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Review Marathi

Y review: Mukta Barve-starrer exposes a ghastly social evil in an unflinching manner

Release Date: 24 Jun 2022 / Rated: U/A / 02hr 38min


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Keyur Seta

Directed by Dr Ajit Suryakant Wadikar, the film sees Nandu Madhav as a negative character. 

It’s a coincidence that first-time writer and director Dr Ajit Suryakant Wadikar’s Y was released just a few weeks after Yash Raj Films’ Jayeshbhai Jordaar (2022). Despite both films focusing on the same social evil, they are vastly different in terms of storyline, treatment and, more importantly, genre. 

Y starts off in 2007 in the town of Vishrampur in Maharashtra where radiologist Purushottam Gaikwad (Nandu Madhav) runs a hospital. Behind the veneer of an ethical medical practitioner, Gaikwad specializes in carrying out illegal sex-determination tests and subsequent abortions if the foetus happens to be female. His hospital is thronged by couples who are obsessed with having a male child every week for this very purpose.

Dr Aarti Deshmukh (Mukta Barve) is an officer tasked with checking if medical professionals are adhering to the Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (PCPNDT) Act, which was established to counter the persistent problem of female foeticide in India. She finds Dr Purushottam’s hospital fishy but is unable to prove anything. However, she is not one to be dissuaded. 

Y successfully depicts a menace that occurs even outside rural areas in a no-holds-barred manner. This frank approach might be disturbing for some, but it helps the film make its point authentically. With Wadikar being a practising doctor himself, the film's realism doesn’t come as a surprise.  

Nandu Madhav in Y

Although Y has a straightforward storyline, it unfolds in a creative way using a non-linear narrative while keeping the thriller quotient in mind. The film starts off by presenting a series of incidents one after the other. But it later goes onto the flashback mode and links them in order to shed light on the whole story and the intentions of some characters. You can’t help but appreciate the narrative choices. 

Thrillers tend to overdo during intense moments with some fancy camerawork and a powerful background score, but that isn’t the case here. Rakesh K Bhilare’s cinematography is workmanlike while the original music by Parag Chhabra is used sparingly.

Y takes you by surprise by the late entry of Barve’s character, which is justified. The actress rules from here on as her character gets the maximum screen time once she is introduced. Her determination and struggle to expose the wrongdoers appear real and you instantly gain her sympathy and root for her. 

Nandu Madhav, known the most for essaying Dadasaheb Phalke in Harishchandrachi Factory (2010), is seen playing a rare negative and subtly ruthless character. He succeeds in bringing his evil side to the fore without overdoing it.

Suhas Sirsat lives and breathes the villainous Munna. After RaanBaazaar, Prajakta Mali again goes against type and gives a memorable performance despite not having a lengthy role. Supporting actors Omkar Govardhan, Sandip Pathak, Rohit Kokate and child actress Kavya Pathak are also fine. 

There are a few things that work against Y. Apart from a few questionable moments in the second half, the sub-plot of the photographer isn’t completely convincing. But what really stops this good film from being superlative is the abrupt climax. In fact, when the end credits start rolling, it becomes difficult to believe that the film has ended. 

 

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