Mumbai, 17 Jan 2019 16:00 IST
Krutant is a film that keeps changing its genre as it progresses. It starts off as a social film about today’s stressful corporate life and quickly goes into the slice-of-life mode.
Films can go wrong for several reasons. But director Datta Bhandare’s Krutant has a rare problem. It is trapped in the wrong format. What is dished out to the audience over 116 minutes could well have been narrated in just 25. And with far greater impact.
Krutant is a film that keeps changing its genre as it progresses. It starts off as a social film about today’s stressful corporate life and quickly goes into the slice-of-life mode. But later you get the sense that the main subject is either psychological or supernatural.
In the end it turns out to be none of the above, as if all this was just a prank on the audience!
Through the film, Sandeep Kulkarni’s character Baba keeps going on about the importance of being patient. We never realized then this was meant for the audience.
The characterization of two leading parts in Krutant is strange indeed. Samyak (Suyog Gorhe) is so busy at work he has no time for his wife (Sayali Patil), mother (Vidya Karanjikar) or infant daughter. That’s understandable. What isn't is that almost throughout the film, he is irritated, angry or throwing tantrums like a spoilt brat, reminding you of those forever agitated television news anchors. Yet, his family and friends see nothing wrong in his behaviour. In fact, they hardly react to it.
The poor characterization hurts Gorhe’s performance. At times he tries too hard, especially in the scene where he goes wild with anger. His performance in Sameer Patil’s Shentimental (2017) was so much more natural. Probably the character graph there was responsible.
Baba, the other troubled one, lives a hand-to-mouth existence in a makeshift hut. His surroundings, long hair and dirty clothes are inversely proportional to his philosophical chatter. He also speaks fluent English.
Kulkarni is a veteran of the Marathi film industry and he brings his experience and talent into play, smartly keeping the mystery of his character alive. His stark condition and traits intrigue the audience and they want to know more about him and his past. But alas! we are never told exactly who he is.
Less than halfway into the film, we realize that the basic plot is strikingly similar to that of Wasim Maner’s Hou De Jarasa Ushir (2013). That film saw Sadashiv Amrapurkar play a fakir-cum-philosopher who preaches about life to a group of people from the corporate world stuck at a remote place. Kulkarni does the same to Gorhe’s character.
The audience is bombarded with fast, ear-splitting noise in the background, probably the director's way of telling us it is a thriller. The cinematography is the only technical aspect that's bearable. Director of photography Vijay Mishra has tried some creative angles that make the film at least watchable. The scene in the hut where the camera zooms out to reveal what actually has happened, simply through the use of visuals, is wonderful.
Other than this, the only time the film gets you interested is when a mysterious tale is played out as a subplot. It turns out to be a dream sequence. Wish we could forget the film as a bad dream!
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