Ventilator. The Kamerkar family have a cause to worry. One of their senior member Gajju Kaka is in coma at a Mumbai hospital. With Ganesh Chaturthi a few days away, they are tensed about the possibility of Gajju Kaka’s death ruining their festivities. With this anxiety in mind, they all land up at the hospital hoping that he atleast lives through the festival.
Rajesh Mapuskar’s second film after the okey dokey Ferrari Ki Sawaari (2012) is a brilliant comedy drama which connects with the audience on every level. The characters – and mind you, there are close to 50 of them – and the situations they face are not only relatable but also highly engaging which was evident from the positive audience response at the South Mumbai single screen cinema I visited.
Mapuskar layers his otherwise sensitive drama with some LOL inducing dialogues. Trust me, I haven’t laughed so much at the movies in recent times. The problems and issues plaguing the Kamerkar’s range from unaccounted mangoes to unbuilt toilets at their ancestral property and it is brought out humorously at the most inopportune moment. One chubby teen ends up gulping a coin while showcasing his “magic” to a curious child. A senile senior citizen almost loses his life while trying to relieve himself on the road during a long journey. Undoubtedly, Ventilator is the finest situational comedy made in Marathi cinema.
Post interval, the film gets slightly serious as Mapuskar focusses on his underlying theme of “loving your parents for what they did for you…” Even the emotional scenes strike the right chord and it’s kinda unique experience where you walked out at interval with tears in eyes due to excessive laughter and finally exit the auditorium with real tears.
The acting from the ensemble cast is top class. Ashutosh Gowariker is the obvious standout. The talented director knows his acting just as well. Jitendra Joshi delivers another sterling performance. Technically, the movie is shot and presented well.
All in all, Ventilator is the big Marathi blockbuster you shouldn’t miss. There was a time (in late 90’s) when Marathi cinema itself, was on ventilator succumbing to mediocrity and budgetary constraints. It’s heartening to see it not just bounce back to life but become relevant and enticing enough for Priyanka Chopra to turn producer with. Guys, pop up the champagne!!