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Hrudayantar review: Good story limited by the narration

Release Date: 07 Jul 2017 / Rated: U / 02hr 12min

Cinestaan Rating

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Keyur Seta

The film, starring Subodh Bhave and Mukta Barve, is an average family drama.

Stories about a positive character facing the threat of death at an early age have tremendous scope of touching the audience’s heart. And if such tales are peppered with positive messages, nothing like it. But first and foremost, an appealing story has to be executed in a convincing manner.

This is the problem with designer Vikram Phadnis’s directorial debut Hrudayantar. The movie works at the level of the story but does not quite work the way it is narrated.

Hrudayantar revolves around the Joshi family staying in Mumbai. Shekhar (Subodh Bhave) lives with his wife Samaira (Mukta Barve) and two daughters, Nitya (Trushnika Shinde) and Nysha (Nishtha Vaidya). Shekhar is a successful hotelier while Samaira is creative head at an advertising agency. Nitya, the elder daughter, dreams of becoming a dancer. Nysha is more interested in sports. 

Shekhar and Samaira’s married life is the opposite of what it appears to the world. The husband’s indifference towards his family owing to his busy work schedule has hampered his relations with his wife. The problems between them reach such a level that they decide to separate. Just then, out of nowhere, a member of the family gets diagnosed with blood cancer. The incident puts a brake on Shekhar and Samaira’s issues. 

The film starts off with a couple growing slowly apart. Thankfully, the narrative doesn’t try to tell you how they got married, had babies and how their problems began. The current situation is established in such a way that you can easily guess the history without having to be told all of it in so many scenes. And the idea of a quarrelling couple starting to support each other in a period of great adversity is appealing.

However, despite the impressive storyline, the film fails to move you. First, as most of the story development takes place early on, there is not much to tell in the remaining portion. There are times, especially in the second half, when the narrative drags. Hence, the runtime of 132 minutes appears too much. The other big issue is that the emotional moments aren’t handled with the kind of maturity they needed. The same is the case with a few light-hearted sequences. 

The subplot about Samaira’s office life also appears questionable because she doesn’t share such important bad news with her senior. 

Composer Praful Karlekar's songs suit the situations but they don't stay with you after the film. Hrudayantar scores well in the technical departments though. Dilshad VA, the cinematographer, has lived up to the challenge of creatively capturing a film that takes place indoors almost for the entire duration. The look given to the film is also eye-catching.

The performances are good. Bhave once again proves himself to be a master at playing a character going through emotional turmoil. The scene in which he loses his cool and vents his frustration deserves special mention. Mukta Barve brings her experience into play while playing a harried wife and mother.

Trushnika Shinde and Nishtha Vaidya are fine too and this was vital. The former had the more difficult role. Sonali Khare is perfectly cast in the role of the divorced and jolly Ash aunty. The same can be said about Amit Khedekar, Meena Naik and Meher Acharya Dar who play Dr Gaurang, Samaira's mother and Sister Jenny, respectively. Hrithik Roshan’s cameo in the film is moving. Manish Paul’s guest appearance is superfluous, however.

Overall, Hrudayantar has an interesting tale that could have been told in a far more emotionally satisfying manner.