The Common Man Speaks

18Feb/182

Gulabjaam (Marathi Movie) Review

Sachin Kundalkar is known for narrating modern stories rooted in traditionalism. He has, especially, maintained this balance in his last three efforts, Happy Journey (2014), Rajwade And Sons (2015) and Vazandar (2016).

He has done the same with Gulabjaam. But this time, he has also bettered his own recipe (which was already pretty good) several notches higher resulting in one of the most delicious dishes one would taste in a long time.

Gulabjaam is about Aditya Naik’s (Siddharth Chandekar) struggle to learn Marathi cuisine in order to open a restaurant in London, where he is settled. He quits his high paying job and secretly visits Pune for his mission. After tasting food from a lunch box, especially gulabjaam, he deeply gets reminded of the food cooked by his mother.

After learning that the lunch box was prepared by Radha Agarkar (Sonali Kulkarni), he instantly decides to learn cooking from her. However, he realizes that the lady is not only a recluse but also rude who doesn’t like anybody’s presence around her. Will Aditya succeed in his mission? Why is Radha the way she is?

Gulabjaam posterIt is rare to see food or cooking being a catalyst to connect two characters in an Indian film.  But it is one of the most unusual and complex relationship to deal with for the writer and director. This is not just because Radha and Aditya are from different age groups and worlds. Their personal journey and diverse natures makes it all the more unlikely for them to form a bond.

To achieve this convincingly and that too with constant humour is the biggest masterstroke here. Plus, throughout the film their relationship remains undefined, which makes it more charming. We don’t often get to see strong and deep relationships that are kept unnamed.

Like Kundalkar’s previous works, Gulabjaam is more like a smooth journey rather than merely a story. You don’t realize when a quirky encounter of two diverse human beings transforms into a tale of deep personal sufferings inspite of the funny and light-hearted mood. The climax might not be ideal for some. But it is certainly garnished with the hope of inner wounds getting healed someday.

The only flaw is the incident of Radha realizing that Aditya has stealthily sneaked into her house and stolen food. One would expect her to scream but she doesn’t. However, the effect of the consequence of this scene makes you ignore it.

Kundalkar has also continued his legacy of getting the technical aspects right. There are numerous moments where one can notice cinematographer Milind Jog’s craft. The background score is unconventional and effective. It follows the important rule of not making the audience realize about its arrival and departure in a scene. The editing also deserves similar praise.

The nature of Radha’s character demanded her home to appear as if it is stuck in a period long gone by. This is achieved perfectly by the art director Poorva Pandit Bhujbal. It would be unfair not to mention food stylists Sayali Rajadhyaksha and Shweta Bapat for their work plays a big role in adding visual quality to the subject.

Sonali Kulkarni and Siddharth Chandekar’s characters are deep and vulnerable, which makes them realistic. But they appear deeply relatable only because of their respective performances. Kulkarni’s act can only be called masterful. She gets the diverse facets like agony and homour with utmost perfection.

With her constant presence, Chandekar might not appear as impressive. But he certainly gets his act of a boyish man constantly trying to move out of his trapped world quite right. Madhura Deshpande, the actors playing Popat and the old lady also impress in the opportunity they get.

Rating: 4.5/5

Review by: Keyur Seta

Director: Sachin Kundalkar

Writers: Sachin Kundalkar and Tejas Modak

Producers: Zee Studios and Golden Gate Motion Pictures

Cast: Sonali Kulkarni, Siddharth Chandekar

Genre: Drama

Runtime: 126 minutes

Release date: 16 February 2018

8Oct/170

Kaasav (Marathi Movie) Review

When I saw director Makaran Mane’s Ringan: The Quest, which released earlier this year, I felt it would be almost impossible for any Marathi movie to match up to this film in 2017, considering the kind of Marathi films made this year.

But I am too glad to have been proved wrong by Sumitra Bhave and Sunil Sukthankar’s Kaasav. Although the subject deals with psychological disorders, the film provides a thoroughly beautiful feeling through various deep meanings.

