Ashok Saraf's Anolkhi Hey Ghar Majhe is a film Marathi audiences would look forward to, knowing that the actor-producer's films generally have a good quality to them. Moreover, decent films such as Rita and Samaantar in the past two weeks have served as appetisers for the discerning viewer. So, let's see what Anolkhi Hey Ghar Majhe has dished out to us.
Saraf plays Jagannath Deshmukh, patriarch of the middle-class Deshmukh family. The first half of the film goes in establishing the various characters – Jagannath's wife Malti (Meghna Vaidya), their three sons, and daughter-in-law. Tushar Dalvi is Shekhar, the eldest son, and Kavita Laad Medhekar plays his wife Shubhada. Jagannath also has a daughter who has run away and got married to a man from another caste. The family is not in talking terms with her.
Shekhar is the highest earner and takes care of most of the expenses of the house. As the expenditure increases day by day, he gets more and more irritated. To top it all is the wedding of his younger brother (played by Pushkar Shrotri), who earns less than half of the income of Shekhar.
Shekhar nearly loses it when Jagannath takes voluntary retirement at the age of 50. And just when he's feeling more pressure building up on him, his sister comes home, bag and baggage, after a fight with her husband. Shekhar gets nervous with another addition to the family.
Further, his Shubhada becomes pregnant. That really makes him think about separating from the family. So when Shubhada is away for delivery, a big fight happens between father and son. The house is now divided with a red line that runs across, and neither member can cross it. Jagannath promises to return all he owes to Shekhar, and throw him out of the house in the end.
Woah! Sounds like an Ekta Kapoor show, doesn't it? Well, apparently the film is a remake of Hindi film Sansar, just the kind of films that Ekta must be referring to while scripting her shows.
Anyways, so this partition makes Jagannath take up two odd jobs. All the men in the house now want to contribute to the fund to repay Shekhar.
The third son, Siddharth (Sushant Shellar), is a good for nothing engineering student who takes to drugs due to parental pressure. Siddharth too wants to earn now, but is firmly told to clear his exams. He continues his addiction.
Shubhada returns home with her baby, only to see the family divided in to two and no love coming her li'l son's way. It is she who brings all together in the end, making Shekhar realise how sharing expenses is cheaper, and that maintaining relationships is more important than anything else. She also manages to bring some sense to Siddharth's head. Watch the film to know how she does it.
Ashok Saraf shines in this melodramatic but average film. Tushar Dalvi and Kavita Laad are perfect for their roles, acclaimed actors that they are. Pushkar Shrotri and Sushant Shellar both get to show off their acting skills, and both excel in them when the right moment arrives. The music of the film is above average.
As far as the production values go, one can't expect much in a medium-budget Marathi film. Regional cinema in India has come a long way, but it's often that one has to ignore the packaging and look for a good story, decent acting and hummable music. This is because, most of the films are low budget with the exception of a Me Shivajiraje Bhosale Boltoy, or big-ticket south Indian, Bengali or Bhojpuri flicks.
Verdict: Director Sachin Deo's film could actually have been a good watch but for the length – close to three hours is too long for today's audiences for a rona-dhona flick. One needs some respite and surely their could've been more light or comic moments.