After watching Kaasav, you will get an idea why this film has won the Golden Lotus Best Film at 64th National Awards. The film has integrated many facets of life through animals (here the turtle), nature and human beings all from the point of view of self protection. Kaasav is the simplistic story told through cinematic excellence, through each and every frame of brilliance. The film has many hidden meanings, which will need many viewings. The director duo of Sumitra Bhave and Sunil Sukthankar has thrown light on the main topic of depression as mental disorder from many perspectives and given many solutions, accept whichever suits you.
The story is about 2 main characters. Manav (Alok Rajwade) is depressed, who has lost the purpose of his life and attempts suicide. He runs away from the hostpital and is found in ill condition at a road-side eatery by Janaki (Irawati Haarshe), who is travelling to Konkan with his man help Yadu (Kishor Kadam). She decides to treat him and takes him with them to Devgad. She has shifted her base from US after filing divorce with her husband and had a histroy of panic attacks. She is under treatment. Her actions to help Manav are explained as the story moves forward.
Janaki is in Konkan to study the conservation program of Olive Ridley turtles with the help of local activist Dattabhau (Dr. Mohan Agashe). The proceedings explain how Turtle goes in the shell to protect itself from external harm, same way human goes to its mental shell when in depression. Manav initially does not talk much and do not respond to queries from Janaki and Yadu. Slowly with Janaki's help and medicines, he starts to regain his mental strength. He befriends with a boy Parshu (Omkar Ghadi) at a ST stand tea-stall. Everyone shows him the way to get out of his problems with small but meaningful actions. It's the journey of self-realisation never to be missed.
Depression is a serious mental illness spreading through the whole world. The problem with it is that, many times it is not detected at all, until it gets the life of a person. The film subtly shows how one gets into depression and how help and care is needed to get him out of it. The film has philosophical, medical as well as logical explainations which a layman can also understand through its simplistic scenes and dialouges of characters. Yadu thinks that a working mind keeps you engaged, whereas Parashu's innocence shows the way for keeping oneself sorted. Babalya's Ashwathama play or Dattabhau's experience with life, all point of views help solve the riddle of life. All small things and visuals has some meaning to the whole narrative. The film turns out to be a master-piece due to these minute details about life.
This is 3rd film of Sumitra and Sunil together, all being related to a mental disorder. Kaasav by far is the most crafted and simplistic. Every scene, every dialouge, every song has a meaning. The connection between nature and human is well chalked out through the turtle's actions. All in all the film belongs to the directors.
Irawati Harshe and Alok Rajwade give complete justice to the main characters they portray. The first half of the film Alok do not have any dialogues, but he speaks through his silent acting and expressions. Irawati shows why she is best with such intense roles. Kishor Kadam, Santosh Redkar and Dr. Mohan Agashe acted their part very well. The scenes involving Parshu played by Omkar Ghadi are the bestest as he bring his innocence through his acting. Songs has meanings and the whole background score, sound design and cinematography adds value to the theme and story-telling.
Verdict: The film has very limited release and it will be hard for the true film lover to watch the film near your location. But if you are a true die-hard fan of meaningful cinema, then take that effort to watch this film wherever possible.
Rating: 5 Stars /5
Movie: Kaasav | कासव
Director: Sumitra Bhave and Sunil Sukthankar
Producers: Dr. Mohan Agashe, Sumitra Bhave and Sunil Sukthankar
Studio: Vichitra Nirmitee
Irawati Harshe as Janaki
Alok Rajwade as Manav
Kishor Kadam as Yadu
Dr. Mohan Agashe as Dattabhau
Devika Daftardar as Subela
Santosh Redkar as Babalya
Omkar Ghadi as Parashu
Story, Screenplay, Dialogues: Sumitra Bhave
Music: Sanket Kanetkar
Lyrics: Sunil Sukthankar
Release Date: 6th October 2017
Duration: 105 mins