Madhuri Dixit-Nene has stolen everyone’s hearts with her screen-presence and adorable smile over the past few decades. But this time round, she has taken a back seat, as a producer of 15 August, a Marathi film that will surely make you smile. Yes, the actress has turned to production. And she starts her journey with a layered story, full of emotions and a brilliant message! In fact, even if you don’t know Marathi or don’t stay in Mumbai, you will relate to it. This is because the emotions and struggle of every human is similar. The biggest win for it, however, is that even though Madhuri’s name is attached to the movie, the Netflix film rides high more on the story and the narrative. And you will be impressed, and left with a sweet smile even without seeing a glimpse of the actress in it.
For an in-depth analysis of the movie, read our 15 August review right here!
What 15 August is about
The Netflix original Marathi movie primarily revolves around the love story of Jui (Mrunmayee Deshpande) and Raju (Rahul Pethe). Without giving away too much, let us tell you that the movie showcases the events that happen in a chawl one particular Independence Day. But the title 15 August is not just because it is Independence Day. It also has a greater significance in the movie, as the characters try to gain freedom from a lot of aspects, especially the problems in Indian society.
Both, Raju and Jui’s parents, are against their relationship, but they continue seeing each other secretly. While Raju is a struggling painter, Jui has recently lost her job. Their professional and family conflicts start taking a toll on their relationship. And with a rich, handsome NRI coming to see her on Independence Day, will she be tempted to leave him and enjoy a better life abroad? Will she finally break and accept her family’s choice? Or will she fight for her love, Raju?
Amidst all this, is what also goes on in the chawl on Independence Day. Every individual does not necessarily like the other, but they still come together during a mishap. How a mishap changes a lot of equations and also intertwines with Raju and Jui’s love story, forms the rest of the story!
Trailer of 15 August:
First off, as my first ever Marathi film experience, this blew me away. Despite my language limitations, I found 15 August so beautifully made, and the language and dialogues so simple yet impactful, that it was a great experience. The subtitles obviously helped, but the impact and flavour of the Marathi dialect makes you relate to the movie and characters anyway. The Netflix film looks very relatable; and the problems, the way of living, and everything else shown is very real!
Jui and Raju’s love story is also one that everyone has seen in our day-to-day lives. Raju, being the underdog, makes us want to cheer for him. The family issues, poverty, scarcity of water, the divide in the chawl, these are things everyone will feel for and connect with! They are subtly included, but leave a lasting impact. The kids are also a delight on the screen. However, it is the funny puns during the testing times that are the highlights. In fact, you feel every kind of emotion. You smile, cry, get angry, feel like dancing and even laughing. 15 August is truly an entertaining watch!
Further, that no pointless song was added, saves it from looking silly – a brilliant call on part of the director (Swapnaneel Jaykar) and producers (Madhuri Dixit-Nene, Dr. Shriram Madhav Nene). The background music is very well-woven. The movie talks about a lot of problems, and it has several characters, but it never feels cluttered. In fact, the Netflix original has a feel-good factor attached to it! The supporting cast has a substantial part in the movie, as well as the story and its outcome. The heart-warming messages of togetherness, love and divide are also remarkably well fleshed out!
Reviewing 15 August further, I feel the direction and screenplay deserve an applause. It is a well put-together movie. And is sure to have a lasting impact. Whether it will change society or not, is an unknown, but it does send out a good message into the universe. 15 August‘s strength is the story and the actors, who have nailed their parts well.
At parts, the movie felt stretched. A few scenes could have been avoided. The pace of the movie is slow from the start, but it drops further in-between. And in the end, things pick up dramatically and the climax seems too rushed. Some parallel stories seem pushed into the movie too. Some emotions don’t hit you as hard as they should, while some are not emoted well. A few topics and issues could have been discussed even more.
Overall, 15 August is a heart-warming tale that you should absolutely see. Not just because it is Madhuri Dixit’s debut as a producer, but the story is so worth watching! In fact, the range of emotions that you will experience is staggering. The messages given out are also important. But the biggest reason you should watch it is because it is entertaining and it will leave you with a sweet smile. And isn’t that the reason for making movies? Kudos Madhuri Dixit-Nene, you nailed it with your first production!