- Review: Dhappa (2019)
- Cast: Akash Kamble, Sharavi Kulkarni, Akshay Yadav, Sharv Vadhavekar, Shrihari Abhyankar, Dipali Borkar, Abhijit Shinde, Neel Deshpande, Vrushali Kulkarni, Iravati Harshe, Sunil Barve, Girish Kulkarni, Shrikant Yadav, Umesh Jagtap, Jyoti Subhash & Chandrakant Kale.
- Director: Nipun Dharmadhikari
- Writer: Girish Kulkarni
Quick Viewpoint: On Paper ‘Dhappa’ might sound like a bland message driven film. While in reality too the film has a very vital message to give, but beyond that it has built it’s own little world so beautifully & playfully that we are throughout hooked with it’s sweetness that lasts longer even after the film is over. What Works?
- Nipun Dharmadhikari the director of the film, whose first released film was ‘Baapjanma‘ actually made his debut as a film director with ‘Dhappa’. He has been directing plays for many years & that experience must have certainly shaped even the film director in him. The reason for pointing out all of this is the fact that the whole ensemble of children in this film are so masterfully directed! None of the kids ever appear fake on camera even for a moment! Even the adult renown actors in the film are functioning at a different wavelength here than their usual performances, a wavelength which matches the tone of the film which doesn’t believe in any extremities!
- As said earlier the film succeeds mainly because of it’s world, which is so directly connected to the real world & yet it is distant from it. In a way it thinks a bit wishfully while dealing with real world conflicts! This approach is what sets this film apart from films that could be similar in structure.
- In ‘Baapjanma’ there was a major sequence of an dying old man capturing moments from his son & daughter living in his house through secretly fitted hidden cameras. Here you see someone documenting the little moments that happen when children & their teacher set up a play & perform in front of their colony. The point is that Nipun’s fascination with capturing life in an unassumingly unpolished yet intimate way is evident! There’s something so positively unartistic about it in a non-pretentious way that makes us call it ‘simplistic’!
- Girish Kulkarni’s writing is also totally different from other films produced under the banner of ‘Arbhaat’. Many a times Girish Kulkarni & Umesh Kulkarni’s films can be slightly inaccessible to the general audiences. ‘Dhappa‘ isn’t that film! It would appeal to varied audiences in an equally effective way!
- Finally last but not the least the message! The message doesn’t separate itself like the ‘moral’ of the story is easily separated from a children’s story. The film can’t happen without the message being underlined & that defines how it is essentially the film itself! But what exactly is it? I would recommend you watch the film for it! But yes I could say the message is extremely timely when thought about our current social & political situation.
- Nothing really fails in ‘Dhappa’ but either consciously or unconsciously the structure of the film is similar to ‘Chillar Party’. But then one can say even Chillar Party’s structure wasn’t completely original.
Final Verdict: ‘Dhappa‘ won a national award for the best film on ‘National Integration’ a value that has been slightly on the backseat in our society & in our mainstream films! For rediscovering that alone, ‘Dhappa’ is a must watch! Rating: 4/5