Manoj Bajpayee, Santosh Juvekar, Ipshita Chakraborty Singh, Virat Vaibhav, Abhishek Banerjee and others?
Streaming on Sony Liv
Devashish Makhija

Disclaimer: Please be interested in this film, if you have the time to let it seep right under your skin. If you are in a hurry and seeking entertainment, entertainment, entertainment… Please avoid.

Bhonsle starts in the inner bowels of the infamous Mumbai chawls - where survival is a chore that keeps you too busy to think about mundane things as humanity. Amongst the many taxi drivers, tea stall vendors, laborers and more, is a retired police constable, Bhonsle (Manoj Bajpayee) fondly called Bhonsle Kaka. Having given his entire life to the police force, he knows nothing beyond the life of an officer and hopes once again to go back to the same. He is revered by one and all in the chawl but his life is just like the dark corner he calls home, despairing for someone to fill his lonely existence. Another prominent face in the chawl is that of Vilas (Santosh Juvekar) who is a taxi driver but politician at heart. He causes considerable unrest in the chawl for migrant workers who have come to the city of dreams to make a living.

The story picks up when Sita a nurse (Ipshita Chakraborty Singh) comes to live next to Bhonsle’s house, with her little brother. When Sita pays dearly for being a migrant, many questions come into play. Is it necessary to be born in a particular place to work there? Is politics so much more important than humanity? How do the lines between good and bad blur so badly, that you can no longer know one from the other!

The many questions will find an answer within this film, but the main one remains - will you enjoy it? If you love cinema and have an eye for details, this is the film for you. There are many parts in the film that make you realise how different life is for others who are not as privileged as you. The things we take for granted are the very things these people work hard to acquire. The vast chasm of difference is perhaps the cause of unrest and angst amongst the city dwellers. 

The film belongs only and only to its lead, Manoj Bajpayee. The way he has played Bhonsle Kaka tells you why he is one of the best that Bollywood has. With each and every one of his films, one hopes his work starts getting celebrated as much as we celebrate the Khans and others. 

After Bajpayee, the most important aspect of the film is the script. Written by Devashish Makhija, Sharanya Rajgopal and Mirat Trivedi – the film is nuanced and an intellectual treat for all movie lovers. The beauty with which the writers have related Lord Ganesh and Bhonsle tells you that there is hope for Bollywood after all. The ease with which the writers have shown the ugly political agendas that start at an early age is appalling and applause worthy at the same time. With actors like Santosh Juvekar and Ipshita Chakraborty, Bajpayee has an able support in the remaining cast. Abhishek Banerjee as an immigrant worker, has a small but significant role. The one character that sticks out is the child actor who plays Sita’s brother, Lalu (Virat Vaibhav). The child will leave you with goosebumps.

It is unfortunate that films such as these, still don’t find space on a 70 mm screen. But making up for this gross injustice are the OTT platforms where these marvelous scripts not only find space, voice and eyeballs, it also finds the much-craved appreciation.

Post Ajji, Devashish gives us yet another memorable film that should be added to your collection. Thanks Makhija.

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