By Neha Borkar
What happens when a small village deprived of basic needs such as water, electricity and education, rebels and proposes to become an independent state? Girish Mohite’s ‘Bharatiya’ explores the theme of separatism in an eye-opening manner.
What’s it about?
Helvi, a nomad (Makarand Anaspure) narrates the story of Adnide, a tiny village located on the border of Maharashtra and Karnataka. The hamlet does not fall within the complete boundaries of either state, due to which, both governments are lax in addressing its civic issues. An archaeologist Abhay Sardeshmukh (Subodh Bhave) comes to Adnide to find his roots and accidentally discovers a document his basement that states that Adnide was a gift to his ancestors from a subhedar and that it will remain independent even after the British leave. The entire nation then takes notice of Adnide, when Abhay and the villagers struggle to form an independent state within a country.
It is a relief that Marathi filmmakers are coming up with sensible concepts, rather than just producing annoying slapstick comedies. The film has the potential to address the cause of several villages in our country that the government turns a blind eye to. However, director Girish Mohite falls prey to commercial trappings and a serious issue is made less poignant with unnecessary song-and-dance sequences and funny one-liners (One in particular by Jitendra Joshi, who says ‘How can all Indians be my brothers and sisters, as I will be marrying one?’ was pretty old school for this reviewer, but still drew loud laughs from the audience)
Subodh Bhave falls a bit short and his role is far less memorable than his performance in the blockbuster hit ‘Balgandharva’. Makarand Anaspure shines with his witty lines as usual, whereas veteran actor Mohan Agashe is wasted as the dimwitted sarpanch.
What to do?
On the eve of Independence Day, this movie is an eye-opener. Bhartiya has its heart in the right place, watch it for its novel idea.
in.com rating: 3/5
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