A good 59 years ago, the Samyukt Maharashtra movement gave rise to the states of Gujarat and Maharashtra on May 1. After a rather bloody revolution, the states witnessed a schism on the grounds of language. But indeed, how many of us really know of a bloody revolution that almost got shoved under the carpet? Hutatma is adapted from Meena Deshpande’s novel, and is directed by award winning filmmaker, Jayprad Desai. The series features an ensemble cast starring Anjali Patil, Vaibhav Tatwawaadi, Abhay Mahajan, Sachin Khedekar, Ashwini Kalsekar, Lokesh Gupte, Mohan Agashe, Ravindra Mankani, Chhaya Kadam, Vikram Gokhale, Anand Ingle, Manoj Kolhatkar and Arif Zakaria. A series of this sort is showcased for the very first time on a digital platform.

According to Manish Aggarwal, Business Head, ZEE5 India, “Hutatma is the only show on the Samyukta Maharashtra Movement, which was a widespread movement for the demand of a Marathi speaking state in independent India.” The story is an important one, and it gives the youth an insight into unexplored and seldom spoken of historic events that left an indelible imprint in shaping the fate of a sovereign India.

Web series review: Hutatma is a good attempt at revisiting an unknown revolution

The plot
The series is devised around an interesting narrative of a happy Maharashtrian family residing in the financial capital of Mumbai, who gets caught in a revolution that takes place in the iconic Fort area. The patriarch is a simple mill worker, who tries to get home bypassing the curfew that suddenly breaks in the vicinity on that day.

To calm the frenzied crowds, the policemen randomly gun down a few individuals in an attempt to cease the mob action. However, the attempt backfires, as the mobs grows fiercer. Vidyuth (played by Anjali Patil)’s father, who was on his way home that day, has been shot point blank. An aggrieved Vidhyuth then takes it in her stride to avenge his death.

The plot has been interestingly premised around both real and fictitious events. In a conversation with Anjali Patil, we learn, “Vidyuth is one of the most complex characters that I have played. From being a happy girl to the one who is drowned in sorrow, to the one who is emerging as a bold person from her shell; a lot of complexes come to define her. I am honoured to play the lead for ‘Hutatma’. It is interesting how I had gotten so into the character that now I am trying to find my way back to being the original Anjali!” She further adds, “During the course of the shoot, my life circumvented around the character so deeply, that I could literally feel the character evolve within me. It is now taking me time to get out of this character, so that I can start on a clean slate and take to a different role.”

End note
India has gained a relatively good footfall for historic and mythological films. Films and series like ‘Manikarnika’, ‘Shani’ and ‘Ganesha’ have done wonderfully well in the recent past. However, if the research and fact-finding is done right, and if one also has the ability to explore untapped avenues, it gives producers the impetus to come up with better historically-premised stories to take across global shores, showcasing Indian history to world citizens.