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Review Marathi

Avwanchhit review: Sincere attempt at storytelling undermined by poor execution

Release Date: 19 Mar 2021

Cinestaan Rating

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Suyog Zore

The film fails to connect emotionally with the viewer on account of the supporting cast's over-the-top performances.

Avwanchhit is the kind of film you genuinely wish were good because the makers' sincerity is evident. However, good intentions alone do not make for a good movie. Avwanchhit is the story of a father and son who, despite living under the same roof for two decades, are total strangers.

Tapan (Abhay Mahajan) is a professor of psychology. His father Madhusudan (Kishore Kadam) works as a manager in a home for the aged. Madhusudan has spent most of his life caring for the elderly but neglected Tapan, who resents not only his father but the whole world, in his childhood years.

The film by Shubho Basu Nag shows that although the father and son live in the same house, walk on the same street and talk to the same neighbours, they inhabit different worlds. Tapan meets the beautiful Aashima (Mrinmayee Godbole) with whom he develops a bond instantly. Madhusudan has friends in the home for the aged. Deep down, however, both father and son regret how their relationship has turned out.

On a conceptual level, Avwanchhit has a lot going for it. Unfortunately, the poor execution prevents the film from cashing in on its promise.

Avwanchhit is the first Marathi film to be shot entirely in Kolkata. But the makers do not use the setting to their advantage.

The home for the aged plays an important part in the film. In fact, the scenes there had the potential to leave a lasting emotional impact on the viewer. But the over-the-top performances of the supporting cast wreak havoc. What is bewildering is that the director has made even veterans like Mohan Agashe overact to such an extent that his character comes across as a caricature.

Even regular scenes are accompanied by melodramatic music as if the makers had no faith in the audience. The absence of a single quiet scene indicates the director's desire to spell out what emotion one must experience while watching the film. This kind of spoon-feeding works only in daily soaps and has no place in cinema. The film also has far too many unnecessary flashbacks that break the flow of the narrative. They show up wherever the director wants to amp up the emotional quotient but only have the effect of making the proceedings more boring.

Avwanchhit is also a big disappointment on the technical level. The cinematography by Atul Jagdale is basic while the production design is soap-like.

Worse, the film is inconsistent about what it wants to say. Is it about a father-son relationship? Is it about forgiveness and moving on? Or is it about how the elderly are considered disposable by their kids?

Likewise, the characters' actions are inconsistent. We are told that Tapan is a loner, but just 10 minutes into the film we see him meeting Aashima and thereafter the loner trope is never brought back.

Mahajan rises above the poor script and delivers a measured performance, which is the film's biggest plus. Kadam delivers a decent performance as the patriarch who tries to mend his ways but whose attempts backfire. Deshpande has only a handful of scenes but she does well in those.

Overall, Avwanchhit is a sincere effort to create a moving drama that is marred by poor execution.

Avwanchhit is available on the pay-per-view platform Zee Plex.

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