Kaasav revolves around a depressed and disturbed youngster (Alok Rajwade), who is literally loitering on the streets of Mumbai. He attempts ending his life but is saved by concerned people. He then aimlessly boards a tempo that is going to Konkan. Janaki (Iravati Harshe), a social worker and a kind soul, finds him in a semi-conscious and ill state at a shop on the highway.

She decides to look after him at her sea facing apartment despite him being a complete stranger. Janaki works for the welfare of sea turtles. Despite her constant efforts, the young guy doesn’t co-operate and throws tantrums. In fact, he doesn’t even reveal his name. Who is he and what is him aim in life? Janaki calls him Niche.

The director duo succeeded in narrating a heartwarming tale out of a story based on a mental condition in their last film Astu: So Be It (2016). They raise their bar even higher through Kaasav.

Kaasav movieThe film starts off as a serious or somewhat disturbing tale of a person’s psychotic behavior. But the narrative gradually brings in newer layers about various human aspects without making it sound preachy. To put it simply, it says a lot without saying much.

The film’s portrayal of loneliness is completely relatable to people from today’s era. For example, a character states that, these days, despite having hundreds of contacts in their phones, some people are still lonely.

What makes the film reach bigger heights is the deep meaning behind the title. The character of Niche resembles land and sea turtle on different occasions. The manner in which the sea turtle analogy is established makes you applaud the creativity and its execution.

In addition to the top-notch content, the icing on the cake is the beautiful location of Konkan, which is artistically captured by DoP Dhananjay Kulkarni, and the two soulful songs.

A slight drawback here is that the back story of Janaki is hardly narrated. This would have helped in knowing her more and having sympathy for her. But, as mentioned before, it is only a slight drawback.

Kaasav is blessed with utterly realistic performances. Alok Rajwade plays the suicidal and disturbed character of Niche with flawlessness. His slow transformation also displays his raw talent.

Iravati Harshe makes terrific use of the opportunity to play a deeply caring individual who is battling her own demons. It is difficult to find people in Janaki in today’s era. But her act provides hope that it is certainly not impossible.

Kishor Kadam, as Harshe’s servant, once again displays his dedication. In the role of Harshe’s mentor, Mohan Agashe does what was required. Devika Daftardar, who is a favourite of these filmmakers, leaves a mark despite playing a cameo. The boy who played Rajwade’s friend and the one who donned the role of the helper at Harshe’s place are also praiseworthy.

Overall: Kaasav is a deeply moving saga that leaves you super impressed. This one is easily one of the best Marathi films of the last few years. Director duo of Sumitra Bhave and Sunil Sukthankar has once again given a winner.

Special note: It is shocking that a film of this caliber has got just ONE show in the entire city of Mumbai. More so since it has won the National Award for Best Film. The makers have assured that the shows would be increased in the coming days. Fingers crossed!

Rating: 4.5/5

Review by: Keyur Seta

Directors: Sumitra Bhave and Sunil Sukthankar

Producers: Mohan Agashe, Sumitra Bhave and Sunil Sukthankar

Writers: Sumitra Bhave

Cast: Alok Rajwade, Iravati Harshe, Kishor Kadam, Mohan Agashe, Devika Daftardar

Music: Saket Kanetkar

Genre: Drama

Runtime: 104 minutes

15Jul/172

Lapachhapi (Marathi Movie) Review

The biggest aim of a horror film is simple. It has to scare the audience. But this simple aim has been hardly fulfilled by Marathi and Hindi cinema. The former hasn’t been making horror films. Bollywood, on the other hand, regularly explores this genre but hardly provides a convincing film.

Debutant director Vishal Furia’s Lapachhapi fills the much needed void not only through the content but also the technical departments. Finally, we have an impressive horror film!

Lapachhapi is about a couple, Tushar (Vikram Gaikwad) and his pregnant wife Neha (Pooja Sawant). They escape to their driver’s native place after Tushar gets beaten up for not being able to repay his creditors. It’s a secluded village scattered around sugarcane fields.

