Ganpat Bhonsle (Manoj Bajpayee) is constable with the Mumbai Police and has been asked to retire against his will. Bhonsle is a humble man living in a chawl and soon, mundane activities, petty arguments become a part of his post-retirement life. Bhonsle finds solace in the company of a brother-sister duo, Sita and Lalu (Ipshita Chakraborty Singh and Virat Vaibhav), who have recently moved in from Bihar. And then one day, a fainting spell lands Bhonsle in hospital where he finds out he has brain tumour. As if that was not enough, another tragedy strikes and Sita's life is turned upside-down. Bhonsle then sets out to seek justice for Sita, which puts him in Vilas's (Santosh Juvekar) path. And, the fun begins!
Manoj Bajpayee plays a man of few words, but his eyes and body language do all the talking. The versatile actor quite successfully transforms into the Maharashtrian havaldar with ease. Santosh deserves a mention too. He has comprehended the psychological nuances of a frustrated taxi driver, who goes out on a limb to earn that political ticket and is yet far from that. He has delivered his part with absolute conviction. While the cast is already armed with their craft, director and writer Devashish Makhija has fittingly channelled their creative juices to give the plot a the desired edge.
Devashish has also intelligibly used Lord Ganesha as a primary metaphor. The idol of the lord signifies the advent of a new era as Bhonsle retires. The visarjan marks the victory of good over evil as Bhonsle relentlessly fights Vilas, bringing justice to Sita. The crow is fittingly used to describe the cycle of life and death. The bird’s caw-cawing hint at Bhonsle’s deteriorating health. The movie also touches on the commercialisation of Ganesh Chathurti. Idol of the beloved Lord Ganesha which is artfully created with love and care, is religiously worshipped for the duration of the festival, is sent off accompanying the vices of virile patriarchy.
There's another metaphor at play: Throughout the series, the open manholes point at the growing stench in people’s minds.
Seven different types of cameras were used to shoot the film. However, the last action scene was a bit of a blur. In a brief interaction, the director reveals the reason: Since the scene was shot in a road-side loo, owing to space constraints, it was taken on an iPhone. The sets have been designed keeping every detail in mind. Everything that is said and done in the film imply seething issues have been dutifully high-lighted. Overall a must-watch!
Name of the film: Bhonsle
Cast: Manoj Bajpayee, Santosh Juvekar, Ipshita Chakraborty Singh and Virat Vaibhav
Director: Devashish Makhija
Platform: Sony Liv (Original)