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Times of India
With the water scarcity in the state being a hot topic of discussion, very often the blame falls on construction work that utilises large quantities of water. But there's one aspect that very rarely comes into consideration; where does the humongous amount of sand required for these constructions come from? Aptly titled Reti, this film delves into the topic head on.
Mysterious deaths of government officers find way into the news once in a while and Reti starts off from here. The illegal sand mining business runs into thousands of crores and despite the Maharashtra Prevention of Dangerous Activities (MPDA) act being evoked, the practice carries on. This film brings forth the alleged builder-politician-sand mafia nexus through the story of Kisan (Kadam), a sand contractor who strikes a deal with a big real-estate developer in Mumbai, and Shankar (Mandlekar), who ferries the illegally mined sand to the city of dreams. It so happens that the local goon Gaja bhau (Shende) comes to know of Kisan's deal and swears revenge, thereby disrupting Kisan's work for a while. On the other hand, social activist Sadanand (Sanjay Khapre) has sworn to stop the illegal sand mining from a river-basin. Constant run-ins with Sadanand and his supporters enrage Shankar, whose only aim is to fulfil Patel's demand and help Kisan win his pride back. How the involved people undergo changes and whether a handful of clean officers help in putting an end to the illegal practice is what the film is about.
Reti has an interesting subject majorly because it hasn't been handled before. Having said that, the sand mafia isn't the only thing that draws attention. Greed, power, desires and revenge also make up a large part of the story. The film doesn't have the good guy-bad guy equation and instead relies on the aforementioned attributes of the human personality to convey the message. Most importantly, it has brilliant actors who are known to bring out the nuances of each role they essay, with ease. Unfortunately, a good subject goes down the drain when the execution is not up to the mark. Reti suffers the same fate and though it has its moments, the film goes off track quite a bit. Certain unnecessary additions (the item number being an example) further make the film slip out of hands (and logical minds), much like the sand it talks about.
Kadam is top-class as the manipulative and opportunist contractor who doesn't think twice before putting an end to close relations. Mandlekar is natural and effortless and so is Shende whose Gaja bhau induces fear and cringe in the viewers' minds. The actors' performances are the only great thing about the movie that could've been much better had the makers stuck to making the film more real and less commercial.