Releasing Date:- 06 Oct, 2023
Genre:- Drama, Comedy
Cinema:- Movie (Marathi)
Critic’s Rating:- 4.0/5
Avg. Users’ Rating:- 4.5/5
IMDb Rating:- 9.2/10
Cast & Crew:-
Director:- Ashish Bende
Actor:- Om Bendkhale, Khushi Hajare, Rajratna Bhojane,
Bhimrao Mude, Makrand Mukund
Aatmapamphlet Movie Review :-
In the conclusion of Nagraj Manjule’s Fandry, an ironic scene of the Dalit protagonist dragging a pig past a wall with photos of people who fought against prejudice, including Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar and Jyotiba Phule, is shown. The photo is a reflection of society, which exploits the names of great leaders for convenience without implementing their teachings.
A similar scene affects the direction of Ashish Bende’s debut directorial Aatmapamphlet, which opened at the Berlinale earlier this year. It’s one of many memorable passages in the film, which is a masterfully written satire disguised as an adolescent love story.
Few films make sociopolitical insights without being preachy, and even fewer hit the mark with a comedic slant on the subject. This rare category includes Aatmapamphlet. Ashish Bende, a namesake of the film’s director, is the central character of Aatmapamphlet (autobio-pamphlet, because the character’s life isn’t as happening as an autobiography would require), who lives in the hope that one day he will have the courage to confess his love to his school crush Srushti.
Important events in Ashish’s life also serve as watershed occasions in the nation’s history. While his love journey is consistent, the events around him and how he and his companions deal with them are on the rise.Is the film a biographical portrait of the director? Perhaps, perhaps not.
However, it is primarily a semi-autobiographical description of each youngster who grew up between the late 1970s and 1990s since it taps into the events of the time, juxtaposing them with the young protagonist’s naive views with such deftness that you feel as if you are witnessing it develop through Ashish’s eyes. The usage of narration (excellently performed by Paresh Mokashi) throughout the film is excellent! It provides a self-aware, light-hearted element to the plot, keeping it from being preachy while remaining on topic.
Om Bendkhale, who plays the young Ashish, gives one of the most innocent and real performances, and his pals are similarly wonderful. Ashish’s parents, grandparents, instructors, and neighbors all bring diverse perspectives to this voyage, and Rohan Mapuskar deserves credit for such appropriate casting. It’s also nice to have Deepak Shirke back on film.
The film also excels on technical fronts (cinematography by Satyajeet Shobha Shriram, editing by Bende, and art and production design by Baban Adagale), making it a well-rounded experience. The only thing that falls short is the slightly rushed climax. Because it’s up to interpretation, it should have been given an extra minute with narration explaining what and why.
Aside from that, Aatmapamphlet is one of the most timely films in recent memory. It keeps you interested, explores the ‘Us vs. Them’ viewpoint, and sheds light on everyday bigotry that we’ve sadly educated ourselves to ignore. But, in the end, love wins over all. Don’t pass up this opportunity.
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