Of late, the Marathi industry has been witnessing an increasing number of plays being adapted to screen, the latest being Dhyanimani.
This Chandrakant Kulkarni directorial is a great example of how a film can keep its viewers engaged.
The story (by Prashant Dalvi) revolves around a couple that lives in a dusky town in Konkan. Sadanand works for a company that builds resorts while Shalini is the doting mother to their son Mohit. Her complete life revolves around the kid. Shalini also regularly writes to her teacher in Mumbai, informing him of their well-being. One fine day, the teacher’s son Samir (Khandkekar) and pregnant daughter-in-law Aparna (Deshpande) land up at Sadanand and Shalini’s doorstep. Though excited about the fact that their teacher’s son is visiting, something seems to be troubling Sadanand. That night, Mohit doesn’t return till late. While Shalini is visibly worried, Sadanand is calm about it. This gives rise to further doubts in Samir and Aparna’s minds that something is wrong there. Their doubts are confirmed when they witness what happens when Mohit returns, or is perceived to return home.
The film is a psychological drama which has been beautifully woven together. Apart from a few stray scenes that could’ve done away with, the film keeps you on the edge of your seat. The music is a giveaway though. It spoils much of the suspense early on. The story and direction is engaging but the performances steal the show.
Breaking away from his eccentric roles, Manjrekar delivers a very layered and calm performance here. His expressions do most of the talking and this is by far his best performance in recent times. Bhave as the hyperactive and protective mother is convincing. She goes overboard at times but that actually adds authenticity her portrayal. Khandkekar and Deshpande have small roles but make the most of the opportunity.
For a good amount of suspense and sensible viewing, Dhyanimani should be your ideal pick this weekend in the cinemas.