What is the Marathi equivalent for ‘underdog’?” Thus begins the conversation about Gachchi (terrace), a Marathi film, directed by Nachiket Samant, which releases today. The term ‘underdog’ is a clue to the protagonist Shriram’s graph in the movie, and Abhay Mahajan plays the lead.
“Shriram is diabetic and has financial troubles of his own; yet he rushes to the aid of a person, whom he doesn’t know at all. It’s rare to see this kind of humanity in today’s day and age, where everyone is so self-absorbed,” says Priya Bapat, who plays Kirti in the movie.
Priya, who plays a singer in the movie, is pushed by certain circumstances to end her life. And, that’s when Shriram hurtles into her life, like (Charlie) Chaplin. “The film is tragic-comic just like Chaplin’s movies are. His films have undercurrents of sadness and grief, yet they make us smile. We hope to do something similar with Gachchi,” says Nachiket.
“Written by Yogesh Joshi, the film has a third character — Gachchi —along with Priya and Abhay,” informs Nachiket, adding, “Gachchi is someone we turn to in joy and sadness; when we wish to be a part of the crowd and when we wish to be alone. So in this movie, Gachchi becomes a third character. It’s not just the set where the story unfolds, it becomes the story.”
The terrace that they have chosen for the movie is located along the Currey Road station, in Mumbai. It’s quite big and isolated; a perfect place for Kirti to mope. The movie has been majorly shot on this terrace, with a few flashback portions. And, since the story unfolds in a 24-hour time frame, the film was shot in real time. “If we wanted to capture a scene at 3 pm, then we waited for the 3 pm sunlight. We didn’t shoot the scene at 11 am. Instead we played games and bonded,” adds Priya.
“The 105-minute story has lots to offer; depending on what are you looking for. There are light, comic situations. Some scenes have subtext and are layered. I believe there is something for everyone,” says Abhay, who is best known for his role as Mandal, in the web series, TVF Pitchers.