Our films take death too seriously. Promises are made and shattering truths are revealed using intense narratives/flashbacks. But the non-dramatic, ordinary death has its own charm. And hospital drama Ventilator captures it perfectly.
Ashutosh Gowarikar, along with several other family members — a mix of colorful, eccentric characters — get together to meet the dying relative on a ventilator. The setting is simple, with the story hardly moving outside the hospital. Ventilator carries the unique charm of a Hrishikesh Mukherjee or a Raju Hirani (who is also director Rajesh Mapuskar’ mentor) film. Small moments convey multiple emotions. Nothing feels artificial or fake. The twists cater to the characters’ growing arc. And the humor is consistent throughout.
The special thing about Ventilator is that it doesn’t try to give solutions to problems. It doesn’t judges anyone; it only puts forth various sides of human emotions. The film takes great restraint to pull back from going full blast on father-son relationship issues.
Ventilator brings back the most fundamental strengths of storytelling: great cast and brilliant writing. Rajesh Mapuskar proves you don’t need big sets and over-the-top drama to take audiences on an emotional rollercoaster ride.
Where do I begin? Sairat is an accumulation of the efforts of the Marathi industry in all these years. Both the urban and rural audience took to the film, a true-blue blockbuster that didn’t compromise on content.
Sairat is the Sholay of Marathi film industry.
Nagraj Manjule’s genius has been dissected and discussed many times, from his technique to the heartfelt performances extracted from the leads. Both Rinku and Akshay immerse themselves in the characters and never miss a beat. For the record, both are non-actors. But only untrained actors could have given such natural performances.
Every moment of the love story — Parshya’s jump into the river when he hears of Archie, their rendezvous in the farms, Archie’s confidence, their escape from the goons — is epic. And the film manages it all without expensive sets and on a bare budget (2 crore). Even their little house in Hyderabad is so beautifully scaled over the slum landscape.
Ajay-Atul’s music is as instrumental to the film’s success as Manjule’s direction. The rousing soundtracks lend the film its grand, epic feel.
Films like these familiarize you with your core. You don’t just care for the characters, but feel and live them. They make you realize you are way more human than you’d imagined yourselves to be.
Sairat is not a film. It’s an experience. I wish I could erase all memory of it so that I could experience the first high over and over.
By Shridhar Kulkarni
Recommended: 5 Marathi movies for beginners
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