Lapachhapi Marathi movieThe scary atmosphere is enough to ring an alarm bell inside Neha’s head. But Tushar assures her that there’s nothing to worry. The driver’s wife Tulsa’s (Usha Naik) warm hospitality diverts her mind but not for long. At the same time, we are also told the story of a pregnant woman who was forced to abort her unborn child.

Lapachhapi succeeds in taking the audience to a world where creepiness exists in a natural way. The location over here is an altogether different character that brings in a scary feeling throughout. The film has a smooth-flowing screenplay that divulges the tale in a gradual way.

The major reason for the chills is the contemporary manner of filming. It is impressive to see how cinematography (Chandan Kowli) is used to create jump-scare moments which are simply pleasurable! The same purpose is achieved by the editing too. The blackening of the screen abruptly and the smart use of sounds add to the scariness. Thankfully, the film steers clear of using loud noises and screams to create forceful horror.

And who would have thought of using a lullaby to induce horror? The song, sung by Nandini Borkar, is a sweet number with no music. So, how it creates a frightening feeling is something that can be experienced than explained. Its use should have been limited in the second half though.

There are points, however, that stop the film from achieving bigger heights. The main issue here is the lack of proper conviction in the back story, although the message driven out of it is important. On some occasions in the second half, the narrative becomes overindulgent. A conversation between the lead couple in the first half is a slight giveaway of the hidden issue. The final scene, although impressive, is too convenient.

The performances also complement the genre. This act might be the turning point in Pooja Sawant’s career. She got a chance to play a challenging lead character and she has made good use of it. But the effect wouldn’t have been this high without Usha Naik’s act. She shows sympathy and anger with remarkable ease.

Although Vikram Gaikwad isn’t present throughout, he is appealing. Dhanashree Khandar gives a fine act without uttering a word.

Overall: Lapachhapi fills the void of horror movies in Marathi cinema and also for the audience in Maharashtra that has relied on Bollywood for this genre of films.

Rating: 3/5

Review by: Keyur Seta

Director: Vishal Furia

Producers: Wild Elephants Motion Picture and Midas Touch Movies Production

Writers: Vishal Furia and Vishal Kapoor

Cast: Pooja Sawant, Usha Naik, Vikram Gaikwad, Dhanashree Khandar

Genre: Horror

Runtime: 111 minutes

9Jan/170

Ti Sadhya Kay Karte (Marathi Movie) Review

Story: Ti Sadhya Kay Karte starts off in the 1990s in Mumbai. Anurag aka Anya (Hruditya Rajwade), during his school days, falls in love with Tanvi (Nirmohi Agnihotri) at first sight. They grow up together as best friends.

When they (Abhinay Berde and Aarya Ambekar) reach college, Anya is certain that he still loves Tanvi but is not complete sure. Years later when Anya turns middle-aged (as Ankush Chaudhari), he attends their college reunion and wonders where Tanvi (Tejashri Pradhan) is.

Review: A large portion of the first half of Ti Sadhya Kay Karte makes you feel as if this is yet another Marathi film focusing on childhood romance. There have been many falling in such genre in last 5-6 years with Shala (2012) and Fandry (2014) being the most notable ones.

But you soon realize that is not the case (even if it was you wouldn’t mind because of the treatment). This breezy romantic film is, in fact, the most mature and realistic take on childhood romance and the idea of moving on you will see in a long time.

Ti Sadhya Kay KartePlus points:

- Ti Sadhya Kay Karte is blessed with a terrific screenplay. Manaswini L R has used a fine mixture of fast pace and flashback. She is clear as to how much to reveal and when. To narrate a story in three time zones is not easy at all.

- She is also responsible for some creatively funny dialogues and scores high even during the emotional ones in the end. In fact, dialogues have a lion’s share in the overall result. The Orange flavor Glucon D idea deserves special mention.

- Rajwade is known for handling love stories intelligently. He handles this difficult subject with ease.

- It is mandatory for the music to be of high quality in such love stories. The songs over here fit the situation and are melodious too.

