Shentimental review: Ashok Saraf at his funniest in this laugh riot

Release Date: 28 Jul 2017 / Rated: U/A / 02hr 10min

Cinestaan Rating

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Suparna Thombare

Director Samir Patil's heart-warming satire on the condition of Mumbai's police force hits the right comic chord.

Director Samir Patil's Shentimental is a satire on the woes of Mumbai's police department. It follows the story of three cops, hawaldar Prahlad Podhke (Ashok Saraf), assistant police inspector Deelip Thakur (Upendra Limaye) and sub-inspector Pandey (Vikas Patil), who work at Andheri's DN Nagar police station. While Podhke is close to retirement, Thakur is at the peak of his career. Newbie sub-inspector Pandey is an MPSC recruit.

The police station is reprimanded by the commissioner for not producing results and also questioned about a certain three-month-old Jaffna robbery case. 

The trio begins investigating the case and eventually lays a trap for the suspect. But once they have the young jewellery thief Manoj Pandey (Suyog Gorhe) in custody, Podhke develops a soft corner for him. 

The three cops then set out on a work trip to Bihar to recover the jewellery that Pandey has tucked away in his hometown. But it is not a smooth journey. All the things that could go wrong do, leading to some hilarious situational comedy. 

Podhke's soft-heartedness is a little unbelievable. Like him trustingly freeing thief Pandey from the handcuffs on an overnight journey, or buying food for the criminal. But Saraf's sincerity makes you buy into the motivations of his character. 

Some of the situations the characters get into are far-fetched, but they fit in with the tone of the film. 

Barring an unnecessary item song before the climax, the film is consistent in its comedic and sentimental purposes. 

Shentimental is a smart comedy touching upon several issues that affect the police — the insufficient numbers in the force, the dilapidated police living quarters, low salaries, lack of holidays, and poor mental health of the officers.

The dialogues by Sameer Patil are hilarious. He plays around with the stereotyping of both Maharashtrians and Biharis, and delivers some truly funny moments. The whole Bihar versus Maharashtra angle explored in the second half adds yet another dimension to the proceedings. 

The entire supporting cast delivers strong performances. Upendra Limaye is brilliant as the cop who has been hardened by the system. 

Ashok Saraf as an honest and soft-hearted hawaldar is outstanding. There is a reason why he is still the king of comedy in Marathi cinema. His timing is spot on and he brings so much to the table with improvised reactions and expressions.

Raghubir Yadav joins the already brilliant cast in the second half of the film and plays his part masterfully. 

Shentimental is a heart-warming laugh riot, one that will make you happy when you walk out of the theatre and giggle days after you have watched it.