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Times of India
Plot: A devotional biopic about Gajanan Maharaj, a saint from Shegaon.
Review: For those of you who've seen the 2004 film 'Shegavicha Rana Gajanan', there's no point in going to watch the film. As for those who haven't watched that film, there's no point in wasting your time here either, unless you are a follower of the saint.
The life of Gajanan Maharaj doesn't need introduction; well, at least not for the devotees who will watch the film. But let's give you a brief anyway. Gajanan Maharaj was apparently 'discovered' by a money-lender named Bankatlal in Shegaon while the former was scraping leftover food. While others ridiculed the animated behaviour and philosophical musings of a young man, Bankatlal found meaning in them. Initially written off, the young man soon became popular as Gajanan Maharaj, courtesy his ability to perform miracles. Rest, as they say, is history or in this case, history written by Maharaj's followers.
While the factual accuracy of such films is a matter of debate, there have been many films in this genre. It is one thing to make DVD films for selling at shops outside temples or at pilgrim centres but theatrical release is a different ball game altogether. 'Shegavicha Yogi Gajanan' is, in fact, not a film but just a set of scenes put together to give you a preachy biopic that is devoid of what the common folk call logic. We understand that the film is made keeping a specific target audience in mind and is nothing but a retelling of the saint's story. But when you make a film for theatrical release, there are certain things that the audience expects; quality being the basic.
A lot of scenes contrast each other in the film. For example, when you show the saint to be seeking joy in simple things and asking his followers to donate their riches, how do you explain his acceptance of a milk bath, rose-petal shower etc?
The film is a flop show in terms of acting as well. Robotic movements, uncomfortable and expressionless faces of people make even the animals in the film look like good actors. The film is advisable to be watched only by Gajanan Maharaj devotees. Others have better releases to catch this week.