Movie review: Riwayat
Last week Jalpari took on the subject of female foeticide. This week there is yet another Riwayat that takes on the same subject. It has been on the festival circuit for the last two years and finally gets a theatrical release
Dir: Vijay Patkar
Cast: Samapika Debnath, Khalid Siddiqui, Salil Ankola, Achint Kaur
The film has been produced by a doctor, Sanjay Patole keen to send a message to stop the killings of the girl child. The doctor’s intentions may be honourable but the director tries hard to make it appear as a Bollywood song and dance potboiler.
As a result, instead of skillfully weaving the issue in the storyline, the attention is diverted to the overt melodrama. Based on a story by Patole, it hardly alarms you with the ways in which millions of female babies face death due to traditions and stigma. The film revolves around Samapika, who essays the character of a concerned NGO worker Anita. She takes on the onus of highlighting the issue through the NGO. Honeymoon can wait as the very next day after her marriage, she sets off to a village Gangapur where the skewed male female ratio is a cause of alarm.
Just when she thinks she can extend a helping hand to the women of the village who are abused by their husbands or whose baby girls are throttled to death, she herself needs a helping hand on her family front. Her in-laws can’t fathom what her trip in life is. So does the village doctor who feels his service can flourish without her hovering presence.
There’s also a village belle Radha (Gauri Kulkarni) who Anita is concerned about. Radha’s manicured nails are an eyesore to her rustic character! If only the good doctor had made a docu drama featuring him and his case studies, it would have perhaps had more appeal than this lacklustre B-Town outing.