fbpx

REVIEW: Bhavai (Rating: * * *)

Reading Time: 3 minutes

 

Set in the village of Khakhar in Gujarat, ‘Bhavai’, a popular folk theatre form, provides the backdrop of this tragedy. The film is a layered tale of two star-crossed lovers who meet while performing the Ramlila in the Bhavai style.

AT A GLANCE

  • Director: Hardik Gajjar
  • Cast: Pratik Gandhi, Aindrita Ray, Flora Saini, Rajendra Gupta, Rajesh Sharma, Abhimanyu, Ankur Vikal, Ankur Bhatia and Gopal K. Singh
  • Rating: ***

It is when the travelling troupe of the Ramlila owned by Bhavar Singh comes to his village that Rajaram Joshi (Pratik Gandhi), son of the village pandit (Rajendra Gupta), realises that this is the opportunity for him to achieve his dream of becoming an actor. And with his perseverance and happenstance, he secures the role of Ravan.

During his stint with the troupe, Rajaram Joshi forms a bond with Rani (Aindrita Ray), who plays Sita in the Ramlila, and given the circumstances, they plan to elope. How the character, ‘Ravan’ of the Ramlila, defines Rajaram’s life, forms the crux of the narrative.

The film is minutely detailed and perfectly cast. What makes it stand out is Hardik Gajjar’s direction. He astutely manages to guide his team to deliver the best, be it in performances, music, or visuals. His writing, too, is commendable. The dialogues are down-to-earth, realistic and embellished with the right amount of local flavour.

The only issue is his script. The first act moves at a leisurely ace with an undertone of religious fervour fanning the narrative. The second and third acts simply seem rushed.

The performances by the characters are captivating. They all live their parts to perfection. Pratik Gandhi slips into Rajaram Joshi’s shoes effortlessly. He steals the show with his boy-next-door looks and stardust in his eyes. His transformation from the ordinary village boy mouthing the Tandav Stotra to becoming Ravan is simply commendable. His sincerity touches the right emotional chords, but the script does not allow him to flourish.

READ ALSO: Review: Sardar Udham (Amazon Prime)

pratik gandhi
Source: YouTube

Aindrita Ray is promising as the defiant Rani who embodies the confident Sita on stage with grace. Flora Saini as Urmi, the senior actress in the troupe, is staid.

Rajendra Gupta as Rajaram’s dad Panditji is natural, so are Rakesh Sharma as Bhajrangi, Ankur Vikal as Bhurelal, who plays Ram, Ankur Bhatia, who plays Laxman, and Bhagyashree Mote as Rani’s friend Pyari. Their performances resonate with the right attitude, both as people and actors in the Ramlila. Gopal K. Singh as the local politician Ratan Singhji is wasted in a minuscule role. The others in supporting roles, too, are perfectly handpicked and deliver outstanding performances.

Visually, the film is aesthetically mounted. The high production values boosted by cinematographer Chirantan Das’ visual instincts, the stirring score by Prasad Sashte and Shabbir Ahmed, which include well-crafted songs, elevate Gajjar’s effort.

The last frame of the film — a quote by Buddha that states, “It is man’s own mind, not his enemy or foe, that lures him to evil ways” — for a moment flummoxes the viewers, but then you realise the quote is generic and is directed towards a society blinded by religion and culture. Overall, the film is a mild attempt to be an eye-opener.

IANS

READ ALSO: DDLJ to be adapted into Broadway musical

- Advertisement -

Related Articles

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -

Podcasts

Ep 9: What do young Indians want from love?

0
  Growing up in Indian culture, most of us know that love has never been as popular as marriage. Even in the movies, the main...

Ep 8: Indian links in Indigenous Australian poet Ali Cobby Eckermann’s...

0
  To celebrate NAIDOC week 2020 (between 8-15 November) I spoke to Yakunytjatjara poet Ali Cobby Eckermann about her time in India where she taught...

Ep 7: In the case of Sushant Singh Rajput

0
  The torrid and high-octane Sushant Singh Rajput case has been fodder for Indian people and press for the last few months. The actor’s tragic death...
- Advertisement -

Latest News

lgbt community

On the Religious Discrimination bill

0
  Prime Minister Scott Morrison introduced a Religious Discrimination Bill to the parliament last week. Promised by the Coalition government in the wake of the...
indian community

Grants to support multicultural community infrastructure in VIC

0
  Minister for Multicultural Affairs Ros Spence has invited multicultural community organisations to apply for grants to upgrade, renovate or build community facilities. The available grants...
Raja vamsam

REVIEW: Raja Vamsam

0
  Director K.V. Kathirvelu's Raja Vamsam, which has an incredibly large star cast, is a family drama that exhausts the viewer by the time it...
DIL BEKARaar

Review: Dil Bekaraar (Disney+Hotstar)

0
  From its dreamy theme song to its 2D-style animation, to its period soundtrack, and of course, its late-80s/ early-90s nostalgia, Dil Bekaraar, streaming on...

REVIEW: Antim – The Final Truth

0
  Director Mahesh Manjrekar's Antim: The Final Truth is a crime drama centred around the circle of fate. Based on the Marathi film Mulshi Pattern,...