In Sachin Nagargoje’s Taptapadi, there’s a scene just before the interval. While performing a religious ritual, a wife, who has not seen her beloved husband since months after she lost her eyesight, couldn’t control the urge to see him and tells desperately, “I want to see you, please do something!” She hugs him and cries aloud. The husband looks up to the skies, completely helpless.
It’s a small scene – short, well-written and fully communicative – and is full of emotions and passion. Sadly, it’s the only such scene in the film.
Inspired from Guru Rabindranath Tagore’s short story Drushtidaan, Taptapadi is about childhood friendship, teenaged love and later on the married life of Meera and Madhav. A graduating doctor, Madhav fails to diagnose severity of Meera’s eye problem, which results into her permanent blindness. While Meera forgives Madhav for the blunder, he couldn’t do away with the guilt feeling; until the beautiful Sunanda walks in to overhaul their lives.
No doubt, Sachin Nagargoje has made a sincere effort to make a good film but he made a mistake in the first step itself by picking up a completely irrelevant story in today’s context. If the story is not a wrong pick, the timing surely is. The makers have tried to give a grand look to the film by creating big and colourful sets and using expensive props, but the story itself lacked the natural grandeur.
The film suffers from unexciting and insipid screenplay. The slow pace of narrative; and its lengthy, over-dramatic and sometimes amateurish dialogues make Taptapadi a regretful watch. The film’s background score irritates at many occasions. Art direction by Devdas Bhandare, costumes designing by Rahim Sahikh and Dhanashree Tiwrekar, cinematography by Santosh Swarnakar, and editing by Sanjiv Gill is okay.
There are continuity and technical errors also. After Meera pulls down a big lamp out of anger, a small scar remains on her forehead for considerable number of days, but the bigger burn injuries on her both hands vanish completely just two after the accident. Similarly, when Meera starts suffering from the eye problem, she is unable to even thread a needle when her brother asks her to stitch his torn shirt. However, the same evening she shows her husband a piece of table cloth, on which she is doing thin embroidery work.
Actors’ performances, though, make Taptapadi watchable to some extent. With his expressive face and controlled emotions, Kashyap Parulekar proves to be best of the lot. He has not only suited the character of Madhav but has also played it with maturity. Veena Jamkar has got the lengthiest role and has tried to give best of her as Meera. But, probably due to the inefficient script, she has failed to make the performance a memorable one. Shruti Marathe is charming as Sunanda. Ambarish Deshpande, Neena Kulkarni, Ashwini Ekbote and Sharad Ponkshe are okay in their respective roles.
The kind of story Taptapadi has, Sachin Nagargoje should have made a 10-episode tele-serial, which would have cost less and had also reached the deserving audience. The director also had a more sensible option of spending half the amount on a different story, which would have attracted the young audience, who has just started showing some faith in Marathi films.