- The casting and the performances sum up a high quality product. Ankush Chaudhari gets different dimensions of his character right. He lives up to the task completely. Tejashri Pradhan doesn’t have that much screen time but she is highly impactful through a thoroughly skillful performance.

Debutant Abhinay Berde (son of Laxmikant Berde) shows confident acting skills. Singer Aarya Ambekar makes her acting debut. After this delithful performance, she is sure to get more acting offers. Hruditya Rajwade and Nirmohi Agnihotri too are obedient and lovable.

Negative points:

- There is one flaw about the separation of the lead characters and few others in the course of the narration.

- The runtime could have been little bit on the lower side with this storyline.

Overall: Ti Sadhya Kay Karte is a feel-good and moving romantic tale. The film is sure to start the New Year for Marathi cinema on a positive note at the box-office.

Rating: 3.5/5

Review by: Keyur Seta

Director: Satish Rajwade

Producers: Zee Studios and Pallavi Rajwade

Writers: Manaswini L R and Satish Rajwade

Cast: Ankush Chaudhari, Tejashri Pradhan, Abhinay Berde, Aarya Ambekar, Hruditya Rajwade and Nirmohi Agnihotri

Music: Nilesh Mohrir, Avinash-Vishwjeet and Mandar Aapte

Genre: Romance

Runtime: 127 minutes

2Nov/160

Ventilator (Marathi Movie) Review

By: Keyur Seta

Hospital scenes in movies usually evoke worry and fright. At times, miracle and hope also find their place but only after a few sequences of tension. But Rajesh Mapuskar’s Marathi movie, Ventilator is a huge exception. It is a heartwarming, light-hearted affair despite the fact that it revolves around a patient who is in coma.

Ventilator revolves around Gajanan kaka, a senior citizen who is admitted in the I.C.U due to brain hemorrhage. His nephew Raja (Ashutosh Gowariker), a filmmaker, aborts an important event to be there for him. Gajanan’s son, Prasanna (Jitendra Joshi) is a member of a political party. He has a grudge against his father. Raja too isn’t happy with his dad (Satish Alekar). As the news of Gajanan’s health spreads, his relatives from within and outside city gather in the hospital. What will happen to Gajanan?

In his debut Hindi film, Ferrari Ki Sawari (2012), Mapuskar showed that he is a true protégé of Rajkumar Hirani. He proves it further with Ventilator. The film falls in the same slice-of-life genre that brings laughter with few doses of emotions. However, neither the 2012 film nor this one bears any resemblance with any of Hirani’s films.

Ventilator owes most of its goodness to the writing. To weave sub-plots related to such large number of characters with the basic story while giving proper screen time to each one can is a mammoth achievement. On top of that, the flow is maintained throughout. Apart from the coin episode, none of the incidents seem out of place.

ventilator-marathi-movie

Along with providing entertainment, a lot of underlying questions are brought to the forefront. But instead of speaking them out, the narrative uses subtle techniques of putting forth the points. Although there is plenty of scope for melodrama, Mapuskar had stayed miles away from making it a daily soap affair. The very last frame of the film deserves special mention for its creativity.

But despite these plus points, Ventilator falls short of being much more. The biggest problem here is the length. For a story that revolves only around one setting, 130 minutes is too long. The runtime is felt the most during the pre-climax moments.

As almost the entire film takes place indoors (in a hospital), there wasn’t much scope for the cinematographer, Savita Singh. But she still manages to display her creativity. Coming to Rohan-Rohan's music, the Ganpati song, ‘Ya Re Ya Sare Ya' is heartwarming while 'Baba' is profound.

The film has a huge line-up of actors. The last time this happened in a Marathi movie might be in Amol Palekar’s We Are On – Houn Jaun Dya (2013). [No, I am not indulging in the criminal activity of comparing both the films.] Ashutosh Gowariker suits his character. But his character sketch is very similar to his real self. I didn’t have a problem with that though.

