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Review Marathi

Quarter review: A deep dive into the psyche of an alcoholic

Release Date: 01 Jan 1970

Cinestaan Rating

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Suyog Zore

Starring Girija Oak Godbole, the short film tells a story of a middle-aged woman who has drowned herself in self-pity.

Quarter throws light on how addiction takes a toll on mental and physical health. The first thing Ashwini Ranade (Girija Oak Godbole) does as she sets foot in her dimly lit house is to down a glass of alcohol, which is her stress reliever. The middle-aged woman wanders around the house in a complete stupour. It's festival time and there are decorative lights outside. We also hear the muffled sound of crackers. Ashwini has also decorated the exterior of her house with lights and lanterns. But inside, her dwelling is almost devoid of light — a reflection of her personality. Dimly lit table lamps are the only source of light within.

It's not like Ashwini in denial of her affliction. In fact, she declares herself an alcoholic with self-pity and helplessness in her voice. Her demeanour suggests that she has already accepted defeat and embraced her fate with resignation. The 15-minute short film by Navjyot Bandiwadekar is a deep dive into the psyche of an alcoholic.

This is not a plot-driven film. We see Ashwini talking to the plants and the lights. Through these monologues, she voices out her frustration about her condition. 

Since there is not much of a plot, the dialogues play a crucial role in holding the attention of the viewer. Aalap Bhagwat's dialogues give us peek into her Ashwini's character.

Apoorva Motiwale's meticulous editing and Bandiwadekar's thoughtful direction make all the difference. Yash Khanna's camerawork is intimate but at the same time all-seeing. The cinematographer cannily uses objects in the frame as a source of light.

Though the film boasts good writing, it's Godbole's performance as a highly intoxicated individual who takes refuge in liquor that elevates the film to another level. Now and then, Ashwini goes into a trance only to awaken to the reality of her situation. It is her performance that keeps us glued to the screen. Sometimes she mumbles as if the words are tumbling out her mouth without her control. Her performance evokes sympathy for those whose only source of happiness is alcohol.

Quarter is available on YouTube.

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