The Common Man Speaks

3Sep/140

Astu – So Be It (Marathi Movie) Review

 

By: Keyur Seta

Directors: Sumitra Bhave and Sunil Sukhtankar

Producers: Mohan Agashe and Sheelaa Rao

Writer: Sumitra Bhave

Cast: Mohan Agashe, Iravati Harshe, Milind Soman, Nachiket Purnapatre, Amruta Subhash, Devika Daftardar

Music: Saket Kanetkar and Dhananjay Kharwandikar

Genre: Drama

Rating: * * * *

Story Outline: The film revolves around a retired college principal and widower Dr. Shastri aka Appa (Mohan Agashe). He is highly respected for his wisdom and deep knowledge about the Vedas. But lately he has also become known for being handicapped with Alzheimer’s disease, which makes him forget anything, including the names of his own family members.

Appa’s daughter (Iravati Harshe) is married to Dr. Madhav (Milind Soman). Once she takes Appa to his old house. On the way, she leaves him in a car for few minutes as she needs to visit a shop. But in that short duration, Appa goes missing.

Review: There are innumerable films that speak a lot. But there are very few that say a lot of things without saying anything. Directors Sumitra Bhave and Sunil Sukhtankar’s Astu – So Be It is one of those rare films. On the surface, it appears as a lost-and-found saga but deep inside it brings to forth many layers that force you to think about it long after you leave the cinema hall.

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astu-marathi-movieAstu has Bhave and Sukhtankar’s stamp of uncompromising attitude all over when it comes to the utterly realistic manner in which the film is shot. This helps a lot in creating an intense atmosphere that helps the audience get involved in the proceedings. But of course, it is the watertight script, for most of the duration, which also largely helps its cause. The intelligent manner in which flashback is used deserves special mention.

But the bigger achievement is the message given with regards to the attitude of people from starkly opposite strata of society towards people with a condition like Alzheimer’s. One of the rich layers is also the equation of relationships.  The film also manages to say a lot more through some sub-plots, moving images, conversations and conflict between characters. It will account to spoilers if they are listed here.

The only problem with Astu is its duration. The film should have ended much before and shouldn’t have been dragged during the ending moments. Thankfully though, the overwhelming climax won’t let these points bother you much.

There is no scope for songs as such. But a couple of tracks used in the background gel very well with the situations, especially the one in a South Indian language. Milind Jog’s camerawork creatively captures even the simplest of scenes. The idea of using a hand-held camera on a number of occasions adds to the intensity. The editing is fine but there could have been more use of scissors.

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It is Mohan Agashe’s act that helps the film to rise at such a level. The veteran actor is simply outstanding in a role that can be hugely challenging for any actor. You just can’t help but applaud when he shows signs of Alzheimer’s and speaks with his expressions. But despite such a towering performance by the main lead, Iravati Harshe manages to super impress with a dedicated act.

Milind Soman plays his part well. There is some issue with his Marathi pronunciation though. Nachiket Purnapatre too is wonderful in a difficult role. Despite arriving in the latter part, Amruta Subhash leaves behind a tremendous impact through her brilliant portrayal of a tribal woman. Ila Bhate and Devika Daftardar too shine in extended cameos.

Overall: Astu –So Be It is a must watch for the lovers of sensible cinema. It is sad that such a film is unable to get a proper release. Needless to say, it needs some tremendous word-of-mouth from all those who have been fortunate enough to have seen it.

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16Aug/141

Rege (Marathi Movie) Review


By:
Keyur Seta

Director: Abhijit Panse

Cast: Mahesh Manjrekar, Aroh Welankar, Pushkar Shrotri, Santosh Juvekar

Review: When we think about films on the underworld, we instantly visualize bullets flying and dead bodies collapsing either through gang wars or battles between gangsters and police. This is exactly what we are fed by films of this genre, mostly by Bollywood. But in his very first film Rege, director Abhijit Panse brings

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Picture Source: marathistars.com

Picture Source: marathistars.com

 

8Aug/140

Rama Madhav (Marathi Movie) Review

Director: Mrinal Kulkarni

Cast: Parna Pethe, Alok Rajwade, Mrinal Kulkarni, Prasad Oak, Sonalee Kulkarni, Shruti Marathe, Ravindra Mankani, Dr Amol Kolhe

Rating: * * *

By: Keyur Seta

Story Outline: A bubbly and naughty Rama (Shruti Kalselar and later Parna Pethe) hailing from a middle-class background is married to Madhavrao Peshwa (Alok Rajwade), the prince of the royal Peshwa dynasty, during her childhood. As the two grow up, the political scenario lands the couple in some serious challenges that also affect their personal life. Madhavrao’s evil and scheming uncle Raghunathrao (Prasad Oak) makes things worse.

Review: The mention of the word ‘Peshwa’ instantly brings to our mind the glory of the Maratha Empire and the fearless battles of honor the Peshwas fought and won with style. But amidst such acts of bravery and fearlessness, the era also saw an episode of pure selfless love that is successfully portrayed in Mrinal Kulkarni’s Rama Madhav.

The film takes...

