- Review: Mogra Phulaalaa (2019)
- Director: Shrabani Deodhar
- Star Cast: Swapnil Joshi, Sai Shakti Anand, Neena Kulkarni, Chandrakant Kulkarni, Sandeep Pathak, Anand Ingle, Vighnesh Joshi, Sonam Nishandar, Milind Phatak, Samidha Guru & child artist: Saanvi Ratnalikar
- Screenplay: Sachin Mote
- Producer: Arjun Singgh Baran and Kartik Nishandar
Quick Viewpoint: Mogra Phulaalaa knows exactly whom it’s catering it’s film too, mainly to a value driven Maharashtrian middle class and it both satisfies them & also pushes the envelope by encompassing modern values in it!
- The film starts off on a very accessible lighter note. Yes, it has a bit of out of the place logic at times, but there’s soul in most of the lighter moments. Swapnil Joshi mostly wins in major parts though in some he becomes a bit too typical man child. Sandeep Pathak’s character succeeds pretty well in giving the film a lighter tone.
- The writing of the film (by Sachin Mote) is it’s biggest strength, both in the screenplay and in the dialogues. No scene in the film feels forced or placed just to fill in. The screenplay has a uniformity throughout.
- The way film slowly & steadily establishes the love story between it’s two lead characters somehow reminds us of the old Basu Chatterjee romances, or even a classic Marathi film ‘Lapandav’ which was directed by the director of this film, Ms. Shrabani Deodhar! There’s lot of genuine charm in the love story of ‘Mogra Phulaalaa’ in fact that is what connects us with the film the most as we feel the two of them deserve to have a life together!
- Chandrakant Kulkarni’s character (Madhya Kaka) is used smartly in the film. Basically it feels like he is playing himself (yes a slightly strict theatre director), but more than that he brings the third person perspective in the equation of Sunil (Swapnil) & his mother (Neena Kulkarni). The mother here is a bit possessive about her unmarried son. Being distanced from all of her other sons, Sunil is her only reason to live (though this is her version of the truth!). Madhya Kaka in many ways puts forth what we as audiences would feel like in this scenario!
- Swapnil Joshi is a good actor but with limitations. As said above he tends to be a very typical man child by the start of the film. But later on when the film swings completely in drama Swapnil Joshi scores gold during the emotional moments! That feels like his home ground, where he is easily one of the best in the business!
- The transition of Swapnil Joshi’s character is a bit abrupt. From a mother abiding simple minded man child into a matured man who knows what he wants and has the strength to go & get it! Not that we needed more logical reasons for this transition but his sudden coming of age is a bit distracting from the actual plot of the film!
- The lead actress Sai Shakti Anand is clearly & boldly the biggest drawback of the film. She is decent in the lighter moments but her limitations are clearly visible in the dramatic moments of the film. Mainly because the whole emotional strength of the film relies first & foremost on the shoulders of her character and the actor fails to do justice to it. Ironically she works in a play in the film and everyone believes she is a phenomenal actress!
Final Verdict: Mogra Phulaalaa is a treat for Swapnil Joshi fans & for those who might not be up for any technical and contextual experiments in Marathi films but enjoy a well written & decently conceived family drama in Marathi!