- Movie Review : Kanha (2016)
- Producer : Pratap Sarnaik
- Directer : Avadhoot Gupte
- StarCast : Vaibbhav Tatwawdi, Gashmeer Mahajani, Gauri Nalawade, Sumedh Wani, Kiran Karmarkar, Prasad Oak, Omprakash Shinde
- Writer : Sachin Darekar, Avadhoot Gupte
- Music : Sachin Darekar, Avadhoot Gupte
- Genre : Drama
- Review By : Rasik Tirodkar
Rating : 2/5
Kanha Marathi Movie Review :
Avdhoot Gupte’s Kanha is built on the same template as that of Morya. At the backdrop of a Hindu festival (Gokulashtami in this case) two factions are involved in a game of one-upmanship that turns ugly due to political interference. Morya did have issues, but the plot, which felt novel back then, kept you engaged. Kanha has the same issues as Morya and the generously borrowed plot adds to the misery of watching the film.
The Govinda troupe of Jai Ekta lead by Raghu (Gashmir Mahajani) have the world record of building the highest human pyramid of nine layers to their name. Post that feat a court order restricting the height of the human pyramid meant that no other group now has the chance of eclipsing their world record, much to the frustration of the rival group of Jai Bajrang lead by Malhar (Vaibhav Tatvawadi).
Raghu resting on the past laurels of his Jai Ekta troupe, never misses an opportunity to humiliate Malhar. At a pre Dahi Handi event, in the spur of a moment, Malhar’s Jai Bajrang troupe manages to equal the world record. Local politician Shivajirao (Prasad Oak) witnesses this and manages to convince Malhar to repeat the feat, despite it being illegal, at the main Dahi Handi event organised by him. Raghu’s mentor (Kiran Karmarkar) meanwhile aspires to stand for the local elections and wants to make the most of the Dahi Handi festivities. Interference of politicians turn things ugly. Those who have seen Morya can predict how the film will end from miles away.
Kanha tries to put forward an argument of considering the competition between Govind troupes to break the Dahi Handi as a sport. But the argument is so weak and laughable that you just can’t take it seriously. Quite like Morya, the characters here also have a tendency to go on long preachy monologues. In one such monologue by Malhar, the cap on the height of the human pyramids is considered as a discouragement to compete in Dahi Handi competitions. The character then, much to our bewilderment, asks if Sachin Tendulkar would have become the world beater that he was if there ever was a cap on the highest number of runs scored in Test cricket after Gavaskar set that record. Such an absolutely illogical comparison does a great disservice to the basic idea of considering Dahi Handi as a sport.
Kanha does manage to grip you in the beginning of the first half despite the overbearing ‘been there, done that’ feeling. The whole world of the chawls with the boys and girls prepping hard for the Dahi handi is drawn up in a fairly engaging manner. But besides this the screenplay is rather shoddy. Save for Malhar, the characters are either cardboards or caricatures. We don’t care much for any character. Sub-plots are hastily abandoned and the climax lacks the necessary punch.
Avadhoot Gupte’s soundtrack for the film also doesn’t create much of an impact, either. The songs sometimes feel forcibly inserted into the film and are an obstacle for the narrative to move forward.
Feminists would also be up in arms with the film as it seems to condone regressive ideas. The love interest of Malhar played by Gauri Nalawade blames a girl for perverse behavior of men. Her crime being – wanting a slim figure. Gauri’s character thinks that men get the license to harass women on the streets, just because a few girls want a toned body to attract the opposite sex. It is a classic case of condoning the ‘men will be men’ mindset. Not to mention that Gauri Nalawade is terribly miscast and looks very awkward in the role of a girl who prefers to sweat it out in the gym than spend hours in the saloon.
Gashmir Mahajani is Marathi cinema’s answer to John Abraham – a muscular hunk (the film objectifies his body generously), but just cannot express with his face; his dialogue delivery is comparatively better, though. It is Vaibhav Tatwawadi in the lead role of Malhar who saves the day. Vaibhav has grown to become a reliable actor with a good screen presence. He gets the most screen time and his performance is what makes the film watchable. Vaibhav is the rare actor from the new crop who shows promise to carry a commercial film entirely on his shoulder in the near future.
A heavily borrowed plot from Morya makes the proceedings, especially in the second half, rather dull. Apart from Vaibhav Tatwawadi’s performance, the film has little else to recommend.