- Review : Ubuntu (2017)
- Producer : Pushkar Sudhakar Shrotri
- Director : Pushkar Sudhakar Shrotri
- Star Cast : Shashank Shendye, Sarang Sathaye as Mastar
- Umesh Jagtap, Bhagyashree Shankpal, Kanha Bhave, Atharva Padhye, Arati More, Shubham Pawa, Arya Hadkar
- Original Story : Bhalchandra Kubal
- Story : Pushkar Shrotri
- Music : Kaushal Inamdar
- Review By : Abhay Salvi
Rating : 2/5
Ubuntu Marathi Movie Review :
‘Ubuntu’ is a difficult film to review. It’s technically well crafted, it has good actors in important roles, a universal theme, & an equally universal title but! And this ‘but’ is very disheartening. There are many inter-connected, disconnected issues that altogether add up to become this ‘but’. I’ll try to justify a few of them.
Number one; the relevance of this story in today’s time! Yes it’s understandable that even today many villages in Maharashtra don’t have schools within their village. Yes children still travel a few kms everyday. But here’s the point, in today’s times ‘8 km’ is not really that far. Especially when the film has already established that the village is well connected with public transport. So why is it portrayed as a disastrous scenario for these kids to travel that much distance to a different village, when their school shuts down?
Number two; There are about 15-18 children who are regularly attending this school, all of them belonging to different age-groups! Yes not even different ages but age-groups! Fine, but how does the teacher deal with that? The first half tries to get into the smallest of details while teaching ‘Geography’ but doesn’t feel the need to explain, why is the teacher (Sarang Sathaye) teaching the very same thing to kids of different ages? (I mean different age-groups.) Later one of the elder girls (Bhagyashree Shankpal) talks about her wish to appear for SSC next year! How can she be prepared for it? If she’s still learning what kids half her age are learning? I am almost convinced that saving this school is pointless! These kids need to be educating in a bigger school!
Number three; the bad guys! In all there are two important baddies here! One is of course the ‘Sarpanch’ (Shashank Shende) of the village. There was a time when it was impossible to even think of making a Marathi film without an evil ‘Sarpanch’ but most of the times it was fun to watch Nilu Bhau (Phule) in all his glory doing such roles! The thing is, that ‘Sarpanch’ used to be evil throughout! He wasn’t a spineless character who can change in a fraction of seconds (literally) at the end of the film & become a completely different man! Here he does! This sudden change also occurs in a converse way (I mean from good to bad) with our second baddie! Abdul’s ‘Mama’ (Umesh Jagtap) (Abdul is this very very bright kid, around whom the whole second half revolves). And this change is not even showed or explained to us! Maybe the film believes that some characters change, just because you don’t give them enough screen time!
Number four; is it all about Abdul? The title of our review! The second half is like a bagful of countless little flaws which are almost impossible to remember. But overall the whole existence of this second half is a basic flaw! I shouldn’t reveal the plot here. But let’s say that saving this school relies completely on this one kid Abdul (Atharva Padhye)! Abdul due to some circumstances had to leave this school & shift to Sangli (a city). And then the elder girl (Shankpal) & the youngest kid (Kanha Subodh Bhave) travel to Sangli to bring him back! Well because he’s the smartest kid! And the rest of the kids can’t..(that would be a spoiler). But let’s just consider this, the film does imply that he’s the only smart kid in this school. Then what is the point for the rest of the kids to still continue learning in this very school? Again isn’t it pointless to save the school?
You might think this review is a bit harsh on the film. But try to understand that the setting was really good, the craft was even better! Then why shouldn’t the makers (Pushkar Shrotri & his team) consider basic logical reasoning before making such a passion project?
Anyways I still feel that there might be a fair number of audiences who can forgive all these logical errors (rather they might not recognize them at all) & enjoy a bit of school nostalgia & come out of the theatres averagely satisfied! If you think you’re one of them do watch the film!
Ubuntu film review,