Verdict: Sonalee Kulkarni embodies the spirit of Hirkani perfectly.

Lately, the Marathi film industry has given us enjoyable and strong women-oriented films like Anandi Gopal, Aamhi Doghi, Nude, Welcome Home among many. Hirkani is a cinematic adaptation of a tale of a brave mother who overcame spectacular hurdles in order to be with her child. The film stars Sonalee Kulkarni in the titular role and has been directed by Prasad Oak.

What’s Hirkani About:

This story takes place in the reign of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, had built a fort of Raigad in the Western Ghats for the Maratha empire. Raigad fort was known for its strategic design where one entry was tightly secured while the other rests over a steep drop of over 2500 feet. Hira (Sonalee Kulkarni), a local woman, works at the fort along with her husband Jiva (Ameet Khedekar). As per the rules, the gates of the fort shut around sunset only to be opened again the next morning. Hira is unable to leave before the gates shut and is therefore stuck inside for the night. However, Hira needs to be with her baby and begs the guards to let her go but to no avail. After everything else fails, the dedicated and courageous mother Hira resorts to climbing down the deathly “kada” of the Raigad fort.

What Works:

Hirkani fits perfectly well in the trend that is substantial women-oriented films. Hira’s story is inspiring and has been shot and told beautifully. Largely speaking, Hirkani is as successful and Sonalee Kulkarni’s performance and she does not let us down. She has worked on her accent and body language to portray a simple “gaavraan” woman. Director Prasad Oak is grossly successful in keeping us glued to the screen, especially in the second half. The film is crisp the narrative is tight. While Kulkarni’s performance is commendable, a special round of applause for Ameet Khedekar for his smooth and effortless performance.

What Could’ve Been Better:

The first half of Hirkani is spent in character establishment and tends to go slower than its latter par. While that gets us more involved in Hira and her story, we’d have loved to see more of the legendary descent. The VFX and CGI may not make your jaws drop.

Why You Should Watch:

Hirkani is an inspiring tale of a mother and can be enjoyed by everyone. Hira’s resolve to keep her child safe and her courage have been portrayed beautifully on the big screen. Hirkani makes for the perfect family watch this Diwali.

Here’s what the Hirkani team had to say about their latest outing: