Director: Nitish Bhardwaj
Producers: IME Motion Pictures
Writers: Original Story by Sudha Murthy and Screenplay by Bhardwaj and Pravin Tarde
Cast: Sachin Khedekar, Tanuja, Suhas Joshi, Ketaki Vilas, Poorvi Bhave, Om Bhutkar, Mrunal Deshpande
Music: Kaushal Inamdar
Rating: * * * *
By: Keyur Seta
Story Outline: The film is based on author Sudha Murthy’s short Kannada story. Venkatesh Kulkarni (Sachin Khedekar), an architect, vows to fulfill his late father’s unfulfilled wish while performing his last rites. He confronts his mother (Suhas Joshi) about his father’s unfulfilled wish but she brushes away the topic.
When Venkatash visits a village in the Konkan region for a project, he is amused to realize that one of the locals is his exact lookalike. He is further amused when he comes to know that even his lookalike is named Venkatesh Kulkarni. His amusement turns into disturbance when few more shocking similarities emerge between the two. Do the two Venkatesh Kulkarnis have anything in common or is it a mere co-incidence?
Review: Due to some reason or the other, the genre of dramatic thrillers isn’t explored often in Indian films. But in his directorial debut Pitruroon, Nitish Bhardwaj has not only explored the genre but also made sure that the film turns out to be an artistically crafted drama that keeps you engrossed and interested throughout.
The basic prerequisite of every film is its story and this is where Pitruroon scores the most. Sudha Murthy’s tale is like a thriller but at the same time, high on emotions. But it is the screenplay and presentation that makes the film version so impressive. Due to some regular thrilling and intriguing moments, one is just glued to the screen for the entire 106 minutes, except for the songs. The makers should also be lauded for sticking to the short length.
The aforementioned plus points give rise to a number of memorable scenes that include:
- First meeting between the two Venkatesh Kulkarnis.
- Bhagirathi narrating her life story to one of the Venkateshes.
- Hanumant getting to know about someone’s death through news on radio.
- Bank locker scene.
- The instance where the mystery is solved.
- The all-important climax.
(Some scenes are purposely not included to avoid spoilers.)
The major negative aspect here is the predictability, especially in the first half. They could have done away with a lot of filmi-ness. There is also a laughable moment when the ever-stammering Venkatesh is seen singing fluently! Apart from this, the stark difference of complexion between the older and younger Bhagirathi is questionable.
Kaushal Inamdar’s music is melodious and it suits the situations. However, they could have shortened the length of the songs. The camerawork plays a major role in making the film look artistically brilliant. Some beautiful shots of Konkan deserve special mention. The background score adds to the thrill and drama. The editing should also be praised for the short length.
The film goes few notches higher due to the performances. Sachin Khedekar lives up to his image of a talented veteran by perfectly getting into the skin of two starkly opposite characters. It is difficult to imagine someone else in this role. Despite his act, Tanuja super impresses in her Marathi film debut with an outstanding performance!
Ketaki Vilas too does a fine job as the younger Bhagirathi. Suhas Joshi is believable as an aged and hurt woman. Poorvi Bhave provides a decent act and so do the rest of the supporting actors – Mrunal Deshpande, Madhavi Soman and Om Bhutkar.
Overall: Pitruroon is an example of an interesting story told in a very interesting manner. Due to the quality of the product and the popularity of Khedekar, it is expected to do well at the box office.