Baban Movie Review: A Messed Up Pot Boiler!

  • Review : Baban (2018)
  • Producer : Vitthalrao Nanasaheb Karhade, Pramod Bhaskar Chaudhary, Bhausaheb Shahaji Shinde and Monali Sandip Phand
  • Director : Bhaurao Karhade
  • Writer : Bhaurao Karhade
  • Star Cast : Bhausaheb Shinde, Gayatri Jadhav, Shital Chavan, Devendra Gaikwad & Abhay Chavan
  • Review by : Abhay Salvi

Baban Movie Review:

Bhaurao Karhade’s debut film ‘Khwada’ had many things going for it from a never before seen communal backdrop, to the raw texture of the film & a meaningful end. But ‘Khwada’ had a very little & compact conflict. Everything else was woven around it. The basic problem with ‘Baban’ is that it struggles to find an exact conflict. What is it really about? Is it a love story? Or the story of an underdog fighting against the system around? Or is it a quintessential ‘masala’ film with bits of romance, action, emotional drama & humour? Well it’s all the above at different instances, neither of them are strong enough to make the film impactful. And the craftsmanship essential to bind these three or more varieties of filmmaking is completely missing in ‘Baban’.

However the film still has a few heartfelt moments that reflect the reality in most of the rural regions in Maharashtra today. But they are scattered throughout the film & in totality they don’t really make a lasting impression.

Another major flaw is the lead actor’s limitations as an actor. Throughout the film we see him in 3-4 stock expressions & his body language too is similarly out of options. Comparatively the film has a decent supporting cast (of either non-actors or first timers), Bhaurao Karhade himself amuses us in the first half or so but later his monotonous performance of the carefree drunken father becomes a little boring. The actress who plays Baban’s mother is probably the finest of the lot, though with just a few dialogues she ends up shining the brightest mostly because of the way she emotes through her eyes.

The film keeps playing around in the narrative by matching every serious scene with the romantic track of the film, Baban is a college going student from the beginning to the end of the film. But the sole purpose for this college backdrop appears to be the romantic track, & for the introduction of the antagonist named ‘Abhay’. Now Abhay is backed by a wealthy politician cum gang leader. Now Abhay, Baban & the gang leader all belong to the same ‘community’ so the film isn’t a inter-community struggle in any way, this might be denoting that today there’s only one class difference; the poor & the rich. So thematically this track had so much depth! But sadly this track is ruined by repetition & even poor execution of ‘action’ scenes. They didn’t need to be as over the top as ‘south’ films but they still need to be well choreographed & executed.

Had ‘Baban’ wanted to be an out & out pot boiler, it could have well believed in a modern day Marathi ‘angry young man’ or it could have completely focused itself to be a dramatic love story. It could have still belonged to both worlds with better writing & crafting of the script, but it’s in no man’s land. The songs are in fact very melodious but in the scheme of things they add little to the film & instead keep disrupting the narrative of the film.

The most off putting aspect of ‘Baban’ for me was the resolution of the conflict/conflicts. The film ends up being forcefully over dramatic by using hard hitting realism as a device. It just doesn’t make any sense in the film’s basic conflict that felt interesting at some point, neither does it upheld the romantic angle of the film.

Overall:

‘Baban’ definitely has a strong influence of ‘Sairat’ in it’s romantic track, & Karhade’s own Khwada’s impact on the protagonist’s struggle against the higher (rich) class, yet ‘Baban’ could have groomed into an interesting crowd pleasing entertainer had it worked harder on paper.

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