Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Elizabeth Ekadashi

Movie Review : Elizabeth Ekadashi
Language : Marathi
Director : Paresh Mokashi
Genre : Drama, Family
Starring : Shrirang Mahajan, Sayali Bandakavathekar, Nandita Dhuri
Released : November 2014
My Rating : 7 out of 10

Just a few days ago when I wrote the review of “Coffee ani barach kahi”, I mentioned that I started watching Marathi movies again only recently. One of the reasons, perhaps the main reason, was Paresh Mokashi’s first movie “Harishchandrachi Factory”. I had heard a lot about it, and it was every bit worth the hype. I absolutely loved that movie. So my expectations were quite high for this movie. They were almost met.

In the holy town of Pandharpur, two young siblings, Dnyanesh (Shrirang Mahajan) and Mukta (Sayali Bandakavathekar) live with their widowed mother (Nadita Dhuri). Their family is going through severe financial troubles. Their only remaining worthwhile possession is a cycle made by their late father. This cycle is lovingly named “Elizabeth”. When the situation becomes dire enough, where even the cycle might get sold, the kids decide to help out on their own. As per a suggestion by their friend, they start a small shop to sell bangles to the pilgrims who visit Pandharpur on the auspicious day of “Ekadashi”. (Hence the name of the movie.) The whole operation is kept secret from the mother, who wants them to focus on studies. Of course, things don’t go as smoothly as the kids had planned. Situation gets worse, before everything gets resolved for better in the end.

That last sentence wasn’t a spoiler. This is not a tear jerker tragedy. It’s a heartwarming, feel good movie. In such movies, predictability is an asset, when managed well.

The story is loosely based on childhood experiences of the script writer Madhugandha Kulkarni, who is the wife of the director Paresh Mokashi. It’s a short story, and doesn’t provide a lot of material for the director to work with. So he has to rely on other technical aspects to make it a meaningful movie. One aspect is authenticity. People behave in the movie as people behave in real life. It feels like you are watching real life events. The movie is shot on actual locations in Pandharpur. I was impressed by the functional and efficient camera work.

Mokashi has managed to extract exemplary support from the child actors. They impart more authenticity than any other aspect of the movie. Unlike the often seen irritating kids of movies/serials, the kids here are adorable and most importantly absolutely believable. They may not have been given the most challenging scenes to act in, but I could relate to them. I loved the character of Dnyanesh,  a respectful, well-intentioned kid and how Srirang Mahajan has acted. Other actors have done superb job as well. Nadita Dhuri as the mother was as natural as the kids.

In spite of this praise that I am offering, I cannot give the movie a higher rating. It’s a very small, simple story. It will touch your heart, but won’t awe you. My recommendation is mainly based on it being a very enjoyable movie that’s great for the whole family. My kids liked it, and I think so will most kids.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...