A day long encounter between an old almost bedridden grandmother who has supposedly lost her memory and a young girl Mrinalini, sparks an interesting yet intriguing conversation, and in these conversations Mrinalini draws an unlikely parallel between her present and her grandmother-in-law’s past. The conversations also bring to light that the grandmother is very much in possession of her memories as she emerges as a representative of the suppressed woman. A number of things are left unsaid and the unsaid make up the essence of the story.
Butterscotch is a story about family, communication, and acceptance. The story is told through a South Asian American lens, via a first-generation immigrant family. However, the tale of a stubborn single mother’s traditional ideals being challenged by her teenage daughter’s artistic career choice, is one that resonates across boundaries. Most folks in the creative field have faced some resistance about their desired path within their families. A lot of the times this clash ends in upset and tragedy. I wrote this story to showcase the fact that much of this upset is due to lack of communication by both sides. A parent’s controlling nature and a child’s rebellious behavior can be traced back to this lack of communication. The goal of this film is to counter that and normalize the idea that even when you don’t agree on an issue, you must talk with each other. The film is an intimate portrayal of a mother daughter relationship, as such it sticks to warm, homely tones and the shot choice keeps us up close and personal with the characters. I felt it was necessary to not stray away from the world of the characters, which is their home. The production seemed relatively easy on paper, just a couple characters all in one location. However, shooting in close quarters within one 12-hour day was a challenge indeed. A challenge met with grace by the extremely talented crew of Butterscotch. Only then were we able to pull off 40 shots and 7 different lighting and production design setups in one 12-hour day. I hope this film and its core message can get through to those who watch. It is essential that we don’t let our egos and stubbornness get in the way of our dearest relationships. Talk the issues out and attempt to understand where each party is coming from, and what better way to do so, then while sharing some Butterscotch Ice Cream!