Sairat (meaning ‘wild’ in Marathi) has created history by grossing 41 crores in the first 2 weeks of release. But we know that box office success is not always synonymous with a good film. Sairat thankfully is one that deserves all the success it has got and more.

A local cricket match is being played in on a bare dusty ground of an interior Maharashtrian village. The bowlers are making mincemeat of the batsmen as the captain of the batting team is mysteriously missing. A boy in his late teens is hiding among sugarcane bushes to catch a glimpse of his crush, who has no idea of his presence. He is dragged away, rather unwilling by his friend, to return to the playing field and fulfill his duties as captain of the hapless batting team, eventually leading them to a glorious win and receiving the cup and prize money from Patil, the local political honcho.

Sairat traces the story of Parshya (Akash Thosar) and Archie (Rinku Rajguru), two young college students from very dissimilar backgrounds. Parshya aka Prashant Kale, is the son of a fisherman. His father hopes education will help his son get a good job, away from the daily drudgery of fishing. Archie aka Archana Patil, the girl of his dreams is the pampered, privileged daughter of the same politician who handed the cricket cup to him. Salya and Langdya are Parshya’s closest friends, almost shadows and Anni is Archie’s best friend, and these three become automatic accomplices to the unfolding love story.

Director Nagraj Manjule who’s debut film Fandry won rave reviews pulls off a coup of sorts with Sairat, made on a meagre budget of 1.75 crores. He uses every formula possible but manages keep the narrative intensely real and believable. Rich girl, poor boy, powerful father, loving but ineffectual mother, hot tempered brother, bunch of goons, super loyal friends, misuse of power and privileges….you would be reminded of Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak but with a touch of Masaan! The first half is so pacy that you do not realize where time flies. The second half drags just a bit in between but never enough to make you lose focus.

The music is fantastic!! Sairat is the first ever Indian film to record its music at Sony Scoring Studios in Hollywood, LA. Composer duo and siblings Ajay-Atul (Gogavale) have ensured that each song is unique in flavour. The fresh and hopeful ‘Yad Lagala’, the lyrical but powerful ‘Aatach Baya Ka Baavarla’, the fantastically foot tapping ‘Zingaat’ are worth listening to over and over.  Here is Zingaat for you!

The hero of the film is undoubtedly Rinku Rajguru. This 15 year old (I rubbed my eyes a few times in disbelief too) pulls off Archie with as much aplomb as someone with a lot more age and experience. The strong, feisty girl who is not scared to go after what she wants to, the scared girl who feels lost, the beaten but not broken girl who will do anything for the boy she loves….all shine through with ease.

Sairat is what it is supposed to be, a love story. It will ferry you back to your school days when time was never a rare commodity, when romance meant exchanging shy glances across a room, when sending a love letter would be as exciting as terrifying, when friends meant the world, when fun was just hanging around with these friends even if you not doing very much. But Sairat is also a very real look at the Indian feudal system, biases, bigotry and oppression of the masses by the so-called-classes. It will frustrate you and shock you. It will make you want to protect Parshya and Archie, it will make you want to slap the daylights out of Prince, Archie’s ridiculously arrogant brother, it will make you smile as love blossoms and cringe when things go wrong. It will do what good movies do, leave an indelible mark on your mind.

Copyright © Taraa Vermaa Senguptaa May 2016
All Rights Reserved