An Eye-Opener for the Young Karyakartas
Ratings: - * * * *
Perhaps for the first time in the history of Indian cinema, lookalikes of real life politicians with their real story and real self are shown in an amazingly appealing and enlightening manner. For this reason alone, Avdhut Gupte’s Zenda deserves a huge thumbs-up for the fearlessness he has shown.
Kakasaheb (aging leader of the political party Jan Sena) prefers his son Prashant Sarpotdar (Pushkar Shrotri) over his nephew Rajesh Sarpotdar (Rajesh Shringarpure) to lead the party. This was enough for Rajesh to separate from Jan Sena and start his own political party called Maharashtra Samrajya Sena. The film also follows the story of two young Jan Sena activists Umesh (Siddharth Chandekar) and his friend (played by Santosh Juvekar), who are as close as brothers.
Apart from doing the daring act of showing the characters of Uddhav Thackeray and Raj Thackeray on screen, Gupte has produced a script which doesn’t go off-track even for a minute. Plus, as a director, he creates some extraordinarily realistic and artistic scenes which keeps the vision appealing throughout. Gupte’s triumph doesn’t end here; he even excels as a music director. The tracks Konacha Zenda Gheu Haati and Saavdhan suit the mood of the film perfectly. The impressive cinematography and background make the tale more appealing.
Rajesh Shringarpure (of Sarkaar Raj fame) is an actor to watch. His expressions, dialogue delivery and gestures force you not to remove your eyes from him. Siddharth Chandekar, who plays an educated party worker, does the difficult task of speaking through his expressions. A really promising find. Santosh Juvekar in a role of a fanatic party worker suits perfectly as he moulds himself into the role and how!
Despite such excelling performers, Chinmay Mandlekar manages to get noticed because of his mature performance. His acts in the pre-climax sessions are too good. Rest of the supporting cast - Pushkar Shrotri, Sachit Patil, Tejashree Pradhan, Neha Joshi and Shubhangi Gokhale add the perfect icing in the cake.
Zenda is truly one of the most realistic and interesting political dramas to have hit the Indian screen. It’s an eye-opener for the young kaaryakartas. It takes more than just courage to make something like Zenda. Take a bow Gupte!