Zwigato REVIEW: Kapil Sharma As Delivery Boy Manas Steals The Show In Nandita Das’ Dark Slice Of Life

Scroll down to read the review of Kapil Sharma’s recent release Zwigato!

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Zwigato REVIEW: Kapil Sharma As Delivery Boy Manas Steals The Show In Nandita Das’ Dark Slice Of Life
Movie- Zwigato

Directed  by Nandita Das

How does one deal with life when it serves you juiceless lemons? You won’t find  Nandita  Das and her co-writer Samir Patil juicing the tragic circumstances of her delivery boy Manas(Kapil Sharma) for tears in this gently effective drama of fringe employment, produced by Applause Entertainment.

This well-cut nugget has no room for tears. Kapil’s Zwigato delivery boy delivers a performance that is keenly observant of reality: the languorous paunchy body language, the endless rounds on two-wheelers, handling difficult insulting customers at work , an invalid mother and two children at  home…Kapil brings the entire force of destiny down on his character’s shoulder without making him a  cry baby. There  is  a beautiful  moment where  Manas  put  his head on his ailing mother’s lap .His wife Pratima walks in, sees the mother and son together, a walks out quietly.

This is my favourite moment in a  film that otherwise doesn’t care to create ‘moments’ for the audience to get empathetic. The  tone of narration is  muted and matter-of-fact. Nandita seldom, if ever, plays for effect. Even when there is potential for sentimentality she avoids any dramatic highs to get our attention.

Take the ending where  Manas discovers  a saddening secret  about his wife’s  nature of  employment. This calls for some serious tantrums.Instead, Manas takes his wife on a  mo’bike race with  a train: something,we  presume,she loved doing when life was  relatively  more comfortable  and carefree.
It’s  a beautifully sketched moment torn  out of life’s  most precious chapter; when  everything seems  bleak  you find  a  light and celebrate  darkness.
Although the  film is  a little heavy with statistics  and  numbers on the  unemployed  ,to her credit, Nandita Das  doesn’t  allow a  pall of gloom to descend  on her narration. There are  no lengthy  dialogues or  pumped-up polemics to  prod our conscience.Throughout, the atmosphere is  light and hopeful even in the darkest  moments when Manas encounters the  nastiest  of  customers.

Prudently the director uses a lot of local Odia talent for secondary roles. In the lead Kapil Sharma and Shahana Goswami as a post-Covid  couple struggling to keep their heads above the water, are pitch-perfect, Goswami more so than Sharma.

Ranjan Palit’s camera lenses Bhubaneswar as a town crowded by the crisis but redeemed by hope. You may not be in a position to be optimistic. But this film shows us the path to a bleak but hopeful future.