“Jatra”, a marathi movie released in 2006 is a comedy of errors. The movie directed by Kedar Shinde stars a lot of actors and I mean a lot of actors. The movie is about how age old tradition and false ego affects the life of people of two villages.
The story primarily is of two village called Hyalagaad and Tyaalagaad. Roughly translated the name of the two villages is bury him/ bury them. The story is of a Jatra or religious fair is about a fair, the hosting of which leads to rivalry between the two villages. The host of the fair is decided by a race between two individual from the village, who run and even kill for winning the hosting rights.
A youth called Monya played by Bharat Jadhav who wants to become rich along with his six friends by hook or crook arrives in this villages along with his friend. At the same time, his look alike who has a limited vocalbary also lands in the same village. What follows is a great comedy of error, funny one liners and mindless comedy.
Jatra feels like the stupid comedies which Priyadarshan is master of. The story is a mishmash and made of totally impossible situations. The only thing that saves the film is a tight script and the comic timing of the actors. The negative aspect of the movie is there are too many actors in the movie. Kedar Shinde’s earlier film, “Aga Bai Arechya” was a good balanced film. Jatra is an out and out comedies where the director does not give you enough time to think. He jumps from one situation to another with little or no connection to the first one. But the good thing is that there is never a boring moment although you do understand that it is stupid.
Consider this! The situation that leads to Monya coming from the city to the village is totally unbelievable. The way the mix-up occur is again without logic. But then Jatra is a slapstick comedy and it does not claim to be logical in its reasoning.
Bharat Jadav is the hero of the movie and plays a double role. The success of a double role depends on the actor giving each role a different personality. The story and script of a double role movie always ensures that they both have different personalities. It could be the way they talk, behave or any other thing.
Deven Varma and Sanjeev Kumar in Angoor are the only double roles I remember where both the roles have almost the same mannerism and still both the characters seem quite apart.
Coming back to “Jatra”, Bharat Jadhav plays both the role with equal competence. Bharat Jadhav has a reputation of being a good actor with excellent comic timing and he delivers well. There is Vijay Chavan who also plays the double role. He has the most significant role after Bharat Jadhav. Then there are other stars too mostly from the Marathi Television and Marathi theatre but there are many characters in the movie which is the biggest negative point in the movie.
Thankfully there are only two songs in the movie and both are foot taping number.The director has choosen not to interpret the story with many songs. One song is at the start of the movie which is a part Hindi-Part Marathi. The song picturization is getting sleek in Marathi movie. The second song is after the interval and is raunchy dance number.
Kedar Shinde has directed the movie quite well without losing the grip on the movie although the same cannot be said about the story. Whatever the story lacks the acting and the one-liners make up for it. But I would still rate “Aga Bai Arechya” as a better movie than “Jatra”
All in all a good entertaining movie to laugh for some time. Other than that a forgetful film.