Jitendra Joshi is by far the best of the lot. He brings out various emotions flawlessly. Satish Alekar, as Gowariker’s father, also puts his right foot forward. There is a long list of actors that offer sincere support – Sukanya Kulkarni Mone, Usha Nadkarni, Nikhil Ratnaparkhi, Sulbha Arya, Viju Khote, Achyut Potdar, etc.

Namrata Awate Sambherao gets more than noticed for her excellent portrayal of a cunning lady. Boman Irani is super impactful in a cameo while Priyanka Chopra is decent. The actor who plays an octogenarian is truly adorable!

Overall: Ventilator is a heartwarming, light-hearted family film. It stands a good chance of earning good to decent collections at the box-office.

Rating: * * * ½

Director: Rajesh Mapuskar

Producers: Priyanka Chopra and Madhu Chopra

Writer: Rajesh Mapuskar

Cast: Ashutosh Gowariker, Jitendra Joshi, Satish Alekar, Sukanya Kulkarni Mone, Sulbha Arya, Usha Nadkarni

Music: Rohan-Rohan

Genre: Drama

Release date: November 4, 2016

Runtime: 130 minutes

23Jul/160

Half Ticket (Marathi movie) Review

The last decade has seen a number of Marathi films that can be relished by a PAN India audience. But there have also been some with international appeal. Director Samit Kakkad’s Half Ticket clearly belongs to the latter category. It has the potential of bringing a smile to anyone who has a heart.

Half Ticket is the official remake of the Tamil film, Kakka Muttai. It follows the story of two kids (Shubham More and Vinayak Potdar) from Dharavi, Mumbai’s slum hub. With their father languishing in jail and mother (Priyanka Bose) earning a paltry sum from her sewing job, they literally live from hand-to-mouth.

As the kids get their nourishment from eating crow eggs, they are nicknamed, Motha Kawlyacha Anda and Chhota Kawlyacha Anda. They try to make ends meet by selling coal from railway tracks. An incident introduces them with pizza, a variety they were unaware of before. Besotted by its look and smell, relishing pizza becomes the sole aim of their life. But how will they afford a dish which is luxurious by their standards?

Half-Ticket-Marathi-movieA large number of Mumbai population lives in slums. The living condition over their will give a sad shock to people from the outside world. The film provides this feeling by bringing a truly realistic depiction of the life in slum. This is an enormous achievement for the director since shooting a feature film in such conditions can be a nightmare for those not accustomed to it.

But for a film to work it is mandatory for it to be high on storytelling and this is exactly what Half Ticket achieves. As the kids go about their daily activities and chasing their desires, you can’t help but root for them. This was also possible since the screenplay doesn’t go off-track whatsoever. This ensures that the film says a lot without saying much, more so during the heart-warming climax.

Half Ticket does come with a few issues. A couple of incidents don't seem completely convincing and the length could have been a bit shorter. On few occasions in the first half, the roadside noise in the background overpowers the dialogues. Thankfully, these points are overshadowed by the plusses.

The technical has department played a large role in making the final product of international caliber. It is difficult to ignore Sanjay Memame’s (DoP) creative shots. The songs, used in the background, go well with the theme. But it is the pleasurable background score that stays with you for long.

The film rides high on performances, which is vital for such subjects. Shubham More and Vinayak Potdar have surrendered to their characters with utmost dedication. Lest not forget the conditions in which they shot.

Priyanka Bose, who makes her Marathi film debut, also gets into the skin of her character. Despite being a non-Marathi, she shows conviction while speaking the language. Usha Naik, as the grandmother, Bhalchandra Kadam, as the kids' friend, also chip in with earnest performances.

Overall:Half Ticket is an honestly made film about kids, which will appeal to grown-ups as well. It has a chance of doing well at the box-office provided it receives word-of-mouth. The only danger it faces is Rajinikanth’s Kabali.

