A brave film with a twisted sense of humour
Mayank (Vinay Sharma) is a tyrannical teacher who extracts the best out of his theatre students through the harshest means possible. While Persis (Mrinmayee Godbole), an actress, goes along with it, the newbie Chetan (Saurabh Saraswat) cannot. He breaks out of the existing group to forms his own troupe of actors Netra (Abhay Mahajan) and Dipti (Isha Keskar) and challenges his ex-teacher.
Creating art is a harsh and punishing pursuit. The students at Pune's Ferguson College are made aware of this by their teacher Mayank who is more Colonel Kurtz than anything. He promises them to win the prestigious, real-life five decade old theatre competition titled Purshottam. His auditions are tough and border on sexual harassment, where he fondles his lead actress, tells her to be okay with people ogling at her and kicks out actors who he thinks look 'normal'. To him, winning is everything, no matter what route you take. His inhumane methods seem to work, but when he goes too far with his lead actor Chetan, ridiculing his mother in a powerfully emotional scene, the young thespian chooses to write a play on his own and selects his ex-teacher's castaways as he hopes to defeat him.
A most unusual film, the cryptically titled CRD can be best described as a montage of scenes that range from being hilarious, profane, and outright goofy. It would be tough to bring such a film to life if not for the stellar performances by the entire cast. In return, the director allows his actors to explore a range of emotions. Performance by debutant Saurabh Saraswath is commendable. His transformation from being a gullible small-town boy to an ace playwright is a joy watch. Vinay Sharma's role as the psychotic acting teacher is scary, and is matched by the vulnerability of Mrinmayee Godbole's performance.
Visually, too, the film is a class apart where filmmaker Kranti Kanade uses all the mediums at his disposal including documentary clips, old 70's Amitabh Bachchan films, and cartoons to make his point. The deft editing by Suchitra Sathe is incredible, where long takes, the short ones along with other elements are fused seamlessly.
CRD is a film that will make you laugh and even shock you more than a few times, but it will never bore you. Go for it if you like your movies dark and twisted with a heavy dose of humour.