Try imagining this – you are driving atop a steep mountain, which promises the most spectacular view. But your car breaks down some distance before the cliff. You somehow get it fixed and resume your journey. However, just before reaching the top, a sudden and shattering landslide occurs. This is how Nagraj Popatrao Manjule’s Sairat can be described.
In Bittergao village lives Prashant (Akash Thosar), a happy-go-lucky teenager hailing from a poor family of fishermen. He instantly falls for Archana (Rinku Rajguru). She is the daughter of the rich and influential politician. Their love becomes mutual and they soon realize they can’t stay without each other. But will their ‘caste’ barrier allow them to be together?
Sairat works well for a large majority of its duration. Despite it being another love story between a poor guy and a rich girl, it doesn’t appear redundant even a bit. Considering there have a number of such younger age romances in Marathi itself, it is a big achievement.
This became possible due to a revolutionary approach not only in storytelling but also in breaking stereotypes. It’s refreshing to see the girl riding a bullet and driving a tractor, showing aggression, staring non-stop at his guy, rescuing him during a fight and, most importantly, being the first one to propose. The first half has plenty of mass-entertaining moments. Manjule’s creative presentation too adds to the cherry.
Performances are a treat. Rinku Rajguru makes a spectacular debut. Apart from beautiful looks, she possesses confident acting skills as she displays contrasting emotions with ease. Akash Thosar also performs well in his debut flick. Chhaya Kadam is captivating in a supporting role. The film boasts good support from a host of supporting actors.
Ajay-Atul’s delightful music has a major share in the plus points. ‘Yad lagala,’ and the title song are the best of the lot. From the technicalities, DoP Sudhakar Yakkanti Reddy makes his presence felt throughout.
Now, coming to the reasons why the film doesn’t work as a whole. After around 30 minutes in the second half, it threatens to go downhill. Thankfully, proceedings are soon resurrected, only to be faced with the above-mentioned landslide. To put it bluntly, although the climax shocks you, it was annoying to see the story ending this way.
It made me ask – did I wait 170 long minutes to witness something like this? If the motto was to present something so hard-hitting, why venture into the masala, commercial entertainer zone during most parts? Was it to ensure heavy returns to the producer?
Overall: Sairat impresses for a large part of its duration but is let down by the climax. The film is receiving a super positive response and its leading actors too have become popular over the months. Hence, it will earn enormous collections at the box-office.
Review By – Keyur Seta
Director: Nagraj Popatrao Manjule
Producers: Essel Vision and Aatpat Production
Writer: Nagraj Popatrao Manjule
Cast: Akash Thosar, Rinku Rajguru, Suresh Vishwakarma, Suraj Pawar, Chhaya Kadam
Runtime/ Length: 170 minutes
Rating: * * ½