I watched the film during the golden era of DD when I was 14 or 15 years old and in the last scene I couldn’t controlled myself then, watching those emotional departure between Nana Patekar & little boy Nanni. I’m so speechless to watch it again after 15 years long gap and it proves its greatness.
Based on U R Anantmurthy’s Kannada story ‘Ghata-Shraddha’, directed by Arun Kaul and made with the financial support of N.F.D.C. & Doordarshan, the film is set in the time of early 30’s some southern village.
A Brahmin lost his five children after their birth and took a vow that if god bless him another child, he will surrender his life to God and make him true Vedpathi. It is emotionally so disturbing for eight or nine years sweet little Nanni to alienate from his parents, home and live a life in hostile new surroundings where he has to learn and unlearn something new from his strict disciplinarian Panditji (Manohar Singh) and bully classmates. Poor Nanni has to do his entire routine task himself at the tender age when he doesn’t know how to tie his own dhoti. He made two good friends here-One is Panditji’s widow young daughter and the other a lower caste orphan Koga (Nana Patekar) working as a servant to Panditji’s ashram who in return get the food remains. Working in Brahmin house, he also abstains himself from meat and alcohol unlike others of his caste. During Panditji’s absence, his young widow daughter in a weaker moment seduced by a local teacher and got pregnant. The lover is coward and not ready to accept his responsibility. Poor lady has to abort. Before Panditji back to ashram, the whole village Brahmins and folk come to know about this secret affair and forced Panditji to give a landmark decision.
Nana Patekar maintained his small but significant presence true to its salt with South Indian accent and characteristic body language. His act here is something which you won’t forget in your experience. Watch the scene where he shows his raw anger to long back Panditji. Manohar Singh, K K Raina, Vijay Kashyap and almost all other cast had acted their parts with utmost sincerity and dedication to their profession. But the most memorable character comes from the little boy.
The film portrays the conflict between a humanitarian Brahmin Vs a rigid hypocrite Brahmin. The film becomes tragic and raises so many disturbing questions, which is a sign of Anantmurthy’s powerful social reforming story & Kaul’s complete authentic adaptation. It raises many root questions in the end that social reformers have been asking from centuries- Who is ‘True Brahmin’ here? One who is Brahmin by birth that preaches religion and follows Holy Scriptures or one who is Shudra and follows the religion of humanity with all his nobility and selfless act?
Highly recommended to catch it either on torrent or original, I assure you don’t regret it.
Ratings-10/10 (…and there’s no exaggeration here, the film deserves at least this much.)