Producers: Harshal Kamat, Swati Sharma, Mihir Sharma
Director: Amol Vasant Gole
Cast: Akanksha Pingale, Divyesh Indulkar, Smita Tambe, Sanjay Kulkarni and Nitin Bhajan.
Streaming on: Planet Marathi OTT
By Jyothi Venkatesh
Set in rural India, Sumi is an extremely endearing tale of the struggle, ambition, commitment and friendship of a poor 12-year-old girl, Sumati, played by Akansha Pingale. The film, which is the inspiring story of the daughter of a stone quarry worker and her pursuit for higher education, sets out to follow an inspiring as well as optimistic journey of a young girl in a remote, rural area spurred by her quest for education.
To meet her modest need, little Sumi embarks on an extraordinary journey marked by struggle, ambition, commitment, and friendship. At the National Awards recently, the film won in two categories including Best Children’s Film and Best Child Artist.
It’s the story of turning dreams into reality. It is the story of a girl who wants to progress, but she knows that it will only be possible when she chases her dreams and works hard to achieve it. What I like the best about this small but meaningful film is the fact it touches on various important topics like the girl child education, women empowerment, education in rural areas as well as infrastructural development, without ending up as a dry and boring as well as preachy monologue.
Also read: Kabir Khan auditioned 2000 girls for Munni’s role in Bajrangi Bhaijaan before casting Harshali Malhotra
What is indeed commendable is that each and every character in the film is able to leave the audience with a strong message, especially the characters of both the kids who have performed so real by understanding the nerves and emotions. Sanjeev K Jha and Prasad Namjoshi’s screenplay as well as dialogues enhance the impact of the film.
As far as the performances go, I can vouchsafe that each and every actor in the film excels himself or herself especially Akansha Pingale, who essays the complex character of Sumati who pines for education and eagerly awaits her father gifting her with a cycle so she can peddle all the way tom her school, which is far away from her house. Smita Tambe also is natural and excellent as the doting mother of Suma who is also stern when it comes to instilling discipline as far as her children are concerned.
At just an hour and a half, the heart-warming as well as endearing film acts like a soothing balm and sets out to showcase the power of cinematic brilliance and extremely honest and sincere story telling