Sunday, January 15, 2012


Though his FTII student film ‘Girni’ garnered accolades at film festivals and such, director Umesh Kulkarni really burst into the Marathi film world with ‘Valu’ (The Bull), a satire in garb of a comedy and also a social commentary on rural Maharashtra. After an arty turn with his sophomore effort ‘Vihir’ (The Well) (which was produced by Amitabh Bachchan’s company, and which made all the right noises, but somehow really failed the find the ground. It played in theatres in Pune for few weeks and then disappeared. Not even a DVD on sight. According to critics, if nothing else, the film looks really, really good.), Kulkarni returns to the familiar terrain, the village life, the assortment of characters to represent the cross-section of society, and a biting social satire wrapped in comedy. ‘Deool’ works well, because, to begin with, the writing is impeccable. The film understands its characters and let them be. The title ‘Deool’ translates into Temple, a proposed temple in the film which soon becomes a site of political maneuverings.

“The film also about faith,” said Kulkarni at the press conference after the film was screened at the 10th Pune International Film Festival. “Real faith does not need any paraphernalia.”

The film is also about loss of innocence. Keshav dreams of the God and decides that he must build a temple to honour Him. As the film progresses and as everyone try to take advantage of the situation to push their personal agendas, Keshav loses his way, ultimately realising that it was not what he wanted when he first started out to build the temple. “It’s the process that corrupts you,” says Kulkarni.

Did he worry about how the film will do? Kurkarni said, “While making the film we don’t think how the film will do. It’s not a good idea. It puts pressure on you.”

And how about the controversy that one of the songs from the film generated. “We talked to the people who complained about the song and asked them if they have seen the film. They said they did not, but they did not like the song. This is something we cannot do anything about. Whatever we do, somebody or other is likely to complaint about it. Even if I lift my hand, it may hurt someone sentiment.”

Point taken.

(Picture courtesy: Pune International Film Festival 2012)
Deool in Wikipedia.

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