In the past few years, we, as audiences, have seen all kinds of Indian web series, gang wars in most of which are based out of North India. Take, for instance, the recently-released Aarya, starring Sushmita Sen, which chronicled the lives of families of drug lords in Rajasthan. Well, that made me wonder why the makers are avoiding Aamchi Mumbai until I came across the man who started the revolution with his 1998 film Satya by saying, ‘Mumbai Ka King K Mumbai Ka King Kaun... Bhikhu Mhatre aun... Bhikhu Mhatre’. The very same man – Manoj Bajpayee - has brought back the missing Mumbai flavour in our lives through in an as Sony Liv’s BHONSLE!
Bhonsle is the story of a 60-year-old retired police constable Ganpat Bhonsle, someone who’s alone, very alone and stays in a Mumbai slum with fairly little money. He manages all the daily chores like washing clothes and making food or tea (err, a little bit like a lot of us doing this lockdown) himself. On one hand, while Bhonsle’s service extension request is pending, the locality where he stays is facing a religious conflict between Marathi manus and Biharis. Vilas Dhawle, someone who hates people from Bihar, is the investigating officer of this incident. Well, a woman and her small brother from Bihar turn Bhonsle’s neighbours. The movie revolves around the kind of impact this religious feud has on a person like Bhonsle, who majorly does the speaking with eyes than his mouth.
Except for a few bigoted insults, there is hardly any beep worthy moment in Bhonsle, which makes it rank low in the beep meter. However, if my review had an empathy meter, it would have all and only dedicated to Bhonsle Kaka.
The film has exceptional performances by both antagonist and the protagonist. Santosh Juvekar, an acclaimed Marathi actor, is so convincing as a petty, small-minded and hate-filled Vilas Dhawle that he will make you loathe him, quite literally. Manoj Bajpayee, on the other side, delivers yet another fine performance as a retired police constable, Ganpat Bhonsle. And, mind you, he will manage to create a tsunami of empathy in you, without heavy dialogues or one-liners. A few may find this film this depressing but I believe it will make the emotional quotient in you a lot richer. Be it both the actors’ top-notch performances, Devashish Makhija’s realistic direction or Jigmet Wangchuk’s unusually brilliant cinematography; everything makes Bhonsle on Sony Live, binge-worthy!
image source: instagram/bajpayee.manoj
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