Review Hindi

Gadhedo review: A satire about human nature and the importance of education, based on Indian folklore

Release Date: 29 May 2020 / 15min

Read in: Hindi


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Suyog Zore

Written and directed by Jai Sharma, Gadhedo is a short film that is open to many interpretations.

Gadhedo is a satire that tells us about human nature and how education and knowledge are not quite the same thing. The story takes place in Jhalamand, a small village in Rajasthan.

Maatsa (Chandan Roy Sanyal) is the only educated person in the entire village. At least that is what he believes. He has rented a house owned by a naive, uneducated washerman named Goru (Vikrant Massey) and his wife (Trupti Khamkar). The couple is amazed by the teacher's personality. One day, out of curiosity, Goru asks Maatsa how come every person respects him, to which Maatsa replies that he knows how to turn donkeys into human beings.

Shocked by this 'revelation', Goru pays him a huge sum of money to turn his donkey into a human being. What happens next forms the crux of the tale.

If one has to describe the film in two words, one would say 'absurdly funny'. The absurdity stems, naturally, from the story itself. Writer-director Jai Sharma has successfully translates that absurdity on to the screen.

The director uses little details to convey many things. For example, in one scene Goru and his wife ask Maatsa to pay the rent. Goru is standing there with drooping shoulders and scared to even utter a word. Finally, after his wife nudges him, he musters the courage to ask for the rent. Maatsa gives him a Rs50 note, but his body language suggests that he thinks he is doing the washerman a big favour by even paying that measly amount.

After giving him the money, Maatsa nonchalantly says he will pay the rent due last Diwali after next year's Holi. That means he isn't even paying them the rent regularly, and yet the washerman thinks Maatsa is a great human being. This tells you something about human nature, how we tend to ignore all the flaws of a person when we set him on a high pedestal.

From the weird camera angles and extreme close-ups of the artistes to the distinct background music, everything reminds you that something is off here. A viewer can draw many interpretations from the short film, one of which is how a little knowledge can make a person so overconfident about his own self that he starts to look down upon everyone else. And how people with a delusion that they know everything exploit the uneducated poor because the poor trust them blindly. Probably the director wants to suggest that 'education' alone is not a parameter to decide who is a good human being.

Another interpretation may be a little farfetched, but given the absurd nature of the short film, it fits. Probably it's a satirical take on all the dharma gurus and babas who enthral their followers with their baseless, unscientific theories, and the followers blindly believe anything they utter, even if it's clear that they are being exploited. The same theory can be applied to politicians or any big celebrities and their followers.

Vikrant Massey is brilliant in the role of the uneducated Goru, who is in awe of the teacher's personality. He perfectly captures the naiveté of his character. It seems he has also worked hard to get the diction and dialect right. Because never once do you get the feeling the accent is put-on.

The same goes for Chandan Roy Sanyal. He is pitch perfect as the arrogant teacher who believes he knows everything and is superior to those around him. Some might say they are overacting, but this is a deliberate attempt to overact and it fits in perfectly with the theme of the short film.

The absurdity of the film is its biggest strength and someone who is not into such comedies might not like Gadhedo, but for the rest of us it's a good satire. You won't regret spending 16 minutes on this.

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