Sairat – Marathi Movie Review
Aha, we finally have our own Marathi Romeo and Juliet. Step aside Dagdu and Praju (‘Timepass’, 2014), Parshya and Archie’s love story has all the ingredients to become a bigger blockbuster. Indeed, Nagraj Manjule’s second film Sairat after the offbeat ‘Fandry’ (2014) is the perfect blend of commercial cinema mixed with a stinging commentary on many pertinent social issues (casteeism being just one of them; I will not mention the others to avoid playing spoiler).
Sairat starts as a routine love story between Parshya (Akash Thosar) and Archie (Rinku Rajguru) – she is the daughter of a rich village landlord while he is her college mate belonging to a low caste labour family. Archie strongly reciprocates Parshya’s feelings and their love blossoms with the support of Parshya’s friends – Salya and Langdya. The first hour is pure fun and certain scenes like Parshya dreaming of Archie coming to his house and the love letter sequence will leave you in splits.
Nagraj Manjule develops his lead characters effectively for you to identify with them. Archie is shown as a dominating strong willed girl who holds the clout to ask the boys bathing in the village well to get lost so that she and her female friends can enjoy a swim. More, she rides her brother’s Royal Enfield and actually, persuades Parshya to elope. It’s refreshing to see this breaking of the gender stereotype where the guy always takes the lead in romance and Manjule successfully, highlights the girl power here. Bravo!
Next, Archie elopes with Parshya only to realise it’s easier to fall in love than living together in a faraway city slum. Some plot references from Mansoor Khan’s ‘Qayamat se Qayamat Tak’ (1988), Mani Ratnam’s ‘Alaipayuthey’ (2000) and Dibaker Banerjee’s highly experimental ‘Love Sex aur Dhoka’ (2013) are evident but Sairat is much more than these movies. Nagraj Manjule carves his own distinct style of presenting a rural love story which appears practical, realistic and deeply touches your heart. Here’s a director to watch out for and I am already curious to know what he’s making next.
Of the cast, Akash Thosar and Rinku Rajguru suit their characters to the T. Their on-screen chemistry works big time. Specially, Rinku Rajguru shines in her role which requires varied emotions even in a single scene, like that heart melting ‘Swades’ (2004) moment at a railway platform.
Ajay Atul’s music score is first rate. Ditto those wonderful sunset landscape shots. On the flip side, editing could have been crisper especially in the second half.
To sum up, Sairat is a modern day love saga which shouldn’t be missed at any cost. Don’t walk…..but run to your nearest cinema hall and book the tickets. Consider yourself lucky if you get tickets for the current show….
Watch the Trailer of Sairat here:
P.S. This film has English subtitles for the non Marathi audience.