wogma rating: Add to “To Watch” list, watch some day (?)
Shoddy screenplay dampens the impact of an inspirational story of a great social worker - Dr. Prakash Baba Amte. The film could’ve looked far better had it been edited intelligently.Read more
We all love heroes. We sing to their tunes. We dance to their moves. We read about them tirelessly. And we even follow their films mindlessly. But what about an extraordinary hero, you might have never heard of or seen before? Will people throng theatres just to watch such an unusual hero on celluloid? Well, I found my answers when I saw audiences turning up in big numbers on the first day, first show of Samruddhi Porey’s Dr. Prakash Baba Amate. The auditorium was buzzing with excitement. Though it died down very shortly.
The film is the official biopic of Dr. Prakash Baba Amte – a man (played masterfully by Nana Patekar) who sacrificed his entire life for tribals and wild animals in the Hemalkasa area of Maharashtra. It traces the struggle of Amte and his wife Dr. Mandakini Amte (Sonali Kulkarni) with tribals, wild animals, naxalites and corrupt government officials. The film takes you back to an era where this man lived, worked and even performed emergency surgical procedures without electricity.
The way he developed personal bond with tribals and wild animals is one of the most fascinating aspects of Amte’s story. This tale is undoubtedly heroic. However, not this film. At least not the way it is narrated.
I don’t understand, why director, Porey had to overemphasise the protagonist’s heroics in every single scene? Actually, this is the outcome of passé, lacklustre writing. Its screenplay is structured in the most typical manner. I know, flashbacks inside a flashback look bold. But only if they’re handled carefully. Considering the subject, occasional slow-paced narrative is somewhat justified. But where is the drama that hooks you with its storytelling?
Every department of this film seems haywire - writing-direction, cinematography, editing, sound design or even makeup. Mahesh Anye’s Cinematography is beautiful, undoubtedly. But it fails to add any value to the storytelling. What’s the use of capturing stunning shots, when they rarely tell you a story? That wow factor is missing throughout the film.
The visuals and audios are sometimes poles apart. When you’re dying to see the drama, you’re bombarded with philosophy. But when you actually get to see it, you barely feel anything about it. You just see gore, but feel nothing for the characters or their situations. That is another letdown.
The film’s only saving grace is Nana Patekar and Sonali Kulkarni’s acting prowess. Both the lead actors are back (after Taxi No. 9211 and Deool to charm you with their power-packed, sizzling chemistry. However, directing your talented, lead cast isn’t a big deal. The real challenge is to bring good performances out of the extras (mostly tribals) as well. Nagraj Manjule's Fandry is a beautiful example to describe it. This is where Porey fails miserably.
Average films turn better (of course, to some extent) thanks to smart editing. However; this film’s amateurish, outdated editing adds to its woes. The film does have few sequences you can emotionally relate to. They are simply beautiful too. But the director’s overall focus seems to be only on telling (sometimes showing) you almost everything that happened. This leaves you disheartened.
“Dr. Prakash Baba Amte - The Real Hero” isn’t a terrible film in its entirety. The makers had a fascinating story to tell through two of the best actors our industry has. They definitely seem to have had a good intention (who wants to make a bad film anyway?) It’s just that their approach went wrong. The sad part is that this is the official biopic of Amte. I doubt if this inspirational tale would ever be retold.
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This page has additional observations, other than the ones noted in the main review.
The film traces the life of Dr. Prakash Amte and his wife Dr. Mandakini Amte, who struggled to provide basic medical and livelihood facilities to the tribals in the Hemalkasa area of Maharashtra.