Shriranga Deshmukh or Ranga as he is known to his family and friends is a frustrated angry man. Ready to blow any time, he is especially angry with women. He has a female boss in his office, who is angry about all men. At home, he is surrounded by his wife, his mother, his sister and his grandmother. He feels women are in control and from time to time he feels all women are ready to torture him and make his life hell. A yearly trip to the village’s festival gives him power to listen to women and what follows is a hilarious journey of one man trying to understand what women want and say. Sanjay Narvekar stars as Ranga in Kedar Shinde directed Marathi movie “Aga Bai…. Arechya”
The story appears familiar to Mel Gibson’s starrer “What women want”. Although the central idea is the same, the story is highly indianized, actually marathized (No word like that I guess). As for one, Ranga is a middle class accountant in a travel firm. The problem he faces is faced by common man. He is a common man hero and then the situations are more real in most of the movie. The comedy is not slapstick and the situation make you smile most of the time.
The first half of the movie is shown how Ranga is frustrated by the situation around him. By the interval, he gets the power to listen to women’s mind. First getting frustrated, he learns to accept and finally help some of the women. He gets to understand his wife, boss and mother much better. The pace does not slow down in the movie except a side track of Ranga’s father which was not necessary and seem to be a patch work. There is also a scope of action where a female terrorist is planning to blow up many public places.
Sanjay Narvekar plays Shriranga Deshmukh. The best thing in the movie is the script and Sanjay Narvekar. He plays the role of a frustrated individual to perfection. The transformation to a happy go-lucky individual who is with peace with himself is handled well by Sanjay Narvekar. He gave brilliant performance in Vaastav as Ded Footya. Here he plays a simple common man with the same intensity. Here is one actor which we like to describe as “moorti lahaan pan kirti mahaan” (Small in stature but big in fame)
Rekha Sawant plays Ranga’s wife. She does not speak much and is shown to be silent type. However she compliments Sanjay Narvekar with her expression.
Dilip Prabhavalkar plays Ranga’s father and is shown as a failed Union leader. The sidetrack about him slows down the movie and is not needed at all.
There is another character of Ranga’s grandmother and is kind of nice to see a fun-loving grandmother. Could not find her name.
Sanjay Narvekar and the actress playing his grand mother. A nice likable character.
Kedar Shinde directs the feature and directs it quite well. Kedar Shinde is known for his Marathi serials and plays. He has directed some more Marathi movies. The script and direction is tight. Kedar Shinde is the grandson of famous Marathi folk Singer, sahir Sable. He has to his credit directed the Marathi serial “Hasa Chakat Fu” and “Shri Gangadhar Tipre”. “Tipre” is a must watch which shows day to day life of a middle class Marathi household where the grandfather, played by Dilip Prabhalvalkar plays the grandfather. Dilip Prabhalvalkar is hardly 50-60 years old but watch him play the role of a 90 years old man to perfection.
Another plus point is the music of the movie. There is a item song to give Hindi movies competition featuring Sonali Bendre and choreographed by Farah Khan. The song is passable. The other song is a Durga aarti (a devotional song). The song is a slow number and is beautifully picturised. The aarti sung in a different tune has the beautiful anddesired effect in the movie.
Sanjay Narvekar in the Durga Aarti showing him appreciating all women.
Then there is a parody of songs titled “Kunj Vannat” where the main character are shown singing songs from old films with the black and white effect and all.
Sanjay Narvekar and Rekha Sawant in a hilarious parody of Marathi songs from the birth of Marathi Cinema.
The last song where Ranga finds the real meaning of life is titled “Mann udhan varyanche”. Sung by Shankar Mahadevan, this is one song that is soothing to the ears with good lyrics and beautiful picturised.
Marathi movies always had substandard quality in terms of sound, locales and cinematography. Surprisingly “ABA” scores in all these areas. Infact ABA has a rich feeling in terms of Cinematography. The story is about what women want but the movie is about a man who comes in term with himself. This may not be the greatest movie of all time but is certainly entertaining and a real feel-good movie. You are left smiling at the end of the movie. With movies like these, Marathi Cinema may come back to its lost glory. Now only if the movie had sub-titles to appeal non-Marathi crowd.
Update: Please check the comments section for songs
“Mann Uddhan Varyache” Lyrics