In a world where massy, masala films outdo films with substance, it is hard to make a movie like Barefoot to Goa. In a movie landscape which caters to mass entertainers like Chennai Express and Tees Maar Khan, Barefoot to Goa is a refreshing change. An indie project, directed by Praveen Morchhale, Barefoot to Goa sets out to explore the issue of how we forget to care for our elderly parents. Although earnest in its presentation, Barefoot to Goa fails in one area: execution.

The film follows the story of an elderly woman (Farrukha Jaffer), who lives in Goa, alone. She longs to see her son (Kuldeep Dubey) and her grandchildren, who live in Mumbai. She sends her son letters, and sweets and toys for the children. However, Dubey’s complete shrew of a wife (Purva Parag) wishes to have no contact with her mother-in-law, and hides all her letters and throws her gifts away.

One day, while cleaning, the children (Saara Nahar and Prakhar Morchhale) find their grandmother’s letters, in which they discover that she has lung cancer. After stumbling upon this knowledge, they decide to go to Goa and meet her, since their parents are too busy to care. Most of the cast deliver passable performances, and in the case of Nahar and Morchhale, they both turn in stellar performances as innocent and concerned grandchildren.

But even with honest roles, the film falls because of its weak execution. Director Praveen Morchhale tries to provide good locales and effectively captures the rural atmosphere, but is dragged down by shoddy camerawork. Some characters also act mute, which give the impression of a hammed up performance. At times, the film gets slightly banal, due to its slow pace. The music is a highlight, with melodies by Yesudas and Tochi Raina.

However, if you disregard these occasional pitfalls, Barefoot to Goa manages to stay with you, with its sweet characters and thoughtful story.

Why you should watch this film?

With a hard-hitting social theme, decent performances by the actors and soulful music, Barefoot to Goa isn’t all that bad. Watch it if you want a short, entertaining movie experience.  

– by Karan Raikar

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