Miscarriage of a nice idea
It’s an art to pick up a nice, heart-warming story from routine news headlines. But it takes a herculean task to convert that germ of a story into a delightful two hour movie. Director Vipul Mehta’s comedy-drama film ‘Carry On Kesar’ completely falls flat in this idea to execution conversion process. In spite of having immensely talented actors as Darshan Jariwala, Supriya Pathak Kapur and very glamorous Avni Modi, over the top melodrama and very lazy writing with sexist-racist, below the belt dialogues, this movie remains a forgetful experience.
Kid Kid Hota Hai
Shyamji Patel (Darshan Jariwala) and his wife Kesar (Supriya Pathak Kapur) live in the small town called Jam Khambhalia of Saurashtra. They live in a big haveli (which is in fact the Riverside Palace of Gondal and once rented to Salman Khan’s sisters in ‘Prem Ratan Dhan Payo’). They have big gaadi (car), waadi (field) and oil mills, but they aren’t happy. All they need is an offspring of their own. But how is it possible as Shyamji is 55 and Kesar is 50?
Enter Anahita aka Annie (Avni Modi), a fashion designer from Paris. She comes to know about Kesar, who is a two times national award winner Patola designer. But is now prisoner of her loneliness. By earliest flight Annie comes to Jam Khambhalia to learn the art from Kesar. Instead, she persuades the aged couple to try for a baby through IVF technic. Luckily there’s a gynaecologist Dr Prateek Joshi (Rittesh Mobh) from London has started an IVF clinic in the town. After initial denial the couple agrees. But will they have ultimate fulfilment of having a baby? One more thing, Annie too has one secret to reveal.
Is everything fair in drama?
To gain parenthood in fifties is a very nice story idea to start with. The very thought is a mixture of many emotions. The pain of a childless couple, to counter societal pressures to be parents at the age of being grand-parents, those tiny moments during pregnancy, weird demands of a pregnant woman, to get a first glimpse of own child, to hear their heartbeats for the first time etc. Such emotions, if executed well, easily connect with the audience. Seasoned actors Darshan Jariwala and Supriya Pathak Kapur have masterfully struck a chord. Throughout the movie, they remain in their respective characters. They are beautifully glued together as a husband and a wife. We can see pain of a mother she couldn’t be, behind a strict shethani in Supriya. There’s love and fear of loneliness behind her hard nut behaviour with her husband (interstingly, this behaviour of her reminds us of Supriya Pathak’s mother Dina Pathak’s role in Hrishikesh Mukherjee’s ‘Kubsoorat)’. On the other hand, Kesar’s husband Shyamji feels the pain of her wife. He tries everything from being goofy to amicable to keep her happy. The couple looks inseparable, fully merged in each other. There’s a scene where Darshan Jariwala looks into a mirror realising his old age, grey hair, wrinkled skin and fighting with tears. It shows his mastery as an actor. Without saying a word he conveys pain, anger and frustration in just a few seconds. Alas, this is the only glimpse of subtlety in the whole movie. This delightful couple, fine actor duo, cannot hide gigantic shortcomings of the movie.
I have been repeatedly saying that films demand much more subtlety than stage plays. Characters should not keep on talking all the time on very high pitch volumes. Some things should be left to camera which can convey emotions more beautifully than spoken words. Talented cinematographer Pushkar Singh could have been utilized but he seems busy in capturing drone images in every five minutes.
Despite having high pitch melodrama, ‘Carry On Kesar’ keeps lighter tone running throughout the whole film. Like ‘Vicky Donor’, there’s a scene where our lead actor has to collect a semen sample. Luckily it doesn’t have any vulgarity, but creates chuckles. We are told it’s a family film. Then why writers have used below the belt, double meaning stale jokes. The mix-up between names ‘Jiglo’ (derived from Jignesh) and ‘gigolo’ is stretched to eternity. There’s a black actor in the film, who is called shamelessly as ‘kaala khatta’, ‘daamar nu dablu’ (a tin of tar) and ‘Habsi’. On one hand we are shown feelings of a childless parents, but we just don’t care about racism.
Sexist undertone in the film is also bothersome. When Annie comes to the a small town wearing shorts, piercings, hair colour and tattoos, she’s rejected by the boy for the same. She has to get ‘aadarsh Bharatiya naari’ avatar to get accepted. She has to wear a saari and cover herself from top to toe. Is the length of her skirt is measurement of her character? Remember, she does all these for the boy who is London return doctor and persuades a middle aged couple to be broad minded! Really?
Logic and detailing, too, go for a toss in the whole movie. Take these: The story is in Jam Khambhalia. So vehicles should have number plates with ‘GJ 37’. Instead we see GJ1, GJ3, GJ4, GJ7, except GJ37. Why such a big man Shyamji Patel has to land up in police station for buying a watermelon? Doesn’t anyone know him in Jam Khambhalia? Kesar is a world renowned designer, but there isn’t a trace of design anywhere near her. Why does a Londoner doctor start IVF clinic in the town which has population of just one lakh? Why does his clinic look like of a general practitioner? (We could have shown the process of IVF instead.) Why does almost no one speak in kathiawaadi dialect? How they measured blood pressure of a baby in incubator without attaching anything to her?
Dialogues of the movie are full of mushy wordplay. Over use of rhyming the words (khobo-kholo, ruksh-vruksh, frame-prem, kesar-pukesar) feels like we are in some kavi sammelan! It creates unintentional laughter at a few places.
As I said, Darshan Jariwala and Supriya Pathak Kapur are beck bones of this two hours long loud movie. Avni Modi looks cute but she overacts in almost all the scenes. Romantic angle between Annie and the doctor look completely forced. They have chemistry of water and petrol between them, i.e. zero. All other characters are just cut-pasted here, and don’t serve any purpose. Only Amish Tanna as ‘Jiglo’ makes you laugh as he has superb comic timing. Senior actor Sanat Vyas is also wasted in a cameo. Reminding of cameo, there’s ‘big’ guest appearance in the movie which can delight you. Had it taken care of, the village could also have become a character here. It is just a fake postcard here.
Music by Sachin-Jigar saves the day. The album has four songs which are voiced by big names like Alka Yagnik, Sunidhi Chauhan, Javed Ali, Osman mir and Kirti Sagathia. It’s a treat to hear them, but not picturized well and over used in the movie.
Carry On Darshanbhai-Supriyaben
It’s a welcome trend to bring actors like Darshan Jariwala and Supriya Pathak Kapur in Gujarati cinema. But until they aren’t given a strong script, only big names cannot promise a good film. ‘Carry On Kesar’ banks on these two big names, its novel subject and high pitched melodrama. The movie has some delightful scenes, but at the end it remains a two hour long ad film of an IVF clinic.
Rating: ** (Two Stars)
Copyright © Jayesh Adhyaru. Please do not copy, reproduce this article without my permission. However, you are free to share this URL or the article with due credits.