Based on Baba Bhand's novel by the same name, Dashakriya delves into the exploitation that happens in the name of attaining 'moksha'.
Dashakriya has been making headlines since the last couple of days. Ever since a few right-wing groups demanded a ban on the screening of the National Award winning film saying it hurts religious sentiments, the fate of the movie was hanging in the balance. Thankfully, the makers went ahead and released it because otherwise, the viewers would've missed a good film.
Dashakriya presents a much-needed perspective of the human mentality. Unfolding in the town of Paithan which a lot of Hindu families visit for performing the last rites of deceased family members, the film presents an observation about the people associated with performing the rituals. Be it the priest who is more concerned about his 'dakshina' than the mourning family's emotions or the young kid who makes a living by searching for coins in the ashes, each one is focussed on making money out of someone else's suffering.
If we were to summarise the complete film in one sentence, it would be 'Nothing is sacred anymore'. However, Dashakriya also explores the social fabric of a town where families are struggling to make ends meet. The film does not portray any particular community in poor light but rather presents the dark truth about how exploitation has become a norm in today's time. And right there, director Sandeep Patil has a winner.
There are two major drawbacks in the film. The first one being the unnecessary songs which disturb the focus of the main subject. The second is the uneven graph of how it unfolds. But the performances more than make up for these two.
Youngster Aarya Adhav, as Bhanya, delivers a mature performance with hints of childishness. It reminds one of Hansraj Jagtap's character in another National Award winning film, Dhag. Dilip Prabhavalkar as Patre Savkar alternates between understanding and stern with ease while Aditi Deshpande as Bhanya's mother, Milind Phatak as Narayan and Uma Sardeshmukh as Savkar's wife are convincing.
However, it is Manoj Joshi who takes the cherry and the cake! There's a reason he won the National Award for Best Supporting Actor for this film. As the conniving Keshav Bhat, the veteran actor literally makes you clench your jaws and fists with anger at the character. There are very few actors who manage to do that and with this role, Joshi definitely is on the top position in that list.
Dashakriya doesn't hurt religious sentiments. It makes you retrospect.