Deool - excellent movie... must watch
I could watch Deool just the play of light and shade in each of its frame. And this is even more amazing considering the film is set in a village where many a time there's no electrical power and the only source of light is an oil lamp or sometimes just the stars and the moon. Even if I didn't realize how beautiful it is shot, I could watch it just for the village simpletons. Their faces and bodies so expressive, these are true actors each one of them, as if there was no camera in front of them, and I was just observing people from a village where my grandparents live. And yet, Deool has so, so much to offer. So what if it is a little less metaphorical than director, Umesh Kulkarni's earlier venture and so what if it had a couple of avoidable "commercial" elements? I enjoyed the ride that Deool took me on.
Deool is about the transformation of Mangrul, a village in the remotest interiors of Maharashtra. It is a satirical journey of Mangrul's belief in religion and the blind faith that accompanies it. And Mangrul is only a representation of the common population, us.
Deool argues about the definition of development in a village that is so behind that basic necessities like water and electricity are missing in action. Is it so bad then if the village gets these simple needs by using blind faith as a stepping stone? Though I'm not sure Deool stays non-judgmental it sure does a good job of presenting both sides.
Deool talks about capitalism and business in religion; it showcases the strength of women and at the same time the hypocrisy of the political system all in one breath.
And all of this is narrated fluidly. The sedentary village and its laid-back residents go from one event to another and before you realize that you know the characters and their quirks, their intentions and motivations. This is as much a result of the immaculate dialogue-writing as it is the way/dialect in which it's delivered. And this is even though I watched a non-subtitled version. I surely must've missed out on a few punch lines.
The actors take entertainment to the next level. Even the exaggerated tones seem acceptable because they make you laugh so hard. There were at least a couple of scenes where my mouth was wide open because of the ridiculous way in which things were unfolding - because I knew this could *so* happen in my village too. There were a few other scenes which created beautiful and/or insightful moments. I especially enjoyed the exchanges between Nana Patekar and Dilip Prabhavalkar.
Mentioning just these two names is a huge disservice to the rest of the cast, but the list is so long and every villager that comes on screen leaves an impression. Let me also quickly add that there were a couple of scenes where Nana Patekar overdid it. But, that hardly took away from the film.
That doesn't mean that there were no eliminable elements at all because at 2.5 hours, Deool is a little too long. Also a tad disappointing is the introduction of "commercial" elements in an Umesh Kulkarni film. Is Umesh succumbing? Because it is not only about an item number and a cameo by a "bigger" Hindi actor. Those we can, this once, grant benefit of doubt to, under the cloak of "the need of the script". But, he also seems to have gone that extra mile to explain the metaphors and not left it to his usual subtle style.
But hey, I don't mind a little commerce with my art. Deool in many ways is Valu - Part 2. It carries the same tone and texture AND it leaves a tiny "not as good as" the first part feel. Yet, it is a wholesome and entertaining experience.
Source: The part of Audience