Haapus comes across as a fresh and juicy story for any season. It’s another Marathi movie with a new untouched subject and a message to the Marathi manoos.
The movie is about the Gurav family who live in Vanarwadi village and are into mango cultivation for several decades. Anna Gurav (Shivaji Satam), the patriarch, is a typical Konkani manoos who has a great command and belief over Panchang (Astrology). As a result he has forseen and forecasted not a very good future in trading haapus directly in the open market. But his son Ajit (Subodh Bhave) has his own ideas.
The Gurav family also has twin daughters Ankita and Amruta, a duo played by (Madhura Velankar-Satam). Ankita, the shy one and Subhya (Pushkar Shrotri), a local rickshaw driver are in love and Subhya is forever trying to impress Anna. Another character, a school teacher from Aambejogai, Digambar Kale (Makarand Anaspure) arrives in Vanarwadi and settles down with the Guravs. And as he gets familiar with the family a chemisty slowly brews between Amruta and him.
As father and son are loggerheads over trading the mangoes, a well-established and opportunistic broker (Vidyadhar Joshi) takes advantage of the situation. The entry of the broker stirs up the otherwise average movie, picking up pace hereafter.
The movie is directed by debutant director, Abhijeet Satam, who has made quite an effort to canvas the Konkan and its culture onscreen. There are tons of scenes that capture the essence of the region, without getting overbearing or losing the plot.
Pushkar Shrotri and Makarand Anaspure are as usual adept with their sense of humour. Their punchlines made sure the audience was not bored but what was liked most was the quality of comedy which was never overdone nor out of context, and managed to balance the overall mood of the movie.
Haapus may have arrived late in cinemas, but it hasn’t lost its taste.
By Abhishek Rane