Playing the ‘emotional’ card

Film: Baba

Cast: Deepak Dobriyal, Nandita Patkar, Aaryan Menghji, Chittaranjan Giri, Spruha Joshi, Abhijeet Khandkekar, Jaywant Wadkar, Jayant Gadekar, Shailesh Datar

Director: Raj R Gupta

Rating: * * ½

Johnson Thomas

Sanjay Dutt’s primary foray into Marathi film Production, ‘Baba’ explores the connection between foster parents, a deaf and dumb couple Madhav (Deepak Dobriyal) and Anandi (Nandita Patkar) and their son Shankar (Aaryan Meghji) who can hear but not speak because he never learned how – at a time when the birth mother Pallavi (Spruha Joshi) with her now-husband Rajan (Abhijeet Khandkekar) in tow, seeks to regain her biological rights over Shankar by way of court.

The drama we are concerned with here is related to Madhav and Anandi’s love for their son and how Pallavi’s intrusion into that equation affects them all. The narrative does border on melodrama and the tension is not drawn out for any great effect. For most of the runtime the audience is serenaded with flashes of strong humour and empathy as time flies and the couple start getting weighed down by their hopes and fears. Debutant Raj R Gupta’s takes are heartfelt and strongly emotive.

Manish Singh’s screenplay may seem predictable, the cataclysmic scenario he envisions here also appears rather contrived but evocative cinematography by Arjun Sorate and competent performances from the lead players, allow for an emotion swirling engagement!