Cast: Sai Tamhankar, Vaibhav Tatwawadi, Amruta Khanvilkar, Neena Kulkarni, Tanmay Kulkarni, and Mahesh Manjrekar
Director: Sachin Kundalkar.
What’s Good: A fresh perspective & organic towards relationship dramas for the Marathi industry. Plus it’s entirely shot on smartphones. Wow!
What’s Bad: The screenplay does feel lazy at some parts that look disjointed. Glue is missing majorly in the first half.
Loo Break: The beauty of the city might make you wait.
Watch Or Not: If you are a fan of relationship dramas that deal with longing and ways to fill up the void left by a close one, here’s a treat.
Available on: Theatres Near You!
Runtime: 109 minutes.
Pondicherry Movie Review: Script Analysis:
It is such a fresh perspective to look at relationships at their breaking points and not really judge either of the two involved for their decisions. Be it the latest Hindi release Gehraiyaan or Pondicherry that is a unique relationship drama. Set in the vibrant landscape, the movie is about three people waiting for their better halves in a way, but will they ever come is a question that haunts forever.
Written by Sachin Kundalkar and Tejas Modak, the script brings a new trajectory to the genre for the Marathi cinema, and a much needed newness to the storytelling methods the industry was long stuck with. Pondicherry tries to bring the concept of cross-pollination and cultural exchange to the Marathi audience quite beautifully. The efforts taken to learn a different language by the actors, and not really force Marathi on a landscape that doesn’t speak it makes the film more organic and authentic.
The narrative is about three incomplete people finding the missing piece of their puzzle unknowingly. The city happens to be the reason for them to meet. They have their different needs from the place. The story explores a divorce, a wife waiting for her husband who has met with an accident but was never declared dead, another woman going into a bad marriage just because her mother wants her to and more. When they meet at one point what happens is the story majorly.
It isn’t a film with a hidden message or talking about a very larger context. It’s personal and emotional. Here is a man who was once good, but now practices evil. A woman and her son who live like friends handle a house by sharing responsibilities. Their dynamic is cute but at the same time a representation and homage to all the single parents and their kids who kind of grow up at a very early age. There is a girl dominated by her fiancé who is a misogynistic man-child. Writers don’t go the dramatic way to portray these emotions. It is told to us in a very subtle way. This is their life and how they live whether you like it or not. The gaze is never of pity or disgust or judgemental, but always bold and clear.
Pondicherry is in the moments, be it serious or happy or just a wide shot of the roads where walls are painted with fascination. It has its own pace, slow and peaceful. If that isn’t how you like your films, you must try this one. I am holding back from giving spoilers but you have to see when the emotions get on the serious side. All three are at dead ends in their lives and the climax that it creates is one of the most comforting and satisfying ones I have seen in the recent times.
What the movie does falter in is giving the much needed glue to the scenes in the first half. The flow isn’t as organic as the second half and the parts look disjointed.
Pondicherry Movie Review: Star Performance:
Sai Tamhankar has a unique command over the screen. She does not have to do anything to get noticed, but when she does something, she makes sure you see. Her silence, to her discomfort, to her trust issues and longing, you can see it all in her eyes. Even her posture is enough to tell you baggage of the character.
Vaibhav Tatwawadi is suddenly a beefed up tall man, in front of whom Sai looks like a small framed teenager. The actor plays a character who goes through a transformation and change in heart. Vaibhav does bring the honesty to his performance. The makers should have edged out his character a bit more and explored his loneliness more closely. Besides, the crying in his department isn’t as hard hitting as Sai’s.
Amruta Khanvilkar gets to play the oppressed girl who never had the authority over her life decisions. While she does break free and asks for agency, we deserved more of her.
Pondicherry Movie Review: Direction & Music:
Sachin Kundalkar takes the ‘art house mixed with drama’ route to make Pondicherry. He doesn’t settle for the old formula and make another rom-com. Rather he goes out of his way to give his movie a unique touch. He looks at his story in wide shots. That must also be the reason he chose a picturesque city to set it in.
DOP Milind Jog must be celebrated for cracking this one. He shoots the entire movie on iPhone X and it is unbelievable. The frames, to colour tones, to the stability everything is on point. The camera moves like we are involved in the story and it is so indulging.
Debarpito Saga’s music is fresh and suits the setup. Mohan Kanan’s Tu Jaa Teher is staying in my playlist for some time.
Pondicherry Movie Review: The Last Words:
Pondicherry is more personal. You don’t come across films so tenderly handling the emotions of relationships. You must not miss this one. Watch it with your loved ones this Sunday afternoon.
Pondicherry releases on 24th February 2022.
Share with us your experience of watching Pondicherry.
Fan of dramas? Read our Mahaan Movie Review here!