Director: Mangesh Kadam
Producers: Suyog Productions
Writer: Shekhar Dhavalikar
Cast: Vikram Gokhale, Reema Lagoo, Jayant Sawarkar and Bageshree Joshirao
Rating: * * * ½
Review By: Keyur Seta
An age old topic ceases to be one if treated in a fresh manner. There isn’t anything novel in a tussle between married couple. It has been explored in every storytelling medium – films, plays and TV – since decades.
But writer Shekhar Dhavalikar and director Mangesh Kadam have provided a contemporary touch to the subject in the Marathi play Ke Dil Abhi Bhara Nahin. It’s a hilarious saga despite the fact that it deals with an emotional theme.
The story revolves around an aged married couple, Arun (Vikram Gokhale) and Vandana (Reema Lagoo). They share a bittersweet relationship. Their daughter (Bageshree Joshirao) is married in the same city. But their son has migrated to Singapore with his wife and kid for a better opportunity. The daughter is very caring towards them whereas their son doesn’t care for them at all.
Vandana isn’t happy to stay home alone. So, Arun takes retirement to give her company and help her run the house. He decides to surprise her with the news. Instead, Vandana gives him a surprise by declaring that she has passed a priesthood course and will now be visiting people’s houses to carry out priestly services. This incident changes the equation between the couple.
The script is a smart mixture of emotionalism and humor. Although the writer has induced humor throughout the duration, he has made sure the sensitivity isn’t affected, even a bit. This is very difficult. The play wouldn’t have turned out to be so moving if there was some fault in this aspect. The climax is anybody’s guess in such stories. But you are taken by surprise by the creative manner of driving home the point.
The writing coupled with some intelligent direction results in a treat. There are numerous unsaid nuances and antics brought in by the director that play a major role in the end result.
The set designing is simple and realistic but at the same time, rich. With such content, a compromise on this area wouldn’t have affected the overall result much. But there is no stone left unturned. As far as lights go, there could have been more creativity or experimentation. The background score is as per the need.
Watching two stalwarts like Vikram Gokhale and Reema Lagoo perform in front of you is a complete treat. It gets even better when they are at their best, which is the case here. Their complementation is terrific too. They score high not only during emotional scenes but also while doing comedy. Not many would have seen Gokhale do it. Seeing them together brings back memories of their pleasing act in the Marathi movie, Anumati.
Jayant Sawarkar, as Arun’s friend, provides a lovable act while Bageshree Joshirao is decent.
But among so many positives, there is a downslide too. The play drags a bit in the second half. Probably, the length should have been shorter.
Overall: Ke Dil Abhi Bhara Nahin is an entertaining take on the relationship of an aged couple. With the content and the big names attached with it, it is sure to run for a long time.