Ever since the trailer of this film released, there were high hopes riding on Kaccha Limbu. Not just because it dealt with a very different and ‘special’ subject, but also because of a strong star cast (Kulkarni, Jadhav and Khedekar leading the way) and it film being the directorial debut of Prasad Oak. And boy what a debut it is!
Based on Jaywant Dalvi’s novel Runanubandh, the film, brilliantly adapted to screen by Chinmay Mandlekar, takes us into the Katdare household. Mohan Katdare (Jadhav) and his wife Shaila (Kulkarni) are like any other husband-wife, managing the house and taking care of their son Bacchu (Pem). Only here, Bacchu is a special kid who is mentally a child but whose physical needs are developing with his growing age. The katdares’ life is in shambles. So that either of them can be with Bacchu, Shaila works in the mornings while Mohan does a night-shift. In Shaila’s words, they are like the sun and the moon- when one rises, the other sets. In this cycle, the colour in the couple’s life is lost (this being beautifully conveyed by the black and white tone of the film) and the two forget enjoying. While Shaila’s boss Shrikant Pandit (Khedekar) tries to bring colour back in the couple’s life, Mohan has his office-mate Venkat (Mahadevan) to share his feelings with. But the Katdares learn it the hard way that they have to accept the reality and find ways to be happy with it.
For a debutant director to take on a subject like this needs sensitive handling and utmost care to not become a farce and Oak does this with the approach of a seasoned director. But, not without complete support from his actors.
Kulkarni pulls of a rather complex character with grace while Khedekar, as a pillar of support, is in top form. Jadhav, the debutant actor, emerges as a gem. As Mr Katdare, he does what many established actors couldn’t have and that too effortlessly. Manmeet, for whom this is an entirely different role as compared to the ones he's done before, truly delivers a special performance.
A special mention to Amalendu Chaudhary whose cinematography is breath-taking. It isn’t easy to shoot a film sans colour at a time when we are so used to seeing multiple hues.
Kaccha Limbu is easily one of the best films in Marathi cinema. Though shot in black and white, it has multiple layers that boast of fantastic writing and execution. Don’t miss this one.