“Before Sunrise” and “Before Sunset” are two of my favourite movies. Both the movies based on same two characters do not have much of a story. Its about two strangers meeting in Europe and just having a conversation. They talk and their talks gives an insight into their life and thoughts. The depth of the thoughts and conversation is what makes the movies a must watch.
Having a movie without much of a plot but only relying on conversation between two individuals, two strangers and doing it twice can be quite an achievement.
The romantic comedy Marathi movie “Mumbai Pune Mumbai” takes the concept from “Before Sunrise” and moulds into an Indian context. The idea is not copied as such but cannot help remembering those two movies while watching this movie.
“Mumbai Pune Mumbai” (MPM) is about two strong minded individuals who meet each other in Pune.
Mukta Barwe is a fashion designer from Mumbai who visits Pune to meet a boy who has been recommended by her mother for marriage. Reluctant to meet a complete stranger, she is sceptical to meet the person and is in Pune to convey a “no” to the boy.
Swapnil Joshi meets her when she asks him the address of the boy. They keep bumping into each other and he offers to keep her company till she can meet the boy. Few coincidences that the boy is not at home and Mukta’s cell phone is not charged help the circumstances.
They talk and discuss their life, their past, their value, their belief and that is what forms the rest of the story. The climax is quite obvious but as they say the journey is more important than the destination, so is the culmination of the climax.
Its not a high level philosophical discussion but an attempt of two individuals to know each other or lets say just have a chat. They talk, fight, flirt and have a friendly banter. The talks explore the value and tradition but refuses to take sides. Its neither wrong nor right. It is as it is.
MPM only has this two nameless characters and are virtually in every frame of the movie. Keeping the story interesting can be quite an achievement and Script writer and director Satish Rajwade does it quite effectively. Parag Kulkarni shares the credit for story and script.
To keep the story alive, the actors have to be equally competent. Mukta Barwe and Swapnil Joshi are just that. She sometimes obnoxious and he equally irritating. Mukta Barwe plays the modern, independent and free thinking woman. Thankfully there is no attempt to label her as a pious Indian woman. She had past relationships and she is ok to discuss with a complete stranger. The story does not judge her but considers it a part of her life.
Swapnil Joshi has his own past baggage.
As I said, Satish Rajwade keeps it interesting in the little over 1 hour 40 mins runtime.
There are two songs and quite ok.
In addition to Mukta and Swapnil, two other stars in the movie are the cities, Mumbai and Pune. The rivalry between the two cities are quite known. The two lead characters represent the two cities and their personality reflects the cities they come from. Mumbai, fast and modern and Pune, traditional and proud.
The two cities unknowingly became a part of the story. Pune in an active role while Mumbai in a passive role.
MPM is close to a classic and has a repeat value. Its a movie which you see when you want to just smile. No villains, No drama, no melodrama, no emotional atyachaar.Just pure fun!
Its an example that good scripts and story with good characters development can make an entertaining and good movie.
Marathi movies go through ups and down, experimenting. I guess that gives Marathi cinema its brand value unlike Hindi cinema which is going down the pits with mindless entertainment.
MPM is an example of a experiment that just succeeds