- Review : Ekk Albela (2016)
- Producer : Dr Monish Babre
- Directer : Shekhar Sartandel
- Star Cast : Mangesh Desai as Bhagwan Dada, Vidhyadhar Joshi, Prasad Pandit, Swapnil Rajshekhar, Vighnesh Joshi, Shekhar Phadke, Shriram Kolhatkar, Arun Bhadsavle, Vidya Balan
- Writer : Shekhar Sartandel & Amol Shetge
- Music : Santosh Mulekar
- Genre : Drama
- Certification : U
- Review By : Rasik Tirodkar
Rating : 2.5/5
Ek Albela Marathi Movie Review:
‘Indifference’ is a word that most filmmakers would dread. A filmmaker would surely want a reaction – hate or love – for his creation. Nothing could be more frustrating than indifference. And that is exactly the emotion that the biopic on Bhagwan Dada inspires in you – indifference!
I must admit I was rather looking forward to this film. Most Marathi films aren’t promoted well, but this one was. The movies seemed ambitious from the trailer as there did not seem to be any compromise of any sort on production values. Mangesh Desai is a capable actor who hadn’t really played any role worthy of his talent before, and this seemed like a film where he would actually ‘arrive’. Also they had managed to get Vidya Balan in the film and her songs looked well done from the promos. Ekk Albela was certainly a movie to look forward to. But, rather sadly, the film left me unaffected.
The film traces the journey of Bhagwan Dada from an aimless youth to a very successful director of B-grade action films till he finally managed to make the hit social film Albela despite all the hurdles. The film gets mood and look right. You do feel transported to the pre-independence era with the impressive art and costume design. The producers should be commended as the production values don’t seem inadequate anywhere.
Mangesh Desai is there in nearly every scene of the film and it is apparent that he has put his heart and soul in the film. The make-up work by Vidyadhar Bhatte makes him bear a striking resemblance to Bhagwan Dada. The trademark mannerisms of the popular actor has been mastered by Manges has well as the peculiar dance style.
Ek Albela had all the technical elements in place, but despite this, the film doesn’t engage you at all. The staging of most scenes is weak and very rarely does the film catch your attention.You don’t care for the character of Bhagwan Dada. The film has a rather flat graph as you are not taken along with the protagonists on the ups and downs of his life. You merely observe the film from the distance. The one which involves Raj Kapoor can be held as an example. Ekk Albela is that rare biopic in India that takes real names and so has a couple of scenes involving Raj Kapoor who was supposedly Bhagwan Dada’s friend. In the scene, Raj Kapoor advises Bhagwan Dada to make a social film as reputation and fame lies in that and not the action films that Bhagwan Dada was expert in. Despite the presence of a character like Raj Kapoor, this scene falls flat as the actor playing Raj Kapoor is rather weak. The film is littered with such scenes that don’t achieve its desired impact at all. And this is rather sad, as other than the crucial departments of screenplay and direction, Ek Albela is a sincere effort.
The two songs involving Vidya Balan are rather well done, but serve only as showpieces.
Despite the rather sincere effort Mangesh Desai and the technical team, Ekk Albela is not an engaging film, courtesy the screenplay and direction.