One tight slap! This is how Marathi film Sanngto Aika can be described. One tight slap on the faces of politicians and voters as well, because both of them forget their responsibilities after the elections.
One day Kambalwadi wakes up to its biggest shock when the villagers notice that the soon-to-be-unveiled statue of their most respected leader Appasaheb Thorat has been garlanded with footwear. Looking at the tense situation and to prevent the village from going into riots, the newly-shifted police inspector declares that he will arrest the culprit within 24 hours. To keep their promise, the cops pick up a drunkard mimicry artist, named Aambat, and manage to sign a confession from him. But this is just the beginning of the story as Appasaheb’s two politically ambitious sons are ready to milk the situation for winning the upcoming panchayat elections.
A very relevant issue, especially for the poll-facing State of Maharashtra, has been beautifully used in a well-developed story and presented in an entertaining way. Satish Rajwade’s Sanngto Aika is a remarkable political film that mirrors the plight of lakhs and crores of people living in worst conditions in villages across the country. The film cleverly highlights the facts as how political leaders have literally no sensitivity towards people’s issues and still how shamefully they reappear during elections and play all gimmicks to woo voters.
It also brings to fore the sweet relationships between police and politicians; how cops feel privileged to help corrupt leaders, how innocent people are implicated in false cases, and how low-rank officers run the police department.
It’s always a pleasure to watch Satish Rajwade’s films because you know he would not lower his standards in the name of entertainment. He is among the few filmmakers, on whom Marathi audiences rely for quality and variety of films.
The screenplay by Parag Kulkarni is very mature and responsible both for society and the audiences. It never deviates from its point and moves forward creating curiosity at regular spots.
For me, however, the biggest respite was the return of Sanjay Pawar. His hopeless performance in Lai Bhaari had given me a scary thought that we have lost a talented writer to higher paychecks. Thankfully he came back to his sensible writing and wrote some memorable dialogues for Sanngto Aika. And I identified him as the same Sanjay Pawar from the dialogue, in which he reminds of our Deputy Chief Minister’s arrogant statement about urinating in dams. He also didn’t forget to tell us that only fools can be instigated by garlanding the statue of their leaders with footwear.
Now, I don’t need to tell here that Sachin Pilgaonkar is a very good actor. People know this from the days of Nadiya Ke Paar and Sholay. But it’s really sad that he wasted himself in silly comedy films in Marathi. Anyways, it’s very refreshing to see him in a new avatar as Aambat, a character he played with such a great ease. Hopefully, he will be seen in more different and memorable roles.
Vaibhav Mangle is another terrific and such a versatile actor that it’s very difficult to comment on his talent in a few words. He is so deep inside his character, in each and every frame he appears in, that you forget that someone is enacting the cop in Sanngto Aika. Sanskruti Balgude looks stunningly gorgeous and has that winning spark in her eyes. She has made a noteworthy debut in the role of Aambat’s wife. The other pack of talented actors like Milind Shinde, Bhau Kadam, Pooja Sawant and Vijay Chavan, is equally good.
It was a great weekend indeed as audiences got to watch two beautiful films after so many weeks, and experience chutzpa in Vishal Bharadwaj’s Haider and aambatgiri in Satish Rajwade’s Sanngto Aika!
So, if you still regret contributing to the record-breaking collections of Timepass and Lai Bhaari, here is a film that will restore your faith in Marathi films. Maharashtra is going to polls. Therefore Maharashtra must soon watch this film.