Hrudayantar (2017) : Marathi Movie Review
Hrudayantar : Remember Mahesh Bhatt’s ‘Kaash’; the 1987 film which proved Jackie Shroff could act just as well as he could look macho. That emotional drama was about a couple whose marriage is falling apart and how the critical illness of their child brings them together. Fashion designer turned producer-director Vikram Phadnis chooses the same plot for his debut, which though nowhere close to the Mahesh Bhatt classic, still makes it to the see grade.
That’s cos Phadnis invests in two of the best actors we have in Marathi cinema : Subodh Bhave and Mukta Barve. Playing the warring hubby-wifey, the couple elevate the movie considerably by their strong performances so much so that it compels you to overlook the inconsistencies in the screenplay. Which, by the way, are aplenty.
Like the root cause of the couples drifting apart. ‘Kaash’ had Dimple Kapadia coping with a loser Jackie Shroff who wasn’t able to financially support his family. Here, Subodh Bhave is a super successful hotelier who isn’t able to spare any family time. “But I’m doing this for you and the kids, ain’t I?”, he asks a distraught Mukta who assents for a divorce. Not entirely a convincing premise. Maybe, a couple of scenes detailing the exact nature of their rift and drift could have helped. Instead, all we get to see are a few party ocassions where both of them pass sarcastic remarks on each other. Tsk tsk, not done!
Next, their elder kiddo is diagnosed with a rare blood cancer. It gives opportunity to many emotional scenes and a couple of them indeed, tug your heart. Like the dad tonsuring his head to pep up his daughter’s confidence. And the kid telling her parents not to fake as she’s old enough to understand she’s dying.
For added star value, Phadnis turns to his bollywood pals to pitch in some guest appearances. Shiamak Davar turns up as the kids dance teacher and Hrithik Roshan gets to play the superhero Krrish. The only hitch – they don’t speak a single line of dialogue. Aisa kyun Vikram? I would’ve loved to hear them talk a word or two in Marathi.
Finally, even with its share of flaws, Phadnis, in his directorial debut, still manages to pass the litmus test all thanks to his lead cast. Hrudayantar is a one time watchable. Just about.
P.S. This film has English subtitles for those who don’t understand Marathi.