wogma rating: Watch when on TV/online (?)
With an interesting albeit borrowed-from-Hollywood concept, 'Kashala Udyachi Baat' makes for a decent TV watch primarily because of the cast and a certain amount of honesty in the story telling. However, the preachiness is bound to put off some.Read more
Before watching the film, the most interesting pull factor about Kashala Udyachi Baat for me was that this was Anupam Kher’s first ever Marathi film. Perhaps one of the most under-utilized actors of our times (partly due to his own doing), the fact that he was said to have dubbed for the film himself was an added bonus. However, Kashala Udyachi Baat, in spite of having an interesting concept at its core, is an unfulfilling effort, primarily because in an effort to get its message across, the film takes to sermonizing.
Aditya Pradhan, played by Sachin Khedekar, is an ambitious, career-obsessed IT professional who has no time for those who should matter most in life. For him, they are a cursory duty that he needs to fulfill on his journey to professional success. Fed up with him when he misses an important event in his daughter’s life, his wife, played by Mrinal Kulkarni, packs her bags and leaves for home with her daughter. Groundhog Day then takes over for a while as Aditya Pradhan is stuck in a time loop – he wakes up every day to the same day, a Sunday – a means for him to savour the finer nuances of life. In comes a mysterious blind stranger, who acts like a beacon for him in his state of the eternal Sunday.
Directed by Pramod Joshi, Kashala Udyachi Baat does have its moments, something that goes without saying. A time loop concept will always be interesting, because there is always a magnetic charm to the idea of non-linearity in life. However, when the time loop is over-done, the concept can begin to grate, much like the cacophony of his neighbours that Aditya Pradhan has to wake up to every Sunday. Adding insult to the injury caused by the draggy screenplay is an item number that really finds no place in this film.
Sachin Khedekar is a talented actor, of that there is no doubt. In fact, one can often see why he was chosen to play this part. He is a natural when it comes to showing the exasperation that an ordinary man can feel with his life. However, he is one of those actors who continuously needs to be reined in, because over-the-top comes as naturally to him as subtle does. Mrinal Kulkarni is another actor who I am extremely fond of simply because of the presence that she exudes. Though she doesn’t get much to do in this film, her appearance is always a joy.
Anupam Kher does a fairly decent job, even with his Marathi, although it did seem a little stilted. I also often got the feeling that it wasn’t his voice at all, although that could be just my imagination. What is good to see is that actors like him and Naseeruddin Shah (in Deool) are featuring in Marathi films. Hopefully, this will provide the much-needed fillip to an industry that deserves it.
Apart from the said item number, Kashala Udyachi Baat feels like an honest effort. What happens invariably though, is that the film veers towards being preachy and moralizing. Yes, there is more to life than work and success. But hammering it on the audience’s head might not entirely get the message across. The film looks and feels right, but mediocre writing will always sink a film, no matter what.
The film is a half-decent effort, but a sharper, more insightful screenplay would have made it truly worth a watch. As it stands though, the film is really just something you could switch to on TV if the other options are re-telecasts of Golmaal or Ghajini.
This review is by guest reviewer Pradeep Menon. Pradeep is a filmmaker and a dreamer. He loves books, rain, winters, tea and his parents. Cinema, however, is the only truth he believes in. He breathes and bleeds film, mostly in hues of saffron, white, green and blue. You can watch his short films at www.youtube.com/cyberpradeep.
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