Discipline. Parents and elders always want their children to be disciplined. Never realising that School is the only time when kids live in a world where they don’t have to worry about their past because they don’t have much there or their future because they have not even given it a thought. School is the only time when they live in the moment. Shala takes you back to that school called Life where the most important education happens not inside the pages of a textbook but in what happens around you.
What’s it about? – Set in 1975/76 against the backdrop of Emergency Shala is life seen through the eyes of Mukund Joshi (Anshuman Joshi) studying in 9th std in a village called Kanhegaon. First love, friendly banter, mentor uncle, an understanding father, politics of the country he comes across all this and much more in that one year of his school life.
How is it? – Mast, Ekdum Mast picture.
Why? - You have to see the trailer of a hindi film called humne jeena seekh liya to know how two different adaptations of the same book can be so extreme. Shala is based on a book by Milind Bokil by the same name. Since we are used to the traditional way of story telling you think the life in school is a set up and the plot will come in some time, then you get engrossed in the life of the characters while you are smiling all the time watching them. Watching Joshi’s romance blossoming with Shirodkar (Ketaki Mategaonkar), Joshi’s best friend, Mhatre’s obsession with Kevda(name of a girl), Joshi’s interaction with his Narumama you realise that you have reached the interval point and at that time it sinks in that this one of those films where there is no plot. The characters life in and around the school is the film. Sujay Dahake’s direction is detailed, focused and confident. The performances by the kids bring in that magical quality in the film. They bring in the right amount of innocence required and they make the characters loveable. In fact they overshadow the adult characters in the film. I wish a sequel is made so that i know what happens to the characters i came to love so much.
Final few words : A good film brings tears to your eyes, gives you goose pimples for no particular reason and makes you feel that everything is alright in this world. Shala is one of those films.
Rating : **** (Mast Watch)
Ticket Meter : worth watching at any cost.
originally published in http://keedakandi.wordpress.com/