You have worked all your life, you have lived alone for many years now after the death of your spouse, your son is getting married and he is supposed to move to US for his work and you meet your childhood crush and then you look at your life without a partner.
The marathi movie “Uttarayan” directed by Bipin Nadkarni explores the story of an individual who has reached the zenith of his life. Released in 2005, this movie was in race for Indian entry of Oscar. Ultimately “Paheli” was selected for the Indian entry for Oscars. Its an adaptation of Marathi writer, Jaywant Dalvi’s marathi play “Durgi”.
Shivaji Satam plays Raghuveer Rajadhyaksh or Raghu, a widower who has just retired and comes to live in Mumbai with his son who is getting married. His wife had already passed away 14 years ago. He meets his teenage crush. kusumavati who is also living alone with her mother. Durgi as she is known by her family member has suffered an abusive marriage. Now forced to take care of her ailing mother and she lives in the servant quarters of her father’s bungalow.
Raghu starts meeting Durgi and they both start having feelings for each other. The fact that Raghu takes care of her and the small things he does for her makes them to have a re-look at their relationship. The age proves to be a hindrance to their relationship. In addition the stigma of Durgi’s failed and abused marriage and Raghu’s married son who is not keen to the idea of his father’s marriage at that age adds to the hindrance.
In India, people are married at a young age called the marriageable age say about 20 – 30 years and people marrying after this age are looked down upon or having problems. So a grown-up man whose own son is getting married has to think a lot before getting married.
Uttarayan – There are very few movies which have handled the lonliness of aged person so well.
The story is told from Raghu’s point of view. He is at the age when getting married involves a lot of questions from relatives and friends but it is also the age when he needs a partner to share his life. As expected he is opposed by his son and his wife’s sister. His childhood friend, Babu Borkar who has not married himself wants him to get married to Durgi.
The story is about two souls who are lonely at that time of their life when they need someone’s company to spend the rest of their life. The director has handled the story delicately without making a melodrama about the relationship except with Raghu’s son but then again its is a expected reaction. The meeting between Raghu and Durgi feels like a teenage love story but with more maturity where they meet more for each other companionship.
Shivaji Satam and Neena Kulkarni play the old couple. Both of them have acted very well. Shivaji Satam plays the lonely widower with ease and perfection. Watch him in scenes where he tries to hide the relationship from everybody and still wants to be with the woman he loves. A feeling of wanting and rejecting at the same time. Neena Kulkarni is as always, good. Uttara Baokar plays Durgi’s aging mother and is ok in a small role.
Viju Khote appears the much needed light moments to this slow, emotional movie. He plays Babu Borkar.
Music is so-so. The direction by Bipin Kulkarmi and the story Kaushtubh Savarkar is engaging and tight and even though the story moves slowly, there is never a dull moments. The emotions of the elderly couple are handled well. It’s a simple story told simply.
The quality of Marathi movie is on the better path and Marathi movies have the luxury of handling different subject. The quality of the movie in terms of cinematography and sound has also improved and is really heart-warming.
All in all, a good movie.