Verdict: A messy, engrossing, beautiful thriller.
Aapla Manus (roughly translated – "a loved one") marks the foray of Ajay Devgn Ffilms in Marathi cinema, along with Watergate Production. After being in production for a little over years two years, the film has finally released and the anticipations are rife. The movie is a perfect blend of the interpersonal equations in a modern nuclear family, the generation gap and a crime that seems to have occurred in a normal-seeming household. Directed by Satish Rajwade of the Mumbai-Pune-Mumbai fame, aapla manus Nana Patekar plays the formidable lead, Inspector Maruti Nagargoje and let us just say you are in for a treat!
What's Aapla Manus About:
On the night of 28th June, a watchman who is doing his daily rounds happens to see someone fall off the building. The person is taken to the hospital and the police arrive to check the scene. The investigation is headed by Inspector Maruti Nagaroje (Nana Patekar) who questions the victim fondly known as Aba's son Rahul (Sumeet Raghavan) and daughter-in-law Bhakti (Iravati Harshe). Nagaroje learns about the daily tiffs between Bhakti and Aba and concludes that Aba has committed suicide. Soon a mountain of evidence piles up and you are left with a lot of questions about what really happened that night.
The first couple of minutes in the movie play out without any dialogue set the tone of the movie. You know as soon as Nana Patekar walks into the crime scene that you are going to be hooked. Nana Patekar is a joy to watch in whatever role he plays on screen and this one is no different. He immerses himself into the skin of Maruti Nagaroje as he investigates the case assigned to him. Sumeet Raghavan gives an excellent performance as Rahul Gokhale who is caught between the tiffs of his father and wife (something we have seen him do before as well in Sarabhai vs Sarabhai). Iravati Harshe is a welcome surprise and you will not be complaining when you watch her on screen.
The storyline is loosely based on an old famous Marathi play Katkon Trikon and Satish Rajwade must be given due credit for creating a movie which has you hooked from the first scene itself. You want to see how the story unfurls and there is no unnecessary moment. The background score is another hero of the movie which changes with each scene but gives more meaning to what is happening on the screen.
What could have been better:
Every frame and character are necessary. Honestly, when you come out of the movie, there isn't really anything you can complain about.
Why you should watch this movie:
At 138 minutes, the movie is an engrossing, crisp watch that keeps you hooked with the laudable performances of the actors. Even for the people who don't understand Marathi, there are subtitles to guide your way. You should watch it for Satish Rajwade's amazing direction. Also, you really need to know what actually happened on the night of 28th June.