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Times of India
Based on true events, the film is a story of the adventures of a leopard named Ajoba and is based between the years 2009 and 2011.
The human-leopard conflict in Maharashtra has become a subject of concern following the numerous incidents of the feline being spotted in human settlements. Taking this as the crux of its story, 'Ajoba' takes you on an adventure that starts in the town of Junnar in Maharashtra, across the Malshej Ghat area into Vasai and ends near Nashik.
The film is based on wildlife conservationist Vidya Athreya's experiences with the spotted animal and starts with Purva Rao (Urmila Matondkar) getting a call about a leopard that has fallen in a well in a village. Accompanied by Shinde (Shrikant Yadav) she rescues the leopard and inserts an electronic chip in its tail to help them track its whereabouts. In reality this was the first instance of its kind and helped a lot in further research on the animal. Christened Ajoba, the leopard moves from the place of its release in Malshej Ghat to Vasai and then to Sanjay Gandhi National Park in Mumbai over a journey of 29 days.
Sujay Dahake's second outing is nothing short of a spectacular piece of cinema. It has drama, suspense (which is built up splendidly), great music, beautiful cinematography, stellar acting from the actors and a message for mankind. Urmila's Marathi debut has her essay the role of a wildlife conservationist with aplomb and authenticity. You can identify with her struggle to put across the truth about leopards to the society and her angst when she fights with a TV journalist sensationalizing the issue with wrong information. Hrishikesh Joshi as Dnyanoba brings a smile on you faces in the role of Urmila's sidekick. His attachment with Ajoba is portrayed through his emotions and with Om Bhutkar he gives you one of the funniest scenes in the film.
Although not entirely, the real shots of a leopard interspersed with a CGI version of the same and nicely worked out scenes put the message of wildlife conservation through to the viewer. A line from the film- 'If we go into their (animals) habitat to click pictures it's acceptable but if they come into our area in search of water, they are killed'- sums up the perception that we have about the wild; one that we need to change.