- Review : Jaundya Na Balasaheb (2016)
- Producer : Ajay-Atul, Poonam Shende, Vinay Ganu, Prashant Pethe and Umesh Kulkarni.
- Directer : Girish Kulkarni
- Star Cast : Girish Kulkarni, Sai Tamhankar, Mohan Joshi, Dilip Prabhavalkar, Reema, Manava Naik, Bhau Kadam, Srikant Yadav, Spruha Joshi, Kishore Chaugule, Savita Prabhune
- Writer : Girish Kulkarni
- Music : Ajay-Atul
- Genre : Comedy, Political sattire
- Review By : Abhay Salvi
Rating : 2.5/5
Jaundya Na Balasaheb Marathi Movie Review :
No matter what it’s impossible to unlearn things you’ve already learnt. And what we learnt is that Girish Kulkarni is one of the rarest artists to have ever worked in Marathi Cinema or even Indian Cinema. As an writer-actor his filmography ranges from good, great to outstanding& nothing less than that. Sadly his directorial debut is far away from such adjectives. “Is it because Umesh took a backseat & half of Girish’s writing magic vanished?” This would be a truly idiotic question! Anyways the point is that Jaundya Na Balasaheb had tones of expectations from cinephiles like you & me. The 18 minute “Pishi” (Press Conference) got around 1 lakh views & hinted that Jaundya Na Balasaheb is going to be one hell of a ride, prominently a political satire!
Our memories are still fresh with two of Girish’s marvelous satires “Valu” & “Deool” & we start watching the film expecting Girish to outdo himself (as there is hardly anyone else in Marathi who can compete against his writing skills). We are welcomed by a truly rocking, sharply written DJ song & we start anticipating the joy ride. The film goes on smoothly as we see a depressed Balasaheb (Girish) who visits a doctor who prescribes a few medicines for Balasaheb’s heart-break. Yes Balasaheb’s wedding was called off at the very last moment (due to political reasons). Two years have gone by but he hasn’t been over it. Things move at a much slower pace than what the introductory song suggested. But the film becomes indulgent with its protagonist & allows us to enter his little world. At this moment we are enjoying it, we are expecting something larger than life in the second half. It’s tilting towards two prominent genres ‘Coming of Age’ & ‘Political Satire’ & we don’t mind.
Meanwhile a different track has been established in the first half, I don’t wish to write about it in detail as it really felt out of sync & the main cause of errors in the second half. It’s about theatre, stage, plays! Yes Balasaheb’s outlet of expression becomes theatre though a little unwillingly! Till a point we are fine with watching those rehearsals & stuff but after a while we find ourselves uneasy & restless in our seats. In this whole exercise of using theatre as a leveling medium for people from castes & religions the original theme vanishes. Everything becomes single faced & straightforwardly preachy. The climax scene in a different context or in a different film could have been genuinely hilarious but here it just depresses us.
The film has a number of cliché characters performed efficiently by good actors. To start with Mohan Joshi, Sai Tamhankar, Reema Lagoo, Nandkishore Choughule, Shrikant Yadav & the epitome is Manava Naik’s character. The film doesn’t permit anyone including Girish himself to rise above the mediocrity of the second half. The over hyped Bhau Kadam performance is probably the most forgettable in the lot. The only character that manages to create some kind of novelty factor is Savita Prabhune’s as a 35 something married woman who once dreamt to be a dancer & finally lives her dream to some extent. Nandkishore Choughule’s Jeevan (the only true literate in the group who belongs to a lower caste) could have well been utilized to much deeper impact but gets wasted.
Having said that the second half might please a huge group of audience provided they are not bored by the self-indulgent (in a good sense) first half. This was exactly the same group of audience who found Sairat’s second half (apart from the climax) ineffective. In the beginning of this year we had Sameer Patil’s Poshter Girl which had a similar (to some extent) scenario in the second half though it had much more logical plot holes it was certain about its intent throughout. In Jaundya Na Balasaheb the intent might be clear on their part but might hardly reach the commoners even if they have simplified it & have forcibly tried to give it an emotional context.
The Ajay-Atul factor has done its job (except one song titled Mona Darling) but only time will tell whether it will be sufficient to get Balasaheb through at the box office. The takeout scene of Balasaheb justifies all the problems we have had with this film, & i.e. Girish Kulkarni served us an out & out hero centric film (with a message) as main course & the rest was just added as accompaniments.
Jaundya Na Balasaheb might appeal to a certain lot but the lot that has romanticized Girish & Umesh’s previous works will be disappointed at many levels. What this lot needs to do is still watch the film to study the uncertainty of this beautiful medium called Cinema!