For Marathi cinema, 2014 was off to a great start. And among the handful films that one was really looking forward to was Yellow.
Produced by Riteish Deshmukh & Uttung Thakur and directed by Mahesh Limaye, Yellow is based on a true story. The girl whose life the film is based on – Gauri Gadgil, also plays herself in the film.
Gauri is a special child. Her mother (Mrinal Kulkarni) worries about what will happen to her child after her, will she be able to lead a normal life. Will Gauri find her place in the world?
And find she does. From struggling to say her name to finding her passion and excelling in it – Yellow is Gauri’s journey. And she takes you along. You feel worried for her, you cheer for her and you get ecstatic in her victories. You don’t watch Yellow as a mere spectator, you watch it as if you were Gauri’s friend.
Gauri’s life is full of beautiful relationships. Her Mama (Hrishikesh Joshi) and his positivity, or her coach (Upendra Limaye) and his initial awkwardness and then complete surrender to his most challenging pupil. But the one relationship that is supposed to hold the film together – the one Gauri & her Mom share – doesn’t really work for me. Probably because the diary that Gauri’s mom writes in her daughter’s voice is narrated by a neither the Mom nor Gauri and perhaps it’s this diary that brings out that relationship.
Mahesh Limaye’s solid cinematography background makes sure that the film looks beautiful. To choose a story like Yellow for one’s directorial debut takes conviction and confidence, and kudos to Mahesh for making this film without the trappings of excessive melodrama or sympathy-searching.
Though Yellow starts out a bit slow, it picks up pace towards the beginning and becomes absolutely enthralling in the second half. But even the slow pace in the beginning is balanced out with wonderful performances by Hrishikesh Joshi, Mrunal Kulkarni and Gauri Gadgil. Upendra Limaye’s performance is absolutely delightful, especially in the scene where he gets out of his own comfort zone to teach Gauri the butterfly stroke.
It is important that you go watch this film if you want to see more different, rich stories like this. If you watch them in the theater, it becomes commercially viable for these stories to be produced.
That said, one must acknowledge Riteish Deshmukh & Uttung Thakur for being gutsy producers who have broken out of the standard comedy-love-action formula to present films that entertain and give us something to think about. First Balak Palak and now Yellow.
Take a bow team Yellow, you’ve reached straight to our hearts. Gauri Gadgil is my hero. And I am not going to rate this film. Because some films are beyond stars and all that.