Marathi cinema is getting tech savvy and this week’s new release, Samit Kakkad's Huppa Huiyya directed by Anil Surve is one fine example. Mixing fantasy with realism, the film is not your regular 'leave your brains behind at home' entertainer, as it packs in a few good messages as well.
Hanmya (Siddharth Jadhav) is an orphan raised by the village Sarpanch (Mohan Joshi). The village faces acute water shortage because of the unfinished dam on the outskirts. Also, the local illegal hooch maker Rangarao (Yadav) is often at loggerheads with the Sarpanch.
Hanmya's daily routine includes selflessly trying to help as many people he can. But while doing all this he always ends up goofing. His one such daily errand includes collecting herbs from the surrounding jungle for the old lady (Usha Nadkarni) who stays alone on a hill top and makes medicines out of them. This lady is inclined towards the occult.
During one such trip to the jungle, Hanmya comes across a worship place which is inhabited by monkeys. Hungry, Hanmya ends up eating a pear already tasted by a monkey. Little does he know then that it has given him super powers. He gradually learns that whatever he wishes comes true. But his power has limitations, which lead him to a situation where he has to chose between the lives of his lover or his archenemy's small daughter, or a solution to the water problem.
Director Anil Surve aims to entertain and he succeeds. At one point you do feel that film is following the path of the Laxmikant Berde super hit De Danadan (1987) - what with the Bajrang Bali inspired super power and village setting. But thankfully it does not.
In the second half, Huppa... takes on a more realistic approach and doesn't waste time in frivolous adventures by our leading man. Acclaimed Marathi playwright, Hemant Edlabadkar's script deserves credit for that. The sub plot of the frustrated village clown played by Mangesh Desai is poignant.
Sure the film takes its time to establish its characters, making the first half a bit slow, but that again is a minor flaw.
Huppa Huiyya is a top notch product technically. The computer generated effects are good and cinematography by National Award-winner cameraman AK Bir captures the vast locales of Wai and its surrounding areas perfectly. Ajit Parab and Sameer Mhatre's music suits the fun mood of the film. The item number by Kashmera Shah may please the front-benchers.
This film marks the solo lead debut of funny man Siddharth Jadhav. In an author backed role, the buck toothed actor puts in his natural goofiness to good use portraying his character. Veteran Marathi actor Dr Girish Oak’s daughter Girija Oak, remembered for playing Aamir Khan's friend in Taare Zameen Par plays Siddharth's love interest. She has good screen presence and enacts her part well.
Ganesh Yadav (Shool, Company) with his overbearing persona is just perfectly cast. Usha Nadkarni is hilarious whereas Mangesh Desai succeeds in wetting your tear ducts. As Siddharth's foster parents, Mohan Joshi and Manasi Magikar (remember her playing Gotya's mom in the popular TV series Gotya?) are well suited.
One of the highlights of the film is the well-picturised song that takes you on a tour of the 11 Hanuman temples built by Samarth Ramdas Swami in the 17th century. With March 30 being Hanuman Jayanti, this mass entertainer can be a perfect film for the monkey god's devotees and cinegoers alike.
Starring: Siddharth Jadhav, Girija Oak, Mohan Joshi, Usha Nadkarni, Mangesh Desai and Ganesh Yadav
Director: Anil Surve