In its opening scene, Pitruroon feels like a Kaksparsh déjà vu. Sachin Khedekar performing last rites, and the crow refusing to come down and touch the “pinda” – the film feels slightly unoriginal. But knowing that the film is Tanuja’s return to Marathi films after a three decade hiatus, you know something interesting might be in store.
Prof Vyankatesh Kulkarni’s (Sachin Khedekar) father passes away and in performing his last rites, Venky promises to fulfill his father’s last wish. But his father’s unfinished business is a mystery – a mystery that is the backbone of Pitruroon’s plot. When he takes off on a work trip to a village, his daughter Devyani (Poorvi Bhave) discovers his lookalike who is lovingly called Sangitappa. This man doesn’t just look like Venky, he is also a namesake. Sangitappa’s mom Bhagirathi Aaji (Tanuja) opens up to Venky and sets him thinking. In his quest to figure out his father’s last wish, Vyankatesh starts asking questions and starts to realize that he and his namesake and lookalike might have a lot more in common.
Nitish Bhradwaj, who played Krishna in BR Chopra’s Mahabharat, marks his Marathi directorial debut with Pitruroon and he chooses a family drama based on a story by Sudha Murthy. The story in itself relies on mystery, but you are aware of what is about to happen. There’s a mild curiosity about how it will happen.
The plot has some glaring flaws. The timelines of the two tales that eventually merge together just don’t match. The plot is predictable, and the mystery factor just isn’t enough to keep me hooked. But what works for the film, are fabulous performances by Sachin Khedekar and Tanuja.
Even though it looks like Vyankatesh’s story, it really is Bhagirathi’s tale. Both the characters are pivotal for the story. And the two actors do complete justice to the demands of their character. Tanuja looks frail, but her performance packs fire. She brings out the stern, soft and deeply pained Bhagirathi with such finesse. Sachin Khedekar has two very different characters to play – an affluent, well-educated professor and a simple, village man. And he does justice to both the characters.
The songs prove to be a pleasant breather in a rather intense, serious plot. The song Man Moharle encompasses the short span of joy in Bhagirathi’s life. And I found myself humming the tune after I walked out of the theater.
With a rather predictable story, Pitruroon becomes mildly entertaining because of the performances of the protagonists. Watch Pitruroon for its hummable music by Kaushal Inamdaar, stellar performances by Sachin Khedekar and Tanuja.
Here’s the review in motion: