Verdict: Bold premise, excellent execution, stellar performances.
Sand mafia is not a subject widely spoken of, and after watching Reti, you will wonder why. It affects the common man financially as well as ecologically. The repercussions of stealing and procuring sand illegally are scary and the movie manages to highlight this panic just perfectly.
Kisan Khambote (Kishor Kadam) works with Gajanan Mhatre (Shashank Shende), a powerful and dangerous local, to supply the sand required for construction. Patel Builders are in partnership with the Tax and Revenue Minister (Suhas Palshikar) for a project. Patel (Vidyadhar Joshi) approaches Kisan directly and asks him to provide him with the required sand, in order to avoid Gaja Bhai. At first, Kisan refuses to work without Mhatre, knowing that the backlash won’t be pretty. However, Patel manages to arm twist him into working alone. Shankar (Chinmay Mandlekar) is an ambitious driver who owns a truck, who he lovingly calls Raani, who drives for Kisan and is quite close to him. They are like brothers. Their job of sourcing sand is made difficult by the local tehsildar, Jadhav saheb, and the social activist Sadanand Bhamre (Sanjay Khapare), who is fighting to save the River Mohsam. Mohsam has been sucked dry and the bed is now exploited by Kisan to source the sand. Jadhav is killed in an “accident” and media laps it up, spinning all the possible theories around. Patel and Tax and Revenue Minister may fall in trouble, if the truth were to be spilled.
The movie takes a few unexpected and shocking turns. Just when you have your hopes set on the baddies meeting their fate because that is how movies turn out, you are in for a sharp reality check. Everyone from the powerful, political men to the media to the people working at the grass-root level is equally opportunistic and selfish. There is a line in the movie which goes something like this, “When a common man is busy arguing about the prices of fruits and vegetables, we tend to forget that sand mafia is silently robbing us blind.” That’s when you know this reality is hard-hitting and affects us all.
All the performances are praiseworthy. The movie is crisp, with no distractions and keeps you engaged from the word “go”. The background score is low-key and intense, imparting the inherent grimness to the movie. However, the character establishment that should ideally happen in the first half, has been skipped; so one may find it a little difficult to keep up. This tiny flaw apart, the movie leaves an impression on you.
Why Should You Watch This Movie:
If you like no-nonsense political dramas, intense thought-provoking premises, excellent performances and decent story lines, you must catch Reti. It may not be a wholesome family entertainer, but Reti is more than that. It showcases the greedy nature of human beings, how people don’t think twice before backstabbing their loved ones to get their way. It makes you think, and leaves you feeling dismal – like a good political drama is supposed to.