Direction: Sameer Ramesh Surve
Production: Parv Creations
Writers: Va Pu Kale and Sameer Ramesh Surve
Cast: Padmanabh Bind, Shweta Pagar, Satish Pulekar, Lalan Sarang
Music: Nilesh Moharir
Rating: * * * *
By: Keyur Seta
Plot: The film is based on novelist Va Pu Kale’s popular Marathi novel Partner. The story revolves around Shree (Padmanabh Bind) who is living a not-so-perfect life as a chemist in Mumbai. He finds solace when a total stranger (Satish Pulekar) becomes his best friend in an unexpected manner. That person calls himself Partner as he doesn’t find it necessary to reveal his real name. Partner guides Shree during every issue of his life, including his love for Kiran (Shweta Pagar). But how far will Shree and Partner’s friendship go?
Review: Adapting a novel into a film is a big challenge. Filmmaker Sameer Ramesh Surve faced the same challenge in Shree Partner since he was set out to make a film on the classic novel Partner by Va Pu Kale. Although, generally speaking, the aim of both the novel and the movie is to tell a story, both mediums are vastly different. So there shouldn’t be comparisons on whether the film is better than the book or vice versa. The question should be whether the film succeeds in generating the same feeling which the book did. As far as Shree Partner is concerned, the answer is a big yes!
While reading a novel, one tends to visualize the story and its characters. Your visualization, while reading Partner, matches with what Surve has presented on screen. He has done justice to the whole lot of interesting conversations and events by keeping their flavor intact. On most of the occasions, he has used the exact lines from the book which is a very good idea. Of course, a number of events are edited from the book but that in no way affects the continuity factor. But at the same time there are innovations as well, especially in the humorous moments and the climax.
However, we can’t ignore the fact that there would be a good number of viewers who haven’t read the book. The film will appeal to them as well as they would get to watch an engaging, moving saga of friendship and love. Although the book was written way back in 1977, the common man of today’s era would also be able to relate to the relationship and interaction between Shree and Partner. But one has to say that the chances of the film being loved by those who have read the book seem bigger.
The duration of the movie is one of the bigger challenges for a filmmaker when he creates a movie based on a book. Maybe because of this, some of the events, especially the entry of Mai’s character, appear hushed up in order to fit the story in the desired timeframe of two hours.
Nilesh Moharir’s music also plays a vital role in storytelling with all songs being impressive. ‘Jaadu’ and ‘Bheeni Bheeni’ are the tracks that stand out. Sandeep Dhumal’s cinematography is simple yet effective. Nilesh Dahanukar’s background score succeeds in creating desired effects while the editing is alright.
Padmanabh Bind and Shweta Pagar had their task cut out as they were playing lead characters of a classic novel in their first film but they both rise to the occasion with ease. Padmanabh is very real as a middle class youth. He portrays different emotions with maturity. Shweta’s transformation from a young girl to a married woman is praiseworthy. Senior actor Satish Pulekar brings the character of Partner live on screen very successfully. Lalan Sarang does justice to the character of Shree’s mother. Actors playing Shree’s brother and sister-in-law are perfect.
Overall, Shree Partner is a fitting tribute to Kale’s novel. The film has a chance of succeeding at the box office with the help of word-of-mouth.