Vakratunda Mahakaaya: Film Review – Chillar Party Star Naman Jain Shines

Vakratunda Mahakaaya opens with a few shots of churches, temples and gurdwaras. With that, you assume it’s going to be one of those preachy films about religion and how faith unites people, but the movie is anything but that. The film takes multiple characters, and ties them together with a common element – a Ganpati idol. With parallel narratives, the film has more than a few good moments, and is enjoyable in parts. 

Vakratunda Mahakaaya tells the stories of Altaf (a sublime Naman Jain) and Paplu (Nachiket Purnapatre), who live on the streets of Mumbai. Altaf’s mother died on the streets, and his father was picked up for petty theft. Paplu, a crook, takes Altaf in, and together, they swindle the rich.
One day, trying to steal modak from a temple, Altaf sees a Ganpati idol, and nicks it. What he doesn’t know is that there’s a bomb in the idol. Altaf loses the idol, which then travels all across the city. It crosses many hands, including a cheating wife, a young girl, a handicapped old man, a mentally afflicted boy and many more. 
The film manages to hold your interest for the first half, but soon post interval, you begin to question the plot. While Vakratunda Mahakaaya isn’t really the movie that loses its way entirely, it doesn’t manage to hold your attention such that you actually root for the characters. Altaf is the same child you see in most movies, the orphan who is fighting it out in a tough world, and the other characters are also more or less banal. 
However, Naman Jain does manage to deliver a breakthrough performance as the rough-around-the-edges street kid, while Usha Nadkarni and Vijay Maurya shine in their own right as well. To sum up, Vakratunda Mahakaaya isn’t really a disappointment neither is it a massive triumph. It is promising for sure, but could have been much better. 
Why You Should Watch This Movie:
Watch it for an honest performance by Naman Jain. Also, it goes well with the festive mood in the air. 

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