Movie Review: Gabhricha Paus

The 2009 Marathi film, "Gabhricha Paus" has a plot that addresses simple aspirations of Indian farmers, the eternal urge in the human race to survive against all odds. The film is temporally set in the Vidarbha region of Maharashtra against the backdrop of a drought. In Marathi, the film's title would translate to "The Bastard Rain", which is mostly hurled as an abuse given the unpredictable nature of rains. 

The plot of the movie rotates around the farmer Kisna (Girish Kulkarni) and his struggle to grow cotton. Farmer suicides have become commonplace due to failed rains. Hence, his wife Alka (Sonali Kulkarni) sends her son along with him wherever he goes. The complex and tense character graph of Kisna is portrayed really well by Girish Kulkarni. Girish is effortlessly expressive, moving the audience to feel with him for the failure of the rains in an intricately woven fabric of rural India. The young son too does not over-act unlike other films. 

The film also addresses various contemporary topics such as schools in villages, the economic divide and all this without digressing from the core plot of the movie. The treatment of the film is mature and the use of such contemporary issues only make you compare the realism involved. All characters in the movie have their own roles to play and do not look out of place. 

The filmmaker exerts tremendous grip on his subject without making it depressing. Intelligently, the film uses the tone of dark humour in the film. The cinematography of the film is intriguing and Vidarbha has been captured excellently. The cinematography is quite close to the style of Navdeep Singh's Manorama: Six Feet Under with a neo-noir feel to it. Summing up, the film shows restraint and maturity in storytelling which is rarely seen in regional cinema. In this case, the director holds up a mirror to society, as films are in defined to be in principle. 

For an Indian language film, Gabhricha Paus is a film to be proud of simply for the way the plight of farmers has been addressed. For the non-Marathi speaking population, the English subtitles are more or less accurate. Hence, I would strongly advise you to watch it.  


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