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Times of India
Three village youngsters set out to make a film on AIDS and realise that the script of their film actually is the story of one of their friend
A mainstream film telling you a story about AIDS and that too against a rural backdrop? Did it bring the word documentary to mind? Kudos to director Satish Rajwade for taking up this very subject and making a film that's not a docu, but tells the message -
aapla popat hu dyacha nahin
- in an entertaining, informative and yes sensitive manner.
Three friends from Kulpe village - Raghya, an aspiring actor (Amey Wagh), Mukya, a writer (Ketan Pawar) and Balya, a jugaadu (Siddharth Menon) are all directionless youngsters. Till one day, when the village panchayat decides to enforce the AIDS awareness programme - with Popat as a mascot. Asked to distribute condoms, these three youngsters go about unraveling the need for condoms in the first place.
As they go about it they realise that many in their village are in multiple relationships and that AIDS awareness is the need of the hour. They decide to make a film and go to Janya (Atul Kulkarni), a small time videographer, to ask for his camera.As they begin shooting the film, with Janya in the lead, Janya realizes that the script - where he is shown to have an affair with a lady through whom he contracts AIDS - is dangerously close to his own story. From humour, it's time for some drama in
Fear of death, the lie he's been living and helpless remorse - all these emotions flit across Atul Kulkarni's countenance with effortless ease and you feel his agony even though he's not loud. Amey, Ketan and Siddharth have put in earnest performances showing the blend of innocence and naughtiness of rural folk wonderfully.
Some dialogues are laden with sexual humour but reflect the rural milieu and go well with the subject. However it's the length that makes the film a bit of a drag. Else, 'Popat' is a brave film, made with heart and humour.