Director Atul Kale takes his audience on an enjoyable history tour with his latest venture, Sandook. A satire set in the pre-independence days of India, Sandook stars debutant Sumeet Raghavan in the lead role. The film also features veteran actors of the Marathi film industry, Sharad Ponkshe and Arun Nalawade in supporting roles.
Vamanrao Ashtaputre (Sumeet Raghavan) is a patriotic man whose only aim in life is to get rid of the British rule from his village, Sambalgarh and from the entire country. An honest Government servant, Vamanrao has plenty of stories to tell about his previous generation, which are too good to be true. In reality, he is just another common man who is afraid of authority. Sambalgarh is ruled by a certain officer called Samson, who is eventually killed by a group of underground revolutionaries. His death leads to the appointment of a new officer, Scott, who takes over the village. However, that’s not the crux of the story. The film’s story actually revolves around "Sandook", meaning "a box".
The mystery box is supposed to reach the head of Jai Hind organization, the same revolutionary group that was involved in Samson’s assassination. Madhavrao (Sharad Ponkshe) is their leader, who operates at secret levels. Soon, Scott deploys his men to find Madhavrao and discover the mystery of the missing sandook. How a commoner like Vamanrao gets dragged into this and how he proves his worth is the most interesting part of this film.
Sumeet Raghavan has done a fabulous job as Vamanrao. His comic timing and witty one-liners are a treat to watch. Plus, the dialogues are in pure, unadulterated Marathi. It gives you the feel of pre-independence India. The film also has excerpts from our history lessons, right from Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj to the British Raj. Vamanrao’s wife and his not-so-bright kid also support his character well. The only drawback of this film is its varying pace. Some of the scenes seem to unnecessarily prolong the story, making it a long watch. A couple of songs aren’t really required at certain stages in the film. But these minor points can be easily overlooked, thanks to Sumeet, who emerges as the real star of the film.
Why should you watch the film?
Watch Sandook for an impressive performance by Sumeet Raghavan in his debut Marathi film.