Director- Ishrat Khan
Cast- Sanjay Mishra, Subrat Dutta, Kalyanee Mulay, Kanchan Pagare, Heeth Sharma and Dhanay Seth
Platform of Release- Theatres
By Jyothi Venkatesh
The film revolves around Guthlee (Dhanay Seth) who runs behind a van selling jamun seed (guthlee) powder to learn to write his name. The bright boy has the fire in his belly to learn by stealthily attending the school, standing outside the classroom by the window, especially since as he belongs to a lower caste. The gem of a wonderful and meaningful film sets out to depict the oppressed class struggles through Guthlee, his close friend Ladoo (Heet Sharma), and their parents.
To put it in a nutshell, I’d say that the movie sets out to follow a poor sweeper’s son who desires to attend school but is restricted by the societal constraints of his caste. He forms an unspoken bond with a high-caste headmaster (Sanjay Mishra) who’s compassionate but utterly powerless in the face of discrimination. The crux of the film is about whether he will be able to rise above and make the poor ambitious young boy’s dream come true?
As far as the performances are concerned, I’d say that as the headmaster who is desperately torn between societal constraints and doing right by an oppressed section, Sanjay Mishra delivers a more than nuanced performance. Subrat Datta and Kalyanee Mulay, as Guthlee’s parents, live their roles effortlessly and make the viewer relate to their characters.
Anil Akki’s cinematography is worth mentioning, especially the way the camera angles are dexterously used to show the ins and outs of the underdeveloped village. Director Ishrat Khan sets out to create an entirely different world altogether authentically, whether be it the surroundings, the unsafe and unsanitary conditions people work in, or the way they are treated.
Kanchan Pagare as Ladoo’s father, Budhiya and Arif Shahdoli as the evil politician and the school’s owner Chaube also stand out. The two child actors, Dhanay Seth and Heet Sharma, who plays friends and the two ends of the spectrum in the same world, are brilliant. Especially, Dhanay Seth as the mischievous but ambitious kid Guthlee stands out. Special mention ought to be made of Subrat Dutta who is excellent in the role of Mangroo, the father of Ladoo.