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Times of India
A malnourished Korku tribal is smuggled out of his home in the forest to Mumbai where a doctor couple conducts experiments on him.
Based on Mahashweta Devi's short story, 'Mhadu' is a stark representation about the problems in the tribal pockets of Maharashtra. It is the story of Mhadu (Amol Dhongde), a young boy who is unable to even move from his place due to severe malnutrition.
Dr Subhadra (Veena Jamkar) and Mani (Padmanabh Bind) are busy doing research about the possible answer to the problem of malnutrition and in the process they visit a tribal area. They find Mhadu there and take him with them to Mumbai. On way they contact Dr Deepak Apte (Sarang Sathaye) whose research on nutrition and abundant work with the tribals is widely known. Deepak remembers his time spent in the area and the difficulties he faced. He recalls how being deprived of basic medical facilities and needs caused a number of diseases among the tribal community and his constant efforts to make the government aware of it. Deepak's flashback into the time he worked there gives an insight of the functioning of the system and how he befriends the locals in order to treat them. Unfortunately a research article written by him becomes a problem for the local administration and he is told to vacate the NGO premises he works in. In Mumbai, Subhadra and Mani's experiment starts bearing fruits as Mhadu grows stronger and stronger daily. But will the experiment be a boon or a curse?
Director Sandesh Bhandare's debut film is a well researched presentation of the scenario in talk. It brings you face to face with reality and throws many questions that one might never have thought about. The cinematography and music provide the necessary melancholy to the narrative and the actors perform well. The VFX and drawing animation sequences are up to the mark if not excellent.
Where the movie suffers is in the sudden shift in its scenarios and an abrupt end. Just when you are about to get a grasp of the present situation, you are sent into flashback mode and catapulted back with equal suddenness.
The film is not for those looking for an out and out entertainer but it is a one-time watch except for the abruptness.