Director: Samit Kakkad

Producers: Video Palace

Writers: M Manikandan (original story), Dnyanesh Zoting,

Cast: Shubham More, Vinayak Potdar, Priyanka Bose, Usha Naik, Bhalchandra Kadam

Music: G V Prakash Kumar

Genre: Drama

Release date: July 22, 2016

Runtime: 114 minutes

Rating: * * * ½

By: Keyur Seta

28May/160

Laal Ishq (Marathi Movie) Review

Director: Swapna Waghmare Joshi

Producer: Sanjay Leela Bhansali

Writers: Shirish Latkar

Cast: Swapnil Joshi, Anjana Sukhani, Sneha Chavan, Jayant Wadkar

Music: Amitraaj and Nilesh Moharir

Genre: Murder mystery

Release date: May 27, 2016

Rating: * *

Review by: Keyur Seta

Director Swapna Waghmare Joshi's Laal Ishq is a murder mystery. But the biggest mystery lies in Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s decision of venturing into Marathi cinema with this film, which is more like a stretched episode of the serial CID with a dash of lust sugarcoated as romance.

The film revolves around a theatre group. Yash Patwardhan (Swapnil Joshi), film and theatre superstar, and the rest of the crew arrives at a resort to rehearse for their upcoming play. The lead actress (Sneha Chavan) is obsessed and possessive with Yash. But Yash instantly falls for Janhavi (Anjana Sukhani), who works at the resort. She too develops the same feelings for him. But amid their romance, a murder takes place. Senior cop Randive (Kamlesh Sawant) arrives to investigate the case.

Laal Ishq is quite fast paced on most occasions. It was a good idea to keep the length restricted to less than two hours. But what makes the film watchable is Kamlesh Sawant’s witty and sarcastic act as a cunning investigating officer. His confrontational scenes with Swapnil Joshi keep the film watchable. But apart from these points, the film has nothing working for itself.

Laal-Ishq-Marathi-movieSo, let’s have a look at the fallacies, which are aplenty:-

--The film is well shot. But that doesn’t help much as it is basically remains a murder mystery in an age old setting – group of people assembling at a venue and one of the gets killed. Doesn’t this instantly remind you of CID? Unfortunately, the film is handled in the same way as the Hindi serial.

-- The entire investigation is quite unintentionally hilarious. The two investigating officers aren’t even aware that the prime evidence material from the murder site isn’t to be picked up with bare hands. Never heard of gloves?

-- The absurdity of the investigation isn’t limited to this. It is seen the most with the way the mystery is solved. To say that it is unconvincing will be an understatement.

-- Yash looks at the girl and instantly falls for her without knowing her. That’s not love. That’s lust or infatuation at the most. The entire romance angle, if it can be called one, doesn’t gel with the film.

-- The guy doesn’t love his irritating co-star. But never tells her clearly. Why oh why?

-- Which sane theatre group would continue with the rehearsals even after their director is brutally murdered? In fact, they don’t even take a day to mourn his death. To add to this, the deceased was a mentor for Yash. Well, they just redefined professionalism!

-- The title is half justified. There is no ishq but there is a lot of laal, constantly reminding us about Bhansali’s association with the film.

-- A supporting character is constantly audio searching something on Google in almost each and every frame, even while having meals. Even primary school kids don’t behave this way.

-- The final mystery in the end, which is the most crucial part in a whodunit, completely lacks conviction. I can’t reveal more to avoid spoilers.

Swapnil Joshi’s performance is somewhat of a saving grace, although he is far from his best. Anjana Sukhani’s act just rises to an average level. Sneha Chavan is irritating to the core. Her poor characterization is to be blamed for this. The rest of the actors just fit the bill. The music is quite decent but the songs appear forced.

Overall: Laal Ishq is an immature murder mystery. Despite Swapnil Joshi’s presence, the film stands no chance at the box-office. The amazing run of Sairaat too will affect its collections.

1Apr/160

Ranga Patanga (Marathi Movie) Review

Director: Prasad Namjoshi

Producers: Flying God films

Writers: Prasad Namjoshi

Cast: Makasand Anaspure, Sandeep Pathak, Nandita Dhuri, Gauri Konge

Music: Kaushal Inamdar

Genre: Drama

Rating: * * *

Review By: Keyur Seta

Last 6-7 years have seen the emergence of a number of Marathi films that take place in the interiors of Maharashtra. What is good to see is that almost all such moves have turned out to be impressive. Although Prasad Namjoshi’s Ranga Patanga too falls in the good category, it doesn’t rise up to its potential.

