Sairat Movie Review

Sairat is a glowing love story that is reminiscent of works by the great Dardennes Brothers

Brain-o-meter Rating: 8.5/10

Nagraj Manjule, Take a Bow! The director of Fandry is back again with a bang with an emotional roller-coaster ride of a movie that might borrow from Bollywood cliches in terms of narrative, but does boast of a terrific original screenplay. After receiving a National award for his first film, Manjule again looks deep into the Indian milieu, to unearth the problems of casteism in this deft romantic saga.

The actors at the heart of the story, are fresh and free from all cliched tropes. Sample the girl from the village who is not afraid to say her mind, or ride a Bullet to college. The sweet-mannered boy is a complete opposite to the brash, timid but passionate girl, who is willing to go the extra mile to save her love. The narrative might resemble a certain Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak, but in 2016, here is a film that is anything but a borrowed flick. The goings-on are starkly realistic while the characters are etched out with particular depth. Some of the harrowing scenes might even create discomfort for the viewers, but Manjule makes sure that he is not indulgent with them. While the first half is fun and breezy, the second half does give a smart commentary of how difficult it is for surviving the odds. Rinku Rajguru as Aarchi is the film's strongest lead although Akash Thosar does deliver an endearing performance.

The cinematography is excellent throughout as the frames lit up in realism and fantasy in equal measure. Ajay-Atul's music is an integral part of the proceedings, and their musical score only grows on your ears and reflect on the film's predicament too. "Yad Lagale" is the first song to be recorded in symphony at Los Angeles and the beauty of the composition needs to be heard repeatedly to sink in. Zhingaat and Sairat's title song are great too. Top stuff!

Lastly, while giving nothing away, I am sure that even you could foresee what might happen to the love-struck couple, the climax is sure to affect you in more ways than one can describe. Although, one might find it highly abrupt, I find it spot on, since Manjule does have the courage and brevity to showcase the real life in reels. Hats off to him, for not patronizing the front-benchers, not opting for a glamorous actress for the role, and not succumbing to cheap melodramatic tricks to pander the public. It requires courage and conviction to make a film like this.

Highly recommended!