Anyone who has read journalist Arun Sadhu’s fiction and non-fiction works, is already aware of his writing style — an objective, wide angle look at the reality, while narrating a multi-pronged story. Some of his novels have been translated into movies, Sinhasan, being one, and now Ziprya, which has been directed by debutant Kedar Vaidya.
Sinhasan talked about people caught in the whirlpool of politics. Zipyra shines light on the underprivileged kids living in the slums, hoping to reach for the skies, but pulled down by their circumstances. The interpersonal relationship and the conflict that arises from societal situation is the hallmark of Sadhu’s writing. That makes his writing layered and complex, and hence difficult to adapt his works for the big screen.
Yet Vaidya took on the mantle and has managed to steer the film in the right direction. Vaidya wins brownie points for this effort. A more sharpened view of Ziprya’s class struggle, a tighter script would have worked well for the film, which totters at some points.
Ziprya (played by Chinmay Kambli) is a member of the shoeshine boys group. In the movie, unlike in the novel, where each character has an equal voice, Ziprya takes centre stage, alongwith his friend, Aslam (Prathmesh Parab). His friend Aslam dreams of entering the tinsel town; Ziprya’s sister is attracted towards a local henchman in their slums; while Ziprya is angry at the unfairness of the world he lives in. To right the wrongs done to him and his friends, Ziprya takes on the local henchman... That’s the crux of the story. It has been told well on the screen through the camera. The cinematographer has captured their lives, the slums where they live and the addas where they meet and the railway station, where the action unfolds, in such a way that it looks real. Their lives haven’t been glorified, but shown as they are. The same can’t be said for the music of the film, which is mediocre.
All in all, the film doesn’t match up to the novel, Ziprya at all levels. But it’s a must watch for those who want a fresh narrative in Marathi cinema.