The story takes place in a small drought-ridden village where Jhumman (Makarand Anaspure), a farmer, lives with his wife, Noor (Nandita Dhuri). Tragedy strikes him when his two beloved bullocks, Ranga and Patanga, go missing. Now, Jhumman must find them else his future is endangered. He receives utmost help from his best friend, Popat (Sandeep Pathak).

Ranga-Patanga-Marathi-MovieRanga Patanga succeeds in its most important task of getting the audience involved in Jhumman’s journey and struggle from the very first scene. But the film also smartly underlines few other aspects – struggle for minority communities and minority appeasement, opportunism of the political class and the media and, most importantly, the meaning of true friendship, which transcends all man-made borders.

Ranga Patanga can also boast its technical brilliance. Amol Gole’s camerawork is top-notch, especially during wide angle shots. The subject demanded to show visuals of barren landscapes, which appear beautiful. The sequence where Jhumman and Popat’s long scooty ride is portrayed deserves special mention. The editing and background score aren’t far behind either. A couple of songs that play in the background suit the situations and are melodious.

But, as mentioned before, the film could have achieved much more. After an impressive first half, the proceedings become a drag during few occasions in the second half. In this period, the film also instantly brings back memories of the Hindi movie, Peepli Live. But what affects the film the most is the convenient climax, straight out of a typical Hindi film.

Also, the writers have felt no need to establish Jhumman’s emotional bond with his bullocks, which could have further helped gain audience’s sympathy for him. Although he and his wife keep asserting that they deeply love their cattle, one mustn’t forget that cinema is a visual storytelling medium.

Coming to the performances, Makarand Anaspure shows his talent and literally lives the character of Jhumman. However, on few occasions, his peculiar way of speaking doesn’t go well with a rural Muslim character. Nandita Dhuri (of Elizabeth Ekadashi fame) gives another impressive act. Sandeep Pathak is likable as Jhumman’s brother-like friend.

The actors playing journalist and police inspector Pathak do well too. The rest of the actors offer decent support.

Overall: Ranga Patanga is a well-shot saga that can be seen once. The film relies heavily on word-of-mouth to make a positive impact at the box-office.

11Mar/160

Phuntroo (Marathi Movie) Review

Director: Sujay Sunil Dahake

Producers: Krishna Lulla

Writer: Sujay Sunil Dahake

Cast: Madan Deodhar, Ketaki Mategaonkar, Shivraj Waikar, Shivani Rangole, Ruturaj Shinde

Music: Hrishikesh – Saurabh – Jasraj

Genre: Sci-fi

Rating: * * *

Review By: Keyur Seta

Director Sujay Sunil Dahake’s debut, Shala was about adolescent romance. His next, Ajoba, gave a strong statement against environmental degradation through the story of a leopard. Phuntroo, his newly-released film, falls in the science-fiction genre.

If you can deal with three hugely diverse topics in your first three films and that too with conviction, there is no doubt about your talent. However, when it comes to overall satisfaction, Phuntroo falls short of expectations. But that doesn’t take away its achievement of opening Marathi cinema’s account in the modern sci-fi genre.

Phuntroo-Marathi-moviePhuntroo takes place in an engineering college. The story revolves around Vira (Madan Deodhar), a geek obsessed with scientific innovations. He is smitten by his collage mate Anaya (Ketaki Mategaonkar), but doesn’t have the guts to pour out his feelings. Circumstances ensure that Vira lays his hands on an incomplete Artificial Intelligence experiment. As he gets involved in the project, his life starts changing.

It takes time for the viewer to adapt to Vira’s world due to the complexities of his character and the setting. Slowly but surely when you do get accustomed, the experience starts becoming pleasant. It is now that you realize Dahake’s mature handling of the subject, akin to his previous works.

