- Review : Kaasav (2017)
- Producer : Sumitra Bhave – Sunil Sukthankar
- Director : Sumitra Bhave – Sunil Sukthankar
- Star Cast : Irawati Harshe, Alok Rajwade, Kishor Kadam, Dr. Mohan Agashe,Devika Daftardar, Santosh Redkar, Omkar Ghadi
- Story : Sumitra Bhave
- Music : Saket Kanetkar
- Review By : Abhay Salvi
Rating : 4.5/5
Kaasav Marathi Movie Review :
Earlier this year Sumitra Bhave & Sunil Sukthankar were honored with the most important film award for a film in India the Golden Lotus for ‘Kaasav’. Many film lovers felt they were honored as more on the basis of their phenomenal career as filmmakers then specifically for ‘Kaasav’. I had seen the film at a festival last year & felt maybe it wasn’t their best film. But now in the second viewing I loved the film more. It is probably their finest film!
The idea of using an animal as a metaphor to a different conflict is not new to Marathi films. The best of the lot could be ‘Valu’. Even the other two films of the makers ‘Astu’ & ‘Devrai’ which are also about mental disorders make use of metaphors, though in case of ‘Devrai’ it wasn’t an animal but the Devrai tree. Here the ‘Kaasav’ symbolizes a young boy ‘Manav’ (Alok Rajwade) who is suffering from depression. While watching this film the audiences need to understand that depression is not a state of mind. And it’s not because something bad has happened to the character. Once you accept the existence of depression this film will open up your mind.
Janaki (Irawati Harshe) finds Manav stranded on the roads. Accompanied by her help (Kishore Kadam) she brings him home, a beach house. Post that almost throughout we can hear the waves at the seashore. Janaki sees herself in Manav, as she once suffered from depression, she could relate the nothingness inside Manav. Even now Janaki suffers from panic attacks once in a while. The reason she was in this small village by the sea is because her doctor/councilor told her to find a project, in a sense a purpose. The purpose that Janaki finds is helping Datta Bhau (Dr. Mohan Agashe) in his work of sea turtle conservation! So in a way she is conserving two turtles at a time!
The way the film keeps relating the turtle project with the condition of Manav is in a way cathartic. It’s a time consuming process that would help find these turtles a life & Manav a new life. In the second viewing the character played by Kishore Kadam & a little kid who sells tea at the nearby S.T. depot makes me understand the hidden lessons of philosophy imbibed in this film. Around the climax of this film Manav accompanies this kid (who has now become his good friend) to a place. This little journey that they make completes a circle in Manav’s life & in the film. The way Kishore Kadam, a simple minded servant, looks at Manav’s depression & Janaki’s efforts towards helping Manav out of it reflects how a common man would look at depression. However when the servant tries understanding Manav & his conflict we see that he gets it! He gets it in his own way.
Just like the characters & the metaphor the sea & the beach play a vital role in this film. This is without a doubt the most visually stunning film made by the duo. There are two songs in this film that have the musical form of this film’s soul. Especially ‘Leher Samandar Re’ that again reminds us of the cathartic nature of this film. While ‘Astu’ was lot more complexly philosophical ‘Kaasav’ is more simplistically philosophical. However it’s difficult to choose between the two. What’s need to be noted is that even after spending so many years in filmmaking Sumitra Bhave & Sunil Sukthankar have an urge to adapt new things & keep improving the cinematic richness of their films, which is a rare quality in Marathi industry!
‘Kaasav’ is a film that needs patient. Just like a dialogue in this film, we have eyes, we have ears, but we still need to learn seeing & hearing. To those who have learned it ‘Kaasav’ is a must watch, & to those who are now willing to learn it ‘Kaasav’ is the perfect film to begin with.