‘Remember Amnesia’ is latest film project by Pittsburgh-area doctor
There are two sides to “Ravi” Godse’s personal story.
There’s the successful physician who helps people as an internal medicine specialist affiliated with D. Singh, M.D., and Associates, with offices in Aspinwall and Shaler.
And there’s the fun-loving filmmaker who makes people laugh, with a soon-to-be-released romantic comedy titled “Remember Amnesia.”
Sometimes both sides collide, and his patients — who know him better as Dr. Ravindra Godse — benefit from his offbeat sense of humor.
“One man was mad that he wasn’t allowed to eat before surgery,” Godse recalls. “When his surgery was pushed to the next day, he was really mad. When I came into his room, I said, ‘Let me tell you about what I had for breakfast; it was really good!’”
He asked another patient — a lady — why she had a book in her hand when she entered his office.
“When I come to see you, I have to wait a long time,” she told him. The doctor replied, “Is that a murder mystery? Let me tell you the ending and save you two hours.”
“We’re in a very serious business,” he says of his medical career, “and I know that whatever I’m doing, the patient comes first.”
A passion for entertaining
But that doesn’t stop him from sharing his passion for entertaining. It’s part of his philosophy that equates healing with wellness of mind, body and spirit.
Godse lives in Indiana Township with his wife, Dr. Madhuri Vasudeo Mahajan, also an internal medicine specialist in his practice, and their two children.
Daughter Rama, 22, is a University of Pennsylvania graduate attending Pearlman School of Medicine there. Son Rajeev, 17, is a junior at Fox Chapel Area High School, whom his dad said recently got an award “for being only one of the two people in the entire world to get a perfect score on the AP Statistics test.”
Drs. Godse and Mahajan moved in 1995 from India to Pittsburgh, where they both completed residencies at the former St. Francis Hospital.
“I love Pittsburgh; the people are very friendly,” he says.
New movie plot
“Remember Amnesia,” the fourth production he wrote and directed, is about an Indian American physician involved in an accident while traveling in India. When he wakes up, he can’t remember anything about his life — except for disturbing flashbacks involving a woman who may have been his wife — and whom he might have murdered.
“I’d call it a romantic comedy,” says Godse. “Having a movie about a guy who doesn’t know whether he killed his wife and calling it comedy is a comedy in itself.”
The film will open June 14 in 31 selected cities nationwide, including at Cinemark Galleria at Pittsburgh Mills in Frazer. Its cast features Dileep Rao (“Avatar,” “Inception”), Tovah Feldshuh (“Brewster’s Millions,” “Lady in the Water”) and Indian actress Shruti Marathe.
Former Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker James Harrison also has a small role as a patient.
“My producer Paula Gregg is friends with him and she brought him on,” Godse says. “He was such a great and fun addition. He looked so healthy to be a patient, but we took some artistic license.”
Godse says he even threw in a line of dialogue for Harrison as a reference to his former NFL football team: “He’s about to undergo a procedure and his doctor asks him, ‘Are you able to handle it?’ He answers, ‘I can tackle anything that moves.’”
The movie took Godse six months to write and was filmed in Pittsburgh and in Kolhapur, India, in just eight days.
“I could have done it in six days if I was acting in it,” Godse joked. “We had a lot of fun doing it. It makes some serious points about patient safety in a fun way. In the end, I give a little powerful message about being nice to everybody.”
The physician says he’s already at work on his next movie — a period piece about India’s involvement in World War II — that’s taking him a little longer than his last project.
“It will be a big one,” he says. “I’ve been working on the script since 2012.”
Godse’s other film projects were “Help Me, Help You (2009),” “I Am a Schizophrenic and So Am I” (2008) and a video about himself, “Dr. Ravi and Mr. Hyde” (2007).
The physician/filmmaker has more ideas for new features on the back burner, inspired somewhat by the words of his mother.
“My mom once told me to ‘keep making movies. People will watch anything,’” he says.
“Remember Amnesia” has a PG-13 rating.
Candy Williams is a Tribune-Review contributing writer.