The use of some subtle quirky humor is also praiseworthy. The Atheist Tea Stall, Hindutva Canteen, mention of real-life politicians and the FTII Chairman, are few things that make you laugh out loud effortlessly.

While it might be argued that the proceedings take time to get fully into the sci-fi mode, it works out well for it creates excitement and anticipation from the second half. However, it is in the latter part of the post-interval period that the film starts going downhill due to various reasons.

The creative liberty taken by Dahake is too much to ignore, with some important moments also lacking logic. What is also unforgivable is that Vira’s emotional dilemma isn’t explored much. Lastly, the climax doesn’t provide the kind of kick you expect from such a subject.

It would be unfair not to consider the technical department as a major plus point. The work of the VFX team is triumphant to say the least. The film wouldn’t have appealed without their contribution. But Archana Borhade’s artistic camerawork and Saket Kanetkar’s powerful background score aren’t behind either.

Like his previous two films, the filmmaker once again extracts convincing performances from his actors. Madan Deodhar is excellent as Vira. To play such a complex and difficult character is no mean task. Ketaki Mategaonkar puts forth her best act till date. She is effective as the robot Phuntroo too. Shivani Rangole, Shivraj Waikar and few others too chip in with good acts.

Overall: Phuntroo is an above-average saga that doesn’t live up to the expectations. It is more of an experiment. The film is given half a star extra for its technicalities. With good hype and famous faces in the lead, it is expected to score well at the box-office in the first week. But its chances don’t appear positive in the long run.

3Jan/1652

Natsamrat Dialogues

Nana Patekar is gaining tremendous applause for his act in and as Natsamrat and rightly so. But we can't deny the role of V V Shirvadka aka Kusumagraj (original play) Kiran Yadnyopavit and Abhijeet Deshpande's richly creative dialogues in helping this Mahesh Manjrekar film reach the level of a classic.

Here is a list of some applaud-worthy dialogues from Natsamrat:

- To be or not to be, that is the question. Jagava ki marava, ha ekach sawaal aahe.

- Pratishtha mhanje ek bhaakad oza. Kadhi yogyata nastana milta. Kadhi chook nastana nighun jaata.

- Kuni ghar deta ka? Ghar? Eka toofanala kuni ghar deta ka? Ek toofan bhinti vaachun, chhapra vaachun, manasachya maye vachun, devacha daye vachun, dongra-dongrat hindta aahe. Jithun kuni uthavnar naahin ashi jaga dhoondta aahe. Kuni ghar deta ka re? Ghar?

(FOR THE REVIEW OF NATSAMRAT, CLICK HERE)

Picture: Natsamrat Facebook page

Picture: Natsamrat Facebook page

- Tu nat mhanun bhikarda aahesach. Pan tu maanus mhanun suddha salya neech aahes.

- I kissed him. You are jealous.

- Whisky? Oh that is phuski...

- Vidhata, tu itka kathor ka zalas? Eka bajula jyanna aamhi jamna dila tya aahmala visartaat. Aani dusrya bajula jyani aahmala janma dila toh tu hi aahmala visarto. Mag viskatlelya hadanche he saapde gheune karuna kara, aahmi  therdyani kunacha payavar doka aadhlaycha re?

- Naahin, raagavun kay faayda aahe? Aani radnaar suddha naahin. Mazya dolyat asva jama hovayla laagli tar khi... khi... khile maarun khacha karun taakin pan hya adhai samor mee radnaar naahi.

- Aahmala vaat ta aamhi aai zalo, baap zalo. Khara tar aamhi kunich zalelo nasto. Aamhi fakta jine asto jine.

- Sur mhanto saath de. Diva mhanto vaat de. Unhamadhlya mhataryala fakta tuza haath de.

- Door vha! Door vha, sagla nirarthak aahe. Jo aaplya jaagi thaam pane ubha aahe toh mee aahe. Julius Caesar. Mee aahe Prataprao. Mee Othello. Sudhakar aani Hamlet aani Ganpat Ramchandra Belvalkar, Natsamrat.