Bhonsle on Sony LIV, with Manoj Bajpayee: A deeply felt portrait of a man, a god, and the limited usefulness of both

Posted on July 5, 2020


Compare Ganpat Bhonsle to Dr. Siras from ‘Aligarh’, and you’ll see how differently, how beautifully the actor plays the two men, who are similar in age.

Spoilers ahead…

Based on his recent work, Devashish Makhija’s film aesthetic appears to be a pulp sensibility that’s deeply rooted in the real. Both Ajji (2017) and Bhonsle — both extremely well-made — have a rape/revenge element, and a one-line description might sound preposterous. If the avenger in the earlier film was a sixty-something woman, here it’s a sixty-something man. But Ajji gave us a few things that similarly themed dramas like Mom and Maatr didn’t: weakness, frailty, queasy-making touches like the cop who peers down the little girl’s legs to ascertain the rape. The girl’s grandmother, the avenger, suffers from arthritis. In a touching scene, she places two glasses of warm tea on her knees. And yet, she’s stronger than she seems. When she finds the child in a dump, bleeding, she doesn’t break down. She’s led a hard life, and she’s perhaps in shock. But the tears only come later, when she sees the rapist’s bed. Plot-wise, it’s pulp. Psychologically, it’s shatteringly real.

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