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Times of India
How often do you drive across huge political hoardings and wonder what real work the people on these hoardings have done to be deserving of a place in public spaces? And how often have you thought that someone should do something about this? Well, Girish Kulkarni’s directorial debut is a step towards achieving just that.
Kulkarni has a thing for rural setting and his writing brings out the essence of life in a village perfectly. This was on display in 'Valu' as well as 'Deool', which had simple stories directed beautifully by Umesh Kulkarni. For 'Jaundya Na Balasaheb', Girish keeps the simplicity intact and mixes two different styles of presentation – comedy and satire.
The film essentially is Balasaheb’s (Kulkarni) path to redemption after being questioned about his arrogance by a young theatre artiste. The arrogant Balasaheb takes things for granted owing to his father’s political clout. He lives off his father’s money, splurges on drinks and is careless about other peoples’ problems. But he is a true friend to Vikas (Yadav) and Jeevan (Chaugule), both of whom are there for him through thick and thin. A chance encounter with a theatre performance leaves Balasaheb smitten by Urmi (Manava Naik), a theatre person. To impress her, he attends a workshop, along with Vikas and Jeevan (who wants to make a name in the field of writing) and the trio decides to direct a play. This play gradually ends up being the tool for Balasaheb’s changed self.
The first half of the film is filled with gags and punchlines that are sure to evoke guffaws. Kulkarni’s satirical approach works effectively with the help of all characters. Instead of going for lesser known artistes for small roles, the makers have well-known actors on board. Though this adds power to the star cast, the actors remain under-utilised. Sai, Bhau, Shrikant and Jeevan shine while veterans Reema and Mohan Joshi’s appearances are more of cameos. Nevertheless, these shortcomings can be neglected when you look at the movie as a whole.
'Jaundya Na Balasaheb' is one of those films that makes you laugh out loud and hits you hard just when you least expect it to. A special mention to the final play performance, which has the audience in rapt attention. This is where Girish drives the point home. Definitely worth a watch.
I became fan of Girish Kulkarni after watching this movie. It has been fun watching him as ''Balasaheb''. Such natural actor. Ofcourse as a director he already shown his mettle. The treatment to the movie is really awesome. Though it takes time, initially to understand and connecting the points. Slowly it grips you with sprinkles of light comedy and then real personality of Balasaheb reveals. Marathi movies like these and many more....shows immense talent and vast arena of stories, way ahead than even Bollywood..!!