First and foremost, I don’t know Rajesh Mapuskar, Priyanka Chopra and for that matter Ashutosh Gowariker. Neither are they my relatives, friends or colleagues nor have they paid me anything. I’ve loved their work in the past and that’s about it. Hence, this piece is far from being termed as your any other PR article.
I’m a sucker for good films and hence watching one of the most awaited Marathi releases, Ventilator, was always on the top of my weekend list. The star cast was humongous and the director’s last film was the beautifully flawed Ferrari Ki Sawaari. The trailer looked fantastic and the songs looked good too. The reasons were just more than one.
And then finally, it was the show time! Thankfully, there was no Mukesh Harane or any annoying toothpaste ads this time. The credits directly rolled and the film started. The setting was simple.
Gajanan Kamerkar, a good old lad, has collapsed just before the iconic Ganesh Chaturthi and is admitted to a private hospital. His son, an aspiring politician has asked doctors to keep his father on ventilator. The news has spread like a wildfire in Gajanan’s ancestral village in Konkan and that’s when the extended family comes into picture. But hardly anyone is concerned about the ailing Gajju Kaka. Instead, all they’re thinking is about the next holder of property rights, alphanso mangoes and a toilet.
Having lost my grandfather, an year ago, all these scenes gave me a major dejavu. Sitting in that decently packed auditorium (comprising mostly of families) for about 2.5 hours made me realise how I was not watching just a film. It was my family which was being portrayed on screen. Same character traits but different faces.
The scornful Mama, clueless Aaji, badass Ajoba, matchmaker Kaka, a lost son and his doting father. I wondered as if Rajesh Mapuskar kept my family in mind while writing this film. The film is that relatable.
A phoren chi Atya, some starstruck neighbours, an overqualified but cocky cousin and a super religious Kaki, you see these people on a daily basis. And that’s where Ventilator wins big time! The film also ably tackles other issues like organ donation, politics over religion and even patriarchy without being too loud and preachy.
Marathi cinema is blooming and some great films are being churned out. What Katyar Kaljat Ghusli, Natasamrat and Sairat did in the past, Ventilator will surely taste commercial success in the coming time. But its biggest achievement is that it’ll force you to sit back and think about those long lost relationships. It’ll make you realise the value of your family and your roots. It is a realistic film, worth watching. Moreover, it’s an important film, worth cherishing.
This one definitely has its heart and soul, all at the right place! So, stop sending those lame husband-wife jokes on your family WhatsApp group and plan a reunion with your family by watching this film, together, ASAP! Because after all it’s all about loving your family! (*wink*)
Title image: Twitter
Mandar Pandhare is a guest contributer for Reacho and the views expressed here are his own opinions.
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