Rating: 3/5 Stars (Three Stars)
Star cast: Riteish Deshmukh, Sharad Kelkar, Radhika Apte, Aaditi Pohankar, Tanvi Azmi, Salman Khan
Director: Nishikant Kamat
What’s Good: Riteish Deshmukh’s debut act as the new age angry young man of Marathi Cinema.
What’s Bad: The predictability of the film as it offers nothing new script wise. A clichéd storyline that has been revamped to give Marathi cinema its own version of ‘Rowdy Rathore’.
Loo break: Not Really!
Watch or Not?: If you enjoy the old school ‘masaledaar’ action films, Lai Bhaari is your thing!The film may not impress you thoroughly but it promises full entertainment at its core. With a good attempt at giving the Marathi cinema an out an out commercial drama, Nishikant Kamat in the age of realistic cinema, churns out a classic Bollywoodish tale with a good spirit.
When the royal family of Nimbalkars is unable to produce a heir for years and this comes as a slur to the family, they put their faith in Lord Vitthal and take on the ‘Pandharpur Yatra’ to seek for the blessing of a child. Be it the Godly miracle or scientific help, Sumitra Devi (Tanvi Azmi) is successful at giving birth to a son. As her son, Prince (Riteish Deshmukh) is about to step into the real world, it is his evil cousin Sangram (Sharad Kelkar) who already has plans to disrupt the royal heir’s throne.
Will Sangram be able to take on the foreign-return Prince who is striving for the welfare of villagers and successfully take over the Nimbalkar estate? In this game of greed vs good, who will emerge as the winner is what is left to see.
Lai Bhaari Review: Script Analysis
There nothing extravagant and unique about the script, it is simple and that’s exactly what works best for it. The story line is a quite a lot Bollywood style with heroes coming out of swanky sedans whereas the Villains moving around in open Jeeps. Although the crux of the film lies in its power packed dialogues. The effect may not be same for the audiences following subtitles but the Marathi public is sure to whistle once in a while when the punchlines are fired.
Grabbing the complete spirit of the festive Pandharpur yatra and imbibing it in the script has been a fine job. The film does not throw religious stuff into your face, it aesthetically captures the spirit of faith fantastically. The first half of the film may come out as a little somber but the second half picks up immensely. The highlight of the second half is hands down the scene between Salman Khan and Riteish Deshmukh which needs a special mention for its brilliant comic timing. The quirky one liners that keep coming are enough to make you laugh and the signature dialogue of ‘Tanta Nay, Tar Ghanta Nay’ when said with full gusto gives you a complete ‘Sholay’ feel where in the punchlines are the lifeline. Also a blink and miss appearance of Genelia D’souza in one of the songs is also a delight as the wifey shines with husband Riteish on-screen.
Although with the changing phase of Marathi cinema where we have been fed with excellent works like Fandry and Yellow, this film lacks on novelty and is a staple masala film that one may have seen enough in Bollywood yet for the Marathi cinema it reaches new heights. It is difficult for one to not find a lot of similarity between Rowdy Rathore and Lai Bhaari, but the two films have their own charm.
Lai Bhaari Review: Star Performances
It is an out and out Riteish Deshmukh film. He grabs all the limelight and does a fine job as the newbie Marathi hero. Riteish seems to have gone into the skin of the character and is successful at washing off his Bollywood image that had him stuck to slapstick comedy. Just as Ek Villain’s character won him praises, Mauli is also set to become a favourite. Riteish manages to pull off everything in his Marathi debut, from action to romance to even a la Amitabh Bachchan style drunken act. Riteish surely has a long way to go in Marathi cinema with this impressive debut.
Sharad Kelkar is another actor who needs a pat on the back for his excellent work as the antagonist. He has the apt personality and the correct attitude to play the villain in this drama.
Radhika Apte and Aditi Pohankar too do a fine job but fail to create a lasting impression.
Tanvi Azmi needs a special mention as she fits for her role perfectly and does full justice to it. An actress of her calibre has immense potential and she brings out her experience to the fore.
Lai Bhaari Review: Direction, Editing and Screenplay
If you have followed Nishikant Kamat and are a fan of his works, this film will disappoint you a little. When one has seen him direct films like Dombivali Fast and Mumbai Meri Jaan, it is difficult to digest why such a talented director would settle for a script so clichéd. Yet, even an obsolete script like Lai Bhaari is made interesting by Kamat as he launches Riteish as the next big thing of Marathi cinema. I have no problems with the way he handles the story, its just that the expectations are set way high from a director of his caliber. The editing department has held a good ground and in fact much better than a lot of Marathi films which suffered from bad editing. Cinematography is excellent as one completely feels the holy spirit and fervor of Pandharpur all through the film.
Lai Bhaari Review: The Last Word
Lai Bhaari is a masala entertainer in Marathi. A complete blend of action, comedy and family drama, this one is worth watch because ‘Tanta Nay, Tar Ghanta Nay’ . I am going with a 3/5 for this film.
Lai Bhaari Trailer
Lai Bhaari releases on 11th July, 2014.
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