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Times of India
A realistic look at the life of a shepherd family and the obstacles they face while struggling to make ends meet.
For a first-time director to create buzz on the national film circuit by winning a special jury award at the National Awards, it takes more than just skill. It takes guts; guts to follow one's heart and stand by a decision. Bhaurao Karhade displays both, much like his protagonist Balu, and gives us a film that's a straight-from-the-heart account of the topic at hand.
'Khwada', which translates to obstacle, has a premise that explores the nomadic life of a family that has lost its land to the forest department. A case that the patriarch Raghu (Shende) has been fighting for ten years, hasn't yielded any results, thus forcing the family to live on other peoples' grazing farms. Raghu's elder son Panda obeys his father's orders but the young Balu (Shinde) is the one looking at breaking the shackles of the society. Balu is fond of wrestling and defeats one of local leader Ashokrao's (Nagarkar) pehelwans in the akhada. This hurts Ashokrao's ego and he swear to make life more miserable for Balu's family.
READ: Khwada's innovative publicity design
The film doesn't invite the viewers' sympathy and neither does it turn into a morbid tale of survival. In a rather unconventional way, 'Khwada' merges comedy and emotion for a wholesome cinematic experience. It flashes a smile of realisation through your face. Most importantly, 'Khwada' commands your attention throughout its length.
There are films that are technically brilliant and others that have a strong story. 'Khwada' has both, plus some of the most natural acting in recent times. Shashank Shende is a storehouse of talent that only few directors have been able to identify. A regular feature in Umesh Kulkarni's films, Shende delivers a stunning performance as Raghu. Debutant Shinde gets all the expressions right and is a treat to watch. Nagarkar fit the arrogant leader's image to the T.
Bhaurao Karhade reportedly sold off some of his agricultural land to complete this film which had its share of 'khwadas' but had he not done that, cine-goers would've lost out on a very good film.
WATCH: Trailer of Khwada:
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