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Gour Hari Dastaan Review

Review by IndiaGlitz [ Friday, August 14, 2015 • Hindi ]
Gour Hari Dastaan Review
Siddhivinayak Cinevision
Vinay Pathak, Konkona Sen Sharma, Tannishtha Chatterjee, Ranvir Shorey, Divya Dutta, Rahul Vohra, Upendra Limaye, Parikshat Sahni, Murli Sharma, Asrani, Jackie Shroff
Ananth Narayan Mahadevan
Sachin Khanolkar, Bindiya Khanolkar

What is it all about?

A piously told meaningful, heartfelt, and probing tale of ‘Freedom’ we enjoy, complain and the ‘Freedom’ for what those brave hearts fought for us..

Siddhivinayak Cinevision’s ‘Gour Hari Dastaan: The Freedom File’ helmed by Mee Sindhutai Sapkal (2010) fame Ananth Narayan Mahadevan (National Award best screenplay (adapted) is a hauntingly memorable cinema that wants us to understand how far we've come as an independent free nation, how far still we have to go and was it worth..

Certain to be acknowledged and applauded by the thinking and specialized audience that are willing to take time out for quality cinema. Gour Hari Dastaan is straightforward and strong demanding a ‘dekho’ (watch) by every true Indian.

The Story

Gour Hari Das (Vinay Pathak) a simple, caring freedom fighter and a gandhian works in Khadi Kraft and is living a happy and peaceful life with his wife Lakshmi (Konkona Sen Sharma) and a teenage son. Its 1976. One day during his son’s college admissions, the dream, peace and identity of Gour Hari Das as a freedom fighter gets threatened.. Das has only a certificate from the jailor in Balasore (Orrisa) to prove his involvement in India’s Freedom struggle. As per rules a freedom fighter must possess either a Tampatra issued by the Prime Minister or Sanmanpatra from the Chief Minister to prove his credentials as a freedom fighter.

Unable to secure admission to his son’s desire college due to lack of documents to prove his identity as a freedom fighter, Das embarks on a 32 year old long journey that involves thousands of letters, visits to government offices that exposes the rigid red tapisims, ignorance, intolerance and increasing level of corruption within the system that painfully probes the ‘quality’ of our ‘Freedom’ and its ‘worth’.

A righteous journalist from leading daily Rajiv Singhal (Ranvir Shorey) and his colleague Anita (Tannishtha Chatterjee) follow the gandhian Das remarkable, unbeatable journey of recognition.

What to look out for

Director Ananth Narayan Mahadevan masters his story telling arc from the impressive 'Red Alert' (2009) and 'Mee Sindhutai Sapkal' (2010) to crowd pleasing over the top who dunit 'The Xposé' (2014) to a resonate, striking and noteworthy social drama twined with a message and a comment.

The most remarkable aspect of this story inspired from true events is the director and the writer - Surendran’s brilliant ability to portray the anguish, aghast, pain and conflict of Das convincingly throughout.

Keeping Vinay Pathak in almost every frame without getting preachy and unnecessary patriotic. No sugar coating of patriotic emotions but a desired concern for the nation and conjuring respect for those unknown freedom fighters is achieved.

Ananth Mahadevan’s narration is easy, the helmer is confident and is in no hurry, the screenplay by former journalist C.P. Sundaran packed with punches, the symbolic approach with gem of scenes like the one involving Shukla and Pathak regarding Orissa cuts this inspiring tale above any on screen socio dramatic crusade against corruption.

The show belongs completely to Vinay Pathak who socks his pleasingly amusing ‘Bheja Fry’ giggles up his acting knees  to a gandhian, freedom fighter, a man with virtues, concern Gour Hari Das is simple but he is strong. A man who almost single handedly fought with the system and he has a sense of humour.

Vinay Pathak’s plays the character with thoroughly convincing nuances, the soft spoken casual (reminds Anupam Kher’s role in Saaransh) and concern looking approach invites the audience to be a part of the struggle. Sheer brilliance. Class act.

A good bunch of acting talents assemble here and make striking contributions. Ranvir Shorey as the righteous journalist is real and natural. Konkona Sen Sharma as Gour Hari Das's wife lends good support.

Tannishtha Chatterjee gives full justice to her role. Vikram Gokhale as the chief minister, Vinay Apte as MLA Sudhakar Olwe, Bharat Dabholkar as his security guard, Neena Kulkarni as a bureaucrat, Mohan Kapoor as doctor and Vipin Sharma as the neighbor chip in with fine support. Siddharth Jadhav, Rajit Kapur, Saurabh Shukla and Murli Sharma also lend valuable support.

Alphonse Roy’s sepia camera tone sets the mood. L.Subramaniam’s music enhances the protagonist feelings. Sreekar Prasad editing is perfect.

What not?

The feminist angle was unnecessary. Achnit Kaur and veterans like Asrani, Viju Khote are wasted.  The makers have gone a bit far in doing in house promotion of a leading daily in the film. Konkana Sharma could have being given more scope. The masala hungry souls won,t find it to their taste.

Conclusion: Call it faith or simply an accident of timing.. "Gour Hari Dastaan’ will be in theatres on the eve of India’s - world’s biggest democracy’s 69th independence from the British rule.. a brilliantly written line by Surendran in the film haunts you again and again which goes like "Kaafi mushkil kaam tha angrezon se ladna, sarkar se thoda aur mushkil’ (it was tough to fight with the British, even tougher with the government).

'Gour Hari Dastaan' is powerful, meaningful, inspiring, probing and appealing highly recommended for lovers of good cinema and a true Indian. Do not miss.

Rating: 4.00 / 5.0


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