Category Archives: Marathi Movies

Lapachhapi (2017)

A Terrific Thriller deals with Cliche topic but sets some Technical Achievements in Marathi Cinema. I skipped this film when released because of some other releases and then naturally forgot it. Recently the news of its Hindi Remake brought my interest back, so that i can compare both the films (habit my friends, original must be seen to judge the remake). Skipping this film was a mistake and there’s no shame to accept it because i have wasted lot of my time on many craps made in Marathi cinema. Lapachhapi deals with a stereotypical topic which has been attempted many times from old days to modern cinema.

The additional factors here are, the horror touch and telling the story in thriller mode. Although the topic is cliche, the importance of it is still relevant. A subject of Child feticide is relavent not only to Marathi Audience but to Pan India audience. The film tells a story of a pregnant woman who arrives in unknown village with her husband. Next, the conspiracy and some horrible facts from past takes this journey forward. What i like the most about Lapachhapi is overall structure of the film. I haven’t seen any marathi film recently (in last 3 years i mean) with such a technical brilliance and terrifying visuals.

The background score gives jitters but more importantly it is used at correct times. I remember so many films being unnecessarily loud and uselessly hectic and surprisingly Lapachhapi wasn’t the one. Cinematography is excellent i must say. Couple of scenes startled me which hasn’t happened to me in long time, i mean how? That’s a great deal done by Technical team and that’s what i called Technical achivements in Marathi Cinema.

Another good thing about Lapachhapi is the way it unfolded the plot with that horror stuff and linked it to real life leaving a social Message. I was a fan of Pooja Sawant’s beautiful looks from ‘Kshanbhar Vishranti’ and Colourful ‘Dagdi Chaal’ but in this film I noticed how good actor she can be. Usha Naik doesn’t need any introduction or reference, i remember her act from Classic ‘Ek Haiarachi Note’ and in Lapachhapi she proved her acting metal again. Those terrible eyes of her, oh god. Rest of the cast is supportive with thier small roles. I didn’t know Vishal Furia’s name before but now i might remember him for attempting an unattended genre in Marathi Cinema. I don’t recall any Marathi Horror film being so good (i didn’t expect it on this level) which gave full satisfaction of a certain one time watchable flick.

Lapachhapi could have been better compared to some other cinema but for Marathi Cinema it is a well made draft. This film deserves to be remade not only in Hindi but also in some other industries and i hope higher budget would take it on next level. Lapachhapi is definitely recommeded considering the low rate of good films Marathi Cinema has delivered in last decade and i am looking forward to its Hindi remake.


Aapla Manus (2018)

Vivek Bele is one of the best contemporary playwrights in Marathi. However, most of his plays are constructed out of amusing observations, and clever discussions rather than fast paced narratives. It all works very well for stage, but when his script is adapted to screen, it risks contradicting a typical audience expectation despite how intelligently it’s been crafted for stage. In case of Aapla Manus, adapted from Bele’s critically acclaimed play, Katkon Trikon, that doesn’t happen. The mystery behind this well conceived thriller keeps things moving nicely.

The film poses a riddle based on Rashomon effect, as it proceeds to weave theories and construct alternate versions of a single incident. The incident is a supposed accident of one Aba Gokhale, a senior citizen living with his son Rahul (Raghavan) and daughter in law Bhakti(Harshe). Maruti Nagargoje (Patekar), an officer of the law, arrives on the scene to investigate what actually happened. The film is structured around the individual statements of the characters, and the possible solutions proposed by the investigator.
Aapla Manus neither wastes any time on preliminaries, nor provides unnecessary diversions like songs. It sticks to the bare bones of the plot, and lets it develop logically. It begins at the time of the accident and unfolds like a crime thriller. The additional information in form of the backstory, is provided to us with a twist. It forms part of the statements given by the individuals with hidden agendas, and the reliability of these facts can be questioned.
When the film has certain amount of repetitions, the challenge for the director is to keep things interesting for the audience. Satish Rajwade is up to this challenge, and keeps the audience involved. The responsibility is shared by the script, which keeps us guessing throughout. Dialogues have always been the USP of Bele’s works, and the same can be witnessed here. One of the problems I have seen in whodunits is the obsession with the solution, which makes them too mechanical to care about. This script overcomes the problem with a strong emotional punch near the end which delivers a message, one which resonates with the audience.

One of the key issues with the film is the casting. While Sumit Raghavan and Iravati Harshe playing Rahul and Bhakti deliver solid performances, Nana Patekar’s twin role, is central to the success of the film. As the trailer has revealed, he plays the investigator Nagargoje, but he also plays another role of lesser length but equal weightage. One can question the need for these two roles to be played by the same actor, as there is no real connection between them, but the film provides enough logic to establish a thematic connection. Having said that, I will also add, that Nana Patekar is decidedly better in the role of Nagargoje than the other one, which edges towards being a caricature.

Except for an ill-advised and unnecessary cameo at the very climax of the film, which moves our attention away from Gokhale family, and some logic flaws with the proposed solution to the mystery, the film remains a good entertainer, which allows for intellectual stimulation, a rare combination for cinema in any language, let alone Marathi.

Review by Ganesh Matkari