Director: Nikhil Mahajan
Producer: Abhay Gadgil, Shrirang Godbole, Girish Kulkarni, Umesh Kulkarni
Writer: Girish Kulkarni, Nikhil Mahajan
Cast: Girish Kulkarni, Sonali Kulkarni, Sai Tamhankar
Music: Hyun-jung Shim
Cinematography: Jeremy Reagan
With just three central characters and a very simple story Pune 52 manages to hold your attention and this is the biggest strength of this film. Set against the backdrop of a newly liberalized Indian economy the story essentially revolves around Private detective Amar Apte (Girish Kulkarni) and the two women around him – his wife (Sonali Kulkarni) and his client Neha (Sai Tamhankar).
This film is both a drama as well as a thriller and is considerably bold for Marathi audience. Well directed by debutant director Nikhil Mahajan, the film boasts of a superlative performance by Girish Kulkarni. This is one actor, who does not have six packs, nor does he have Greek god looks yet the way he beautifully emotes makes the character seem so real. I loved his performance in Pune 52. Both Sonali Kulkarni and Sai Tamhankar deliver a credible performance and it was indeed a pleasure to watch Bharti Achrekar on screen after a long time. The moments when Prachi and Amar argue seem very realistic and are thankfully not over the top.
Technically too the film too is good and efforts are taken to carefully recreate the early 90’s look with the right songs on the radio, film posters around the city and if you are lucky you can also notice someone drinking a Goldspot. Talking about the story would be giving away the plot so I would definitely resist from doing so. Pune 52 may not be a classic film and definitely has a few shortcomings but overall it’s a film you should not miss. At a time when mainstream Hindi cinema has stories set in make believe villages with characters who are low on brain power but high on muscle power, it is encouraging to see Marathi films having stories set in urban India centered around the lives of middle class Indians.
As I always say – Please go watch it in a cinema hall to encourage good Marathi cinema.
PS – Pune 52 is also available with English subtitles in select cinema halls
Check out the article on the author’s blog at: http://gaurinandan.blogspot.in/2013/01/pune-52_20.html or catch him on twitter at https://twitter.com/gaurinandan