Director: Ajay Naik
Actors: Umesh Kamat, Mukta Barve, Siddharth Chandekar, Tejashree Pradhan, Swati Chitnis
With the release of Besharam on October 2, the path was clear for Marathi films on Friday. And one of them happened to be a young film with young actors – ‘Lagna Pahave Karun‘ – and like its name; you might want to see it once. A usual topic has been given a different angle and chances are you might enjoy watching it.
Nishant Barve (Umesh Kamat) is US-based software developer, on a trip to India to get married. But, he loses his job and results in break-up with his fiancée. An accidental meeting with Aditi Tilak (Mukta Barve), a marriage counsellor, results in a friendship and he gets interested in her business venture – a marriage bureau with a difference. Here, they will not check horoscopes, will allow the couple to meet a few times without parental interference and more such methods to make sure that the marriage is based on practical methods. They do meet their first success, in Rahul (Siddharth Chandekar) and Anandi (Tejashree Pradhan). But the hitch comes in the form of Nalu Dixit (Swati Chitnis), a renowned astrologer who had a run-in with Nishant. She proclaims that this marriage won’t last more than six months, as their horoscopes don’t match. Nishant challenges Nalutai and thus ensues the battle of science and practicality versus astrology and age-old customs.
Socially relevant subjects are being regularly taken up in Marathi cinema and more often people are relating to these films more than the masala movies. If told in the right manner, the connection stays for a long time. In ‘Lagna Pahave Karun‘, it is the same case. Despite a few oddities, the story works with us due to its simplicity and narration. It allows you to think over the issue without taking any side. Today, a huge amount of people are going in for marriages only after matching the horoscopes. Things like compatibility between the couples, knowledge of medical history, mental and emotional readiness for marriage and such things which work for the marriage are not thought of. The screenplay is good but not perfect, especially the second half which drags and is flimsy. The newly-wed couple’s issues are not handled in a good fashion. The girl has some issues but does not seem interested in sorting out issues even when her husband is trying to reach out to her. But if you choose to ignore a few stray odd points, you feel the story is trying to make a point. The dialogues give a good support to lay out the points. One can appreciate the director Ajay Naik of keeping the film engaging. It helps that the film is just 2 hours 7 minutes long. For those of you who might feel that you have noticed film with similar kind of spirit, you must know that the film has been co-written by Kshitij Patwardhan, the same guy behind the play ‘Nava Gadi, Nava Rajya‘ which was recently made into the film ‘Time Please‘ (also starring Umesh Kamat).
What makes this film quite a pleasant watch is the acting. Umesh Kamat is his usual charming self and easily plays sensible Nishant. He is a guy from present generation who understands emotions but does not fall prey to emotional stupidity. Umesh’s calm face is perfect for playing Nishant and he uses his face to denote his emotions beautifully. Mukta Barve plays Aditi Tilak with ease, but somehow the character seems rather flat and uninteresting. Unlike other characters that seem lovable, Aditi seems quite boring and that is sad because Mukta is a fantastic and energetic actress. Siddharth Chandekar as understanding yet quite child-like Rahul is bang-on. He has got a character similar to his age and he plays the character with ease. The very talented Tejashree Pradhan too has been given with a half-baked character. Yet she plays Anandi with as much conviction as is allowed. Most Maharashtrians would be happy to see veteran actress Swati Chitnis play manipulative and egoistic Nalutai brilliantly, though she has a small role.
Yes, Lagna Pahave Karun is not a perfect film, but it still leaves a pleasant taste in your mouth. That is because the subject allows it to. Watching it once for the subject and actors’ sake would be a good idea. The best part is the end which allows you to think over the topic, rather than sermonising. Refreshing, at its best!