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Movie Review : Sachin Chatte

Gods of Small Things

Film: Elizabeth Ekadashi

Cast: Shrirang Mahajan, Sayali Bhandarkavathekar, Nandita Dhuri

Directed by: Paresh Mokashi‘Elizabeth Ekadashi’ is about a boy who has a rather fancy cycle named after the English queen. The cycle belonged to his late father, who adored Isaac Newton. It was sold within minutes of the film starting. After making waves with ‘Harishchandrachi Factory’, director Paresh Mokashi has struck gold again with his latest film ‘Elizabeth Ekadashi.’ To put it plainly, it is a brilliantly acted and superbly crafted gem of a film. Of late, Marathi film directors seem to have found a knack to make films with children in the lead.

But it is not only about the performances, what and how it is being told is also of prominence. While there is a simple story at heart, Mokashi does a fine job of being critical of some of the ills of the society like superstition and blind faith. And you rarely see such meaningful and hard hitting poetry laced with sarcasm and wit in the form of songs penned by Mokashi himself.

While the story of Dnyanesh, his friends and his sister is entertaining and provides a few laughs , the other statements that are made are powerful, cinematically and otherwise.  Blind faith is questioned head on and the screenplay (by Mokashi himself, with a story by Madhugandha Kulkarni) also questions religious bigotry. “You like to sacrifice hens and other animals created by God and expect his blessings in return for that?” says the little boy.    Social inequality and taboos are also confronted. In a poignant scene, the boy who always touches his elder’s feet also falls at the sex worker’s feet, raising a few eye brows but making a strong point.   The background score and the music by Anand Modak is apt. There are no big names in the cast, but they all are nothing short of terrific, the ensemble deserves a big applause.  Do yourself a favour and watch Elizabeth Ekadeshi.

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