Director: Tejas Vijay Deoskar
Producers: S K Production Films and Sandesh Films International
Writers: Tejas Vijay Deoskar
Cast: Sandeep Kulkarni, Kadambari Kadam, Sarika Nilatkar
Music: Susmit Limaye
Rating: * * *
Story Outline: For Basketball coach Anant Dharmadhikar (Sandeep Kulkarni), winning is everything. But his intense passion for Basketball and a sharp ego separate him not only from his wife Sai (Kadambari Kadam), who is highly successful in the corporate world, but also from the game itself. Amidst such dire consequences, will Anant find a ray of hope?
Review: Winning is the ultimate motto for any team playing whichever sport. But in the midst of winning all the time and maintaining the number one spot, we often forget to enjoy the game both on and off the field. With the use of a story of an egoistic coach, Tejas Vijay Deoskar succeeds in giving this message in Ajinkya in a heartwarming manner. Although the film doesn’t provide as much impact in few portions as needed, the realistic portrayal of the life of a coach and the simplicity make sure it’s worth watching.
The narration is intelligent in the first half. The main point of the story and the character definition of Anant is established right at the start. The way the background is narrated by using flashback in between deserves applause. There is realism induced in every situation which makes the audience feel for the characters. Anant’s interaction with his wife’s friend and his wife after separation deserve special mention. Even his struggle to keep himself away from Basketball is smartly shown without using dialogues, especially in the cupboard shifting scene.
It is the second half which stops the film from becoming superlative. From the start of this part till the climax, there isn’t any real conflict and unpredictability. The story and the message should have been exploited more to create a much bigger impact. It is also in this period that the pace drops a bit. But due to Anant’s subtle return to the game, his change in outlook and a moving climax, you leave the cinema hall with a smile.
In a film where a sport plays an important part, there is a danger of the makers getting carried away by it. Thankfully, that doesn’t happen here. The game of Basketball is used only as per the need. It is also shot in a manner which makes it appealing even to those who aren’t interested in the sport.
The film has received apt support from the cinematography and editing. Although the background music suits the need, there are a lot of portions where they have simply not used it at all! Music wise, ‘Theme of Ajinkya’ and ‘Jari Maza Tuza’ are the tracks that go well with the situations.
Performances are a big plus point. Sandeep Kulkarni perfectly gets into the skin of a tough coach and delivers a top notch performance. He shows his talent in the emotional scenes too. His act is largely responsible for making you feel for his character and the story. Kadambari Kadam is also thoroughly mature as his wife. Sarika Nilatkar provides perfect support while the rest of the actors play their part well.
Overall, Ajinkya doesn’t win by 25 points (as said in the film) but it wins nevertheless. Due to the average hype, it needs some terrific word-of-mouth to succeed at the box-office.
(Personal Note: Recently, me and my friend had the privilege of having a long conversation with a tennis coach. He revealed about his coaching techniques and how his profession has badly affected his personal life. Whatever he told us, matched exactly with Sandeep Kulkarni’s character and his situation in the movie.)