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1Aug/140

Poshter Boyz (Marathi Movie) Review

Director: Sameer Patil

Producers: Shreyas Talpade and Deepti Talpade under Affluence Movies Pvt. Ltd.

Cast: Dilip Prabhavalkar, Hrishikesh Joshi, Aniket Vishwasrao, Neha Joshi, Pooja Sawant

Review: Most of the times, when comedy is born out of a serious issue, the humor takes a backseat at some point in the film, mostly the latter part of the second half. But debutant Sameer Patil’s Poshter Boyz...

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poster-boyz

11Jul/140

Lai Bhaari (Marathi Movie) Review

 

Director: Nishikant Kamat

Review: From the trailers, Nishikant Kamat’s Lai Bhaari looked like a typical hero-oriented masala film. While it surely is one, the film in totality is much, much more than what is revealed by the promotional material. This doesn’t ensure a quality product though due to an age-old storyline, done-to-death narration and few other issues. However....

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lai-bhari-marathi-movie

26Apr/140

Postcard (Marathi Movie) Review

By: Keyur Seta

Review: A postman is considered a messiah when he brings delightful news. But he also has to bear the brunt of being labeled as inauspicious if the letter consist a tragic update. Ahire’s exploration of such interesting and unusual experiences of a postman in Postcard is...

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postcard-marathi-movie

4Apr/140

Yellow (Marathi Movie) Review

Director: Mahesh Limaye

Producers: Riteish Deshmukh and Uttung Hitendra Thakur

Review: A film revolving around a patient suffering from Down’s Syndrome obviously sounds depressing or, at least, too serious. But it takes director Manish Limaye’s just first effort Yellow to prove that even a film dealing with such a subject can be...

 

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yellow-marathi-movie

31Mar/140

Taptapadi (Marathi Movie) Review

 

Director: Sachin Baliram Nagargoje

Rating: * * 1/2

Story Outline: Based on Rabindranath Tagore’s short story, the film is set during the pre-independence era in Maharashtra. Meera has been staying with her aunt (Ashwini Ekbote) and uncle (Sharad Ponkshe) ever since her mother passed away when she was six years old. Over there, Meera develops a close bond with her cousin Madhav.

As they grow up (as Veena Jamkar and Kashyap Parulekar), their friendship slowly blossoms into love. When Madhav is studying to become a doctor, they get married. The couple is enjoying their marital bond until Meera has a miscarriage. There’s further agony in store for her when she becomes disabled. This results in another woman Sunanda (Shruti Marathe) entering Madhav’s life. Will Madhav betray Meera by marrying Sunanda?

Review: Adapting Rabindranath Tagore’s story on celluloid in a different cultural setting and that too in your first film is no mean task. Debutant Sachin Baliram Nagargoje does show signs of maturity in his adaptation of the legendary writer’s tale in his Marathi film Taptapadi. However, few problem...

 

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taptapadi-marathi-movie

7Mar/140

Dhag (Marathi Movie) Review

Director: Shivaji Lotan Patil

Rating: * * * *

By: Keyur Seta

Story Outline: Dhag tells the story of a poor family forced to take up their ancestral and caste-based profession of performing last rites. Hence, their livelihood depends on someone’s death. Despite his hatred towards the profession, Shripati (Upendra Limaye) has been forced to practice it all his life to fill his and his family’s stomachs.

But he doesn’t want his son Krishna (Hansraj Jagtap) to continue the disturbing legacy. Even Krishna is firm in saying a big no to the family occupation. Shripati’s wife (Usha Jadhav) is torn between her support for Krishna’s ambitions and their need to earn a livelihood. Shripati’s mother strictly believes they shouldn’t deviate from their ancestral profession.

Review: Death is considered extremely unpleasant in every society, quite naturally. So how would you feel if a family eagerly awaits someone’s death? Director Shivaji Lotan Patil has portrayed this bold feature in Dhag. But instead of ...

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15Feb/141

Fandry (Marathi Movie Review)

Director: Nagraj Manjule

Producers: Holy Basil Pictures, Navalakha Arts and Zee Talkies

Writer: Nagraj Manjule

Cast: Somnath Avghade, Suraj Pawar, Kishore Kadam, Rajshree Kharat

Genre: Drama/ Romance

Rating: * * * ½

By: Keyur Seta

Story Outline: In Akolner, a small village in the interiors of Maharashtra, lives an adolescent Jambawant Kachru Mane aka Jabya (Somnath Avghade), who constantly faces wrath of his father (Kishore Kadam) for his mischievous ways.

Jabya secretly loves Shalu (Rajshree Kharat) but she is hardly aware about his existence. But the bigger hurdle for Jabya is that Shalu is from a well-to-do higher caste while he is from the lowest one. Hence, his family is forced to carry out tasks that are considered dirty, like killing wild pigs aka Fandry. How will Jabya overpower this social barrier?

Review: From the promotional material, Nagraj Manjule’s directorial debut Fandry appeared similar to Shala and Timepass due to the adolescent love angle. Although that is very much its subject, it is far different from these two films since it mainly deals with the issue of caste discrimination. But instead of being a direct attack on casteism, it follows an indirect hard-hitting route full of artistic brilliance. Such a description, however, also means that...

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fandry