The Common Man Speaks

31Jan/105

Zenda (Marathi Movie) Review

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!

18Jan/102

Shikshanachya Aaicha Gho Movie Review


Satrah Saate Kiti
? To hell with such questions!

Rating: - * * * * ½

Can you label a student as dumb if he fails to remember the tables of 12 and 17? Does the by-hearting of chemical equations and reactions determine intelligence? Is it really necessary for a student to mug up the centuries old unimportant happenings in order to prove his worth?

After 3 Idiots, Mahesh Manjrekar’s Shikshanachya Aaicha Gho shows the mirror to our faulty education system where kids are reduced to just coolies who are made to earn wages in the form of ranks. And when it comes to executing and providing justice to the subject, Shikshanachya Aaicha Gho rises much above than 3 Idiots.

Shreenivas Rane aka Shree (Saksham Kulkarni) is one amongst lakhs of student coolies. Shree possesses special talent in the game of cricket. However, his father Madhukar Rane (Bharat Jadhav) hates his son’s crazy interest in the game and turns a blind eye on his talent simply because he wants him to do well in studies. One day, a shocking incident forces Madhukar to change his belief. He realizes his mistake as well as the faults in the education system and goes on a quest to change it.

Only someone like Mahesh V Manjrekar can narrate such a hard hitting social subject in a manner which appeals to every section of the society. His mastery can be seen in each and every scene. Those which stay etched in your memory include Madhukar’s encounter with a school teacher and his interaction with the Chief Minister (Sachin Khedekar). The typical middle class feel with continuous situational humor makes it appealing to every common man. Such similar middle class scenarios were earlier seen in Manjrekar’s Vaastav, Tera Mera Saath Rahen, Ehsaas, Hathyar, Viruddh and Mee Shivajiraje Bhosale Boltoy.

Contrary to many, Manjrekar never ever rubbishes the need for education. Instead, he has put forth some changes which are required in our education system which include - lessening the syllabus burden, putting off the examination pressure and, most importantly, the elimination of ranking system. The criticisms of the education system are presented in a logical way without going overboard even a bit. The onus is also on those parents who make life hell for students with their overambitious expectations without realizing their children’s talent in other areas.

Such a relevant concept and a powerful script could not have looked so impressive without a superlative performance by Bharat Jadhav. The actor deserves high praise in each and every scene as he delivers one of the finest performances to have come in recent years. Saksham Kulkarni in the role of the troubled child is a perfect cast. He does full justice to his character while portraying every emotion with ease.

Gauri Vaidya plays the role of the younger sister perfectly. Kranti Redkar and the rest of the neighbors provide ideal support. However, it is Siddharth Jadhav who surprises everyone. His character of Ibrahim Bhai is lovable. The development of Ibrahim’s character is very similar to the one of Mukesh Rishi in Manjrekar’s own Kurukshetra. Lastly, Sachin Khedekar and Manjrekar excel in their cameos.

Shikshanachya Aaicha Gho is a must watch for everyone including the non-Marathi sections purely because of the urge it provides for a change in our education system, which is the desperate need of the hour. The unprecedented response at the box-office will make this as one of the highest money making Marathi movies of the year.

10Jan/102

Gone With The Bra-Color Exhibition!

Spreading awareness on an important issue is always laudable. And with the growth of internet, people are coming up with more and more creative ideas to spread awareness on a number of issues. However, the problem arises when you become over-creative. Because over-creativity can give rise to some weird ideas due to which the main concern is thrown out of the window and you end up making fun of an important social message.

I always thought Anurag Kashyap’s No Smoking is an ideal example of how to make a mockery of an important social message until January 8, 2010 arrived. On that bright Friday morning, I was surprised and confused to see a number of my female friends (and their friends) mentioning names of various colors in their social messages in G Chat.

The scene was same in their Facebook statuses as well which puzzled me even more. Finally, few female friends informed me that they are mentioning the color of their bras in order to spread awareness on Breast Cancer on Breast Cancer Day! Goodness Gracious! If I wasn’t in my office, I would have laughed like mad on hearing such a method to create ‘awareness’.

As expected, the motto behind the message was blown because of the weird method. Girls started matching their bra colors. Guys had good fun as they got to know the color of their female friends’ bras. The status messages were buzzing with laughter and color matching.

Amidst this atmosphere of masti, where the hell is your message? When it comes to creating awareness about any disease, one is expected to highlight the causes of the disease or its symptoms or some possible ways to avoid it or the treatment. In this case, it is just AWARENESS OF YOUR BRA-COLOR PREFERENCE! It would have been much wiser and sane to put up some information in your statuses instead of having A COLOR EXHIBITION OF YOUR BRAS AND GIVING A MENTAL GLIMPSE OF YOUR MOST PRIVATE WEAR!

Anyways, let me do the needful. Here’s some awareness on the disease: -

Causes of Breast Cancer: - http://www.emedicinehealth.com/breast_cancer/page2_em.htm#Breast%20Cancer%20Causes

Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatment of Breast Cancer: -

http://www.srspharma.com/breast-cancer.htm

Prevention of Breast Cancer: -

http://www.medicinenet.com/breast_cancer_prevention/article.htm

Calculation of risk of getting diagnosed with Breast Cancer: -

http://www.breastcancerprevention.org/raf_source.asp