Pune, 17 Jan 2018 20:00 IST
Updated: 09 Feb 2020 14:46 IST
Screenplay writer and director Amar Bharat Deokar paints every shot, dialogue and scene with utmost love and care, choosing the right colours and strokes.
In one of the many beautiful scenes from Mhorkya, a poor young boy and a bearded mad-man of the village, both ostracized by people in different ways, do the marching drill in front of a scarecrow.
In another sequence, the same young man asks his ageing friend how deer choose their leader, what it means to be mad and why the old man was named Gomtar, bringing multiple emotions like amusement, laughter and deep understanding alive in just one scene.
Screenplay writer and director of the film, Amar Bharat Deokar, paints every shot, dialogue and scene with utmost love and care, choosing the right colours and strokes.
A 14-year-old shepherd Ashok (Raman Deokar) dreams of becoming the leader at the Republic Day marching parade in school. While the head master wants to give him a chance, an entitled classmate and his gang bully him into not attending the training.
A disheartened Ashok finds the strength to keep trying, with encouragement from his ageing friend Gomtar and training from Yedya Anya (Amar Bharat Deokar), a mentally unstable ex-army man who has been labelled traitor by the village.
Despite all odds, Ashok prepares for the big day when the leader of the parade will be chosen.
The end is heart-breaking but hopeful. Ashok learns what it means to be a leader and that one needs to keep trying to succeed one day.
Mhorkya has many lessons weaved beautifully in its narrative. And it consistently makes you laugh, touches you and entertains you while doing so. It also takes a look at how difficult it is for young people to make it when the system puts them in a disadvantaged position right from the outset.
In one scene towards the end, with drums in his hand, Ashok looks at how a local MLA is accompanied by a huge entourage and followers shouting his name.
It's a brilliant comment on how a shepherd who leads his flock of sheep so beautifully finds it next to impossible to rise to the position of a leader when it comes to human beings, who don't seem to choose their head by merit, but by manipulation.
Mhorkya is a coming of age story that is dreamy and realistic at the same time, focusing at all times on the resolution of the lead protagonist's conflict.
The characters stay with you long after leaving the theatre, and you want to see more stories on their lives. What pleasure it would be to see Mhorkya being taken forward as a TV or web series!
From Ashok's mute mother and talkative grandmother to his friend and guide Gomtar and mentor Yedya Anya — every character is beautifully written and wonderfully enacted.
Cinematographer Girish R Jambhalikar takes complete advantage of the village setting and ample sunlight, often indulging in beautifully framed shots and sillouhettes like Ashok leading his herd on top of the hill against the setting sun and Yedya Anya in a moment looking like Shivaji Maharaj sitting on his throne, among others.
He places the camera behind a branch or zooms right in to an ant trying to climb out of water, using it as a very effective device in Amar Bharat Deokar's story telling.
So 'attention!', Mhorkya is an enriching cinematic experience that will make you happy. 'Stand at ease' and enjoy this parade as it takes you through a socio-political comment and a few life lessons as it moves forward.