Naal – A Movie review (Marathi movie)

 

Readers would wonder, ‘Why a review now for a movie which released in 2018?’

 

Well, I saw the movie now, in 2022 and was totally sucked into the life of the protagonist, a small boy living a laid back village life with his family and friends.

What I loved about the movie is that there are no over the top performances and neither are there melodramatic scenes. Everything is portrayed so naturally and sensitively, the viewer in me felt and lived the innocent life of the small boy once again.

The Director, Sudhakar Reddy Yakkanti skillfully manages to capture the entire film from the point of view of the child, never once straying into a parallel storyline. No wonder, the Director was honoured with the Indira Gandhi award for the best debut film for a Director. His vision is apparent right from the first frame, selecting an authentic setting for the film in the heart of rural Maharashtra.

He is no doubt helped by the acting prowess of Nagraj Manjule and Devika Daftardar, who play the important roles as parents of the protagonist.

And what can one say about the child actor, Shreenivas Pokale, a precocious 8 year old child who manages to suck the viewer into his world, transporting you back to your own childhood of innocent memories. A deserving winner of National film award for the best child artist, Shreenivas Pokale makes you laugh and cry in equal measures, at his childish, naughty antics and his innocent struggles when he inadvertently comes to know a hidden truth about himself.

While his interactions with his friends are what all childhoods are about, it is his relationship with his mother and grandmother, which are truly heartwarming. I haven’t seen such a sensitive portrayal before from one so young as the soul of the whole film rests on his tiny shoulders.

Those who love cinema have no right to miss this masterpiece of an experience.

 

Yatindra Tawde

 

 

Swatchchata Abhiyan

It was early morning. So early, even the birds were fast asleep.

A time when Raghu liked to get the job done and over with. It was his me time. That way, he was a shy person.

He liked to defecate alone in the fields in the darkness. Not for him, the community defecation festivals conducted every morning by his fellow villagers.

The anti open defecation mohim, which was a rage in the rest of the country, had not yet touched his village. Perhaps, due to his village falling in an opposition ruled state?

And so he was doing his job peacefully, sitting (‘h’ silent)below a tree, humming a tune. Suddenly he was lifted up in the air, still in same position, his legs wrapped tightly by something.

As he was being carried off with his pants down, he realised that it was an elephant from the neighbouring forest, which was swinging him wildly.

With his heart in his mouth, he saw death. He saw his long departed grandmother, his uncle and an assortment of departed fellow villagers, all having a good laugh at his expense.

As tears steamed down his eyes and with his bottom literally yellowed, he prayed… prayed hard.

And miraculously, perhaps overcome by the pungent odour of the load it was carrying, the running elephant finally dropped him like a load of potatoes and ran off into the neighbouring forest.

Today the man has become an ambassador of the swatchchata abhiyan of the village and his mascot is…who else, Appu Raja.

Yatindra Tawde