Redu — a word the innocent people of the rural region use for a radio — remains the central character of the movie Redu, that released on Friday. Produced by Navalkishor Sarda and directed by Sagar Vanjari, Redu is an honest attempt at portraying the simple lives of the people from Maharashtra’s Konkan region, but fails to strike a chord with the audience.
While the movie sticks to its theme well, it falls short in many places. To begin with, the cinematography doesn’t do any justice to the beautiful landscape that is Konkan. A region that has largely been portrayed as a naturally endowed place in movies and elsewhere, is still more or less that beautiful, especially during the monsoon. But the debutant director has made no efforts to capture that beauty and instead seemed to be in a hurry to wrap up the shoot by choosing the wrong season and wrong sights. One might argue that this was probably a conscious decision, but nowhere is this justified in the movie: the not-so-beautiful locales don’t help the story in any way. If anything, it only puts the audience off from the very first frame. To the cinematographer’s credit, a few drone shots are applause worthy, especially the ones over sea, that play during the song Devak Kalji sung by the talented Ajay Gogavle. Sadly, the great song is a waste of talent in a rather dull movie.
The story is about Tatu (played by Shashank Shende), set in 1972, being gifted a radio by his relative, his obsession with the gadget and its sudden loss. How he deals with the loss of this dear gadget makes for most of the remaining story, which is forcefully made tragic. Insert one sad song, with visuals of the couple’s efforts to earn some extra bucks to get it back, and the audience is bound to melt. Sadly, this formula doesn’t work anymore.
There are also glitches in the detailing. For instance, the protagonist Tatu is seen switching on the light in his house late in the night. It is slightly unlikely that a remote village would have access to electricity in 1972, especially a poor household.
An addition in the list of problems is the casting — most characters are shabby and unattractive. Beauty definitely doesn’t lie in fairness or size zeroes, but it definitely does in some cleanliness and well-dressed people. Whoever thought poor people can’t look attractive is definitely wrong. The poor yet hardworking people have a distinct charm, which is majorly lacking on every face in the movie. Overall, it makes for a very weak visual appeal, killing the otherwise average movie.