May 14, 2012

Kaksparsh - Movie Review

Sunday evening went viewing the new film Kaksparsh.

Kaksparsh - the title translates as the Crow's Touch - people with knowledge of Hindu customs would identify this with a custom that happens after the death of a person. This is probably the Golden Era of the Marathi Cinema. Having seen Deool, Natrang, Valu in recent past.... the addition of Kaksparsh is a welcome addition.

Mahesh Manjrekar breaks new ground by reciting this haunting tale of love and sacrifice on the big screen. So power packed is the impact of this story that the scenes and dialogues keep coming back to your mind hours after you have left the theatre. Before this, there was English Patient that left such a haunting memory in my mind.

Coming to the movie, it starts in, I think, 1930s and goes on till early 1950s. The movie is set in verdant Konkan region of Maharashtra. The backdrop of the village, the customs, the clothes, the local involvement with freedom struggle, boat travel and other such things set up the tone of the movie.

The story starts with a tragedy striking a newly married couple of Mahadev and Uma, where Mahadev dies on his first night after his wife Uma reaches puberty. Mahadev's elder brother, Hari, is a well known and respected elder of the village. He breaks tradition and protects Uma from being forced to tonsure her head as a widow as per the customs of the time. Not just that he becomes inaccessible to opinions on how to treat Uma. He is authoritarian and does not allow any decision to be taken by anyone when it comes to Uma. This lasts for almost 2 decades and each development in family, the village only puts the entire village and us, the viewers, confused and perplexed about his motives. The denouement is perfect, if you have the guts to digest such a story.

The critical question this movie asks is about relationships and marriage. The movie tries to explore the topic of existence of love and how it manifests between two individuals. I must say, it is a very difficult topic and has been brilliantly handled by Mahesh Manjrekar.

Now the actors - Sachin Khedekar has delivered the performance of his lifetime. I easily put this in the ना 
भूतो ना भविष्याती category for him. He is astonishing as the hardnosed, principled, unshakeable Kartaa purush of the family.

Ketaki Mategaonkar and Priya Bapat both as the young widow, Uma, deliver stellar performances. With so little dialogue your way, both these ladies have shown rich expression through eyes and body language.

The supporting cast is also very good and completes the story - the villagers, a local villain, Hari's freedom fighter friend, and his family members.

Go watch it, but only if you want a serious treatise of a difficult topic.



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