29 August, 2016

YZ : A coming of age ... to score

Why YZ ?Is that a movie ? Ohhh, a Marathi language film? Was that your first choice? To be honest, no, but what would you have me watch… a Mohenjo Daro ? Gimme a break. 

So there you are, with me booking tickets for YZ… there was something zany about the title. I didn’t know anything about the movie, nor the star cast, not the director but yeah I knew fleetingly that it had Sai Tamhankar. Her name and the movie’s title aroused sufficient curiosity to find me attempting this exercise.

Marathi films and cinema off late has been in a state of flux. A metamorphosis, if you want to call it that. After being bereft of ideas for close to 3 decades the scene has exploded and how. The fresh crop of actors, directors, producers is attempting the new, the story boards are fresh, the production value is seriously up and the package now looks as good as a Hindi film even at 1/20th of its budget.

YZ, now why did it attract me… it’s a bad word, clean and simple...a slang so common on the roads of Maharashtra it would and can rival the BC’s and MC’s of the Punjab and the North. But its presentation is unique. The slang is picked up, polished, buffed up and after attaining the removal of all rough edges is packaged and presented to us not as a word but as an attitude. Just imagine shouting a BC in the middle of a Mumbai street, all would hear a bad word and they wouldn’t be wrong, but Sameer Widwans ( YZ’s director) sees the person belting it out, makes note of the person yelling, to spot and accurately paint for us his attitude. 

I loved this approach of looking at things, it does have us storm into the life of Gajanan Kulkarni ( Sagar Deshmukh ) a wimpy history professor from the town of Wai. Gajanan or Gajya is a 33 year old virgin and rightly so. A quirk of fate finds him and his wimpy approach being transferred and trans-shipped from a college in Wai to a College in Pune. The wimp as expected encounters a culture shock and is all prepared to go back home in a week till fate intervenes and deals him a second blow. He collides with Battees (32, Akshay Tanksale, playing a street smart bumpkin of a student to perfection with his battered out of Pune and Mumbai accent and rough rakish approach to things ). Here begins the wimps coming of age story with the teacher as the student and the raw and rough student as his life coach.Coming of age can be a huge misnomer till one takes into account the bramhinical social mindset of the country, here, if one is 33 years of age, employed and yet unmarried there is something wrong. If this gets fed into a person, gender apart, it can become a monumental high jump to be completed, where the target could even be tough for a Sergei Bubka or Yelena Isinbayeva, let alone wimps who have learned to walkwith baggages and exist by hiding their selves deliberately.

Gajya encounters 3 women in his journey towards becoming a finished YZ and in each of this stage he learns a potent part of himself and then starts proudly wearing it on his sleeve. The girls in his life are credible for the characters that have been drawn and fill up those proto types quite well. Sai Tamhankar, the sensual sassy actress is devoid of this aura of hers and delivers a knock out performance, while Mukta Barve and Parna Pethe as the other two are believable.

Is this movie good? It’s certainly not bad. However on reflection it is a tad bit too long and some serious snipping would have made it tauter and pacy. It loses pace in key moments and that invites my sleep-o-meter which induces the zzzzz in me. Concisely put, Battees (32) the character, Gajya and one girl interaction would have been a crisp growing up journey with the Pune background playing its role actively. Here one feels and I could be mistaken that it is a 45 minute movie repeated thrice each with a different girl. There are innovations that are quite cute, there is an entire song belted out in Sanskrit, a dream sequence, but Sanskrit nevertheless. It is a watchable movie and while one doesn’t come out feeling that did one get a super bang for his buck..ummm no…the money wasn’t entirely wasted either. Those like me who still are reeling under the image bash of seeing a sanskritik avatared Sai Tamhankar are the chappies who may struggle for words in articulating to you what about the movie did not sit well. Every element is real and believable but the story did not need so many elements is my first gut reaction.

There are many positives in this movie and the camera takes the first spot followed by the caricatures sketched and they who get presented in the title display of the cast and characters, Akshay Tanksales battees is hilarious and spot on in parts and while the wimpy Gajya is good it is Sai's Parnarekha which is first rate. She has improved as a performer is easy on the eye in her character. If you ask me that what would you say after watching YZ has come of age...and my answer is straight, it is Marathi Cinema without any doubt.


Gauri Nigudkar said...

Hmmm ... points to ponder on ...

kau kau goes the crow said...

You are very right Gauri...exactly points to ponder on and they take our attention especially when the moie has not absorbed all of it or turned away any of it...a strictly Ok Ok movie does make one think deeper...am in the same quandrary :-)

Kamal Ravee said...


Kamal Ravee said...