By: Keyur Seta
Director: Gajendra Ahire
Producers: Sri Pant Production Arts, Navalakha Arts Media Entertainment and Holy Basil Production
Writer: Gajendra Ahire
Cast: Vikram Gokhale, Neena Kulkarni, Rima (Lagoo), Subodh Bhave, Saie Tamhankar, Kishor Kadam, Neha Pendse, Arun Nalavde
Music: Gajendra Ahire
Rating: * * * ½
(Review taken from the website HALTI CHITRE.)
Story Outline: Anumati is the story of the elderly Ratnakar Pathare’s (Vikram Gokhale) attempts to save his dying wife (Neena Kulkarni), who has suffered brain hemorrhage. His son (Subodh Bhave) urges him to sign the DNR form (to remove life support) since the former has already spent a large share from his savings. However, Ratnakar refuses to budge as he is hopeful that his wife will survive. But how will he manage to find substantial financial support for further treatment?
Review: How practical it is to spend a large amount on someone who is in her last stage of life? Shouldn’t senior citizens have a right to think about their future just like youngsters? Why is it that someone’s survival only depends on his or her financial condition? While writer and director Gajendra Ahire raises these questions in Anumati, he presents a heart-wrenching, soul-stirring saga that isn’t short of a blissful cinematic experience. He is also largely helped by a movingly dedicated performance by veteran Vikram Gokhale.
The most vital task for the writer was to make sure the audience feels for Ratnakar’s character. That happens here truly convincingly. As the protagonist struggles to find financial support against all odds, the audience is constantly rooting for him. Needless to say, this gets them glued to the proceedings despite the pace not being rapid. Subplots about Ratnakar’s son, daughter, village folk and an old college friend are important aspects of the story that are smartly woven.
There does come a moment when Ratnakar’s struggle for generating funds starts becoming repetitive and tedious. But just then, Rima’s (Lagoo) entry not only gives a fresh dimension to the story, but it also conceives moments that are profoundly heartwarming. The scene where she is having a chat with Gokhale’s character in the kitchen is one of the most memorable instances in recent years. Lastly, the film strikes a chord in a creatively moving climax too.
In the midst of these positive points, the biggest questionable aspect is Ratnakar’s wife not having a mediclaim, considering their well-educated background. Apart from this, the very serious topic and the fact that the pace drops on few occasions might not go well with a section of the audience.
The film pleasantly surprises by the portrayal of some scenic locations, especially the Konkan. Govind Nihalani’s artistic camerawork is responsible for this. He has also shown his class in capturing simplest of scenes creatively. His first outing in Marathi cinema is surely successful. Music wise, Ahire’s soulful compositions go well with the subject and are nicely used in the background. The background music too is apt.
Some performances force you to stand up and applaud. Vikram Gokhale’s act also compels you to do the same. His brilliant portrayal of a struggling senior citizen will move even a stone-hearted person. It isn’t a surprise that he won the National Award for this act. Neena Kulkarni plays her part very well too. For a good amount of screen time, she is just lying down but to stay still with the hospital equipment on, needs a lot of patience.
Rima (Lagoo) is simply brilliant! You easily fall in love with her character. Subodh Bhave and Kishore Kadam get it right once again. Saie Tamhankar shows perfect support. Playing cameos, Neha Pendse is effective while Arun Nalawade brilliant.
Overall, Anumati is an honestly made moving saga that deserves to be seen. The film needs some rapid word-of-mouth to succeed at the box office.