Jaundya Na Balasaheb: Film Review – A Half-Baked Play

Verdict: Girish Kulkarni whips out a 'mass' entertainer.

Girish Kulkarni first appeared on the silver screen in 2008 in the film Valu. Since then, he has been praised for his writing and acting skills. Later, he also won a National Award for his work in the film Deool which released in 2011. This year, with Jaundya Na Balasaheb, Girish makes his directorial debut. From getting the right cast to bringing the musical sensations Ajay-Atul on board for this project, Girish made sure that the film got all the necessary support to make it a hit. But when you try to insert too many things into a simple story, the message of the film gets somewhat lost.
The setting of the film is a village, and it revolves around the lives of a corrupt politician, Annasaheb (Mohan Joshi), and his senselessly spoilt son, Balasaheb (Girish Kulkarni), while Reema Lagoo plays the role of Balasaheb’s chilled-out mother. At the beginning of the film, Annasaheb orders his son to sort himself out and challenges him to get into politics and follow his footsteps. Due to the friction between Balasaheb and his father, Balashaheb decides to leave his place for good and make his mark in society. While doing so along with his two not-so-reliable friends, Jeevan and Vikas, he stumbles upon the art of theatre and understands how they can use it to make a difference. So they gather more people from the village and stand up for something that they believe in, for once. Will they manage to let go of their ill habits and do something that will bring about a social revolution? Watch Jaundya Na Balasaheb to find out how things turn out for them.

When you watch the trailer of the film, you are expecting something extraordinary out of it, probably something along the lines of Sairat. The production value of the film is good, the story and the concept are also appealing but the way the film was executed makes it seem stretched out and lost in translation. 

The film also has a good line-up of stars – Sai Tamhankar, Reema Lagoo, Mohan Joshi, Manav Naik, Bhau Kadam, and Girish Kulkarni himself – who definitely charm us with their performances, and make us burst out with laughter in plenty of instances in the film. Since Girish is an excellent writer and actor, it felt like he was trying to touch upon too many social issues – how plays are more informative than television, and how they are an effective means of spreading knowledge in rural areas, corruption in politics, and such social issues. There are many instances in the film that were crafted to make these points clear. Meanwhile, roles of some characters, and twists that could have been incorporated well in the story, have been put in randomly making it seem abrupt. By the end of it, you are not entirely disappointed, but you hope that Girish doesn't stop at this and goes on to bring out his creativity through his next projects.

Why You Should Watch This Movie:
Even with all the shortcomings, Jaundya Na Balasaheb has some hilarious moments and foot-tapping Ajay-Atul songs that will keep you entertained throughout. This film is a light watch and you can watch it if you want to make last-minute plans with your friends or family.

Release Date: 7th Oct, 2016
Language: Marathi
Director: Girish Kulkarni
Genre: Drama, Satire
Cast & Crew: Girish Kulkarni, Mohan Joshi, Reema Lagoo, Dilip Prabhavalkar, Sai Tamhankar, Bhau Kadam, Spruha Joshi, Savita Prabhune, Manava Naik
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