What do you do when you face a hurdle?
Just wait for the government to fix it, duh!
And what if you are in a place so remote that the Government cannot reach to you?
Well then, you know..
Dasharath Manjhi of Gehlaur village, in the district Gaya of Bihar was also faced with the same disposition. Except, his hurdle was a huge block of rock mountain, one that surrounds his village so nicely that it took an average commutator days to enter his village if he chose to avoid the hill path. And, as you can very well guess after my introduction, he chose to do something about this problem himself.
Aah! Guess again! You are wrong. Okay, fine. I’m telling you what he chose to do about it. He chose to break the hill. Himself.
The film starts with a monologue between Dasharath and the hill where he challenges it saying, “So you think you are too big? I’m not sopping till I reduce you to rubbles.” Well, that takes enormous determination and if I may add, some real light headedness. But if everyone on the face of this planet were sane, who would change it for the better?
Dasharath Manjhi, or the Mountain Man, played by Nawazzuddin Siddiqui had been laughed at, scorned, humiliated for being from a lower caste, stoned for a mad man, cheated for being illiterate and the list doesn’t stop there. He was a courageous man, determined and self-willed. And who could have been better for the role than Mr. Siddiqui himself? Nawazuddin was actually a little above his normal self in acting (given that his normal self is so flawless that there is only a little scope for improvement) and his dialogue delivery was particularly commendable here.
As for Radhika Apte, playing Falguniya, Dasharath’s wife and the love of life, she has grown as an actor. I mean I was shocked to see her fit the role so well and act so sublime. I mean, it’s difficult for someone to believe that she could act, having seen her in several meaningless roles in movies like Badlapur where her only job was to strip.
This film beautifully captures and does its best to present to the audience the adversity of those times and the atrocities that used to take place when the poor were ruled by the rich, even in independent India. The poverty in the villages (killing rats and having them was apparently a delicacy) and the ridiculous judgements that were not so ridiculous for the convicts (a man had nails hammered in his feet because he failed to pay his debt).
Photography deserves a commendation in this movie. The beautiful capturing of scenes by Rajeeb Jain points out once again why I place him among the best cinematographers in the country. The songs are neither too catchy nor do they have any prospect of catching on. But they have been suitably coalesced with the story. However, I would say that there was one too many songs than required for a story of this magnitude to get popular with the masses. No harm done, though.
Manjhi, the Mountain Man is the kind of Cinema that suits being called a piece of art. This is the kind of movie that comes to B-town in a long while. It’s a story of a legend played out by another. This is a must watch for everyone, and it is my personal request that you go to a movie theatre and watch the movie with some popcorn. Don’t disrespect Manjhi with the blessing of Torrent.