are so many auditions you’ll see that ‘are open to all ethnicities’ or request ‘people of color for this character’, which are still very general terms. It was special playing a character who needed to be Indian for the vision of the story. It’s a very important thing. I know everyone can relate to feelings that come with feeling wanted.”

Take Care is still currently in the international film festival circuit until the end of 2023 and will be premiered and released officially afterward. 

Writer: Coleman Haan

By Punit