Critic’s Rating : 4.5 / 5
Mee Vasantrao Movie Review : An unmissable journey of a legend
Among those who created an individual identity for themselves in the field of music, without conforming to any set rules or gharanas is the legendary Vasantrao Deshpande. But his story too isn’t complete without the struggle that he had to go through. Despite being talented, he struggled till the age of 40. And it was a lone struggle; the people around him, his friends too were part of that phase. Director Nipun Dharmadhikari has presented this tale of what went into making Vasantrao Deshpande the legend that he is today.
Many a times, when a biopic is made, the writer and director seems to have fallen in love with the person they are making the film on. In such cases, the film ends up glorifying the person, rather than looking at the person’s story and journey. There are a few exceptions to this format, and as writers, Nipun and Upendra Sidhaye have succeeded in presenting a story and characters that add authenticity to the film. Not just Vasantrao (portrayed beautifully by Rahul Deshpande, but people like PL Deshpande, Master Deenanath Mangeshkar, Ustad Khan, Begum Akhtar, as well as Vasantrao’s mother, father and wife literally come alive through the performances by every actor.
Like every common man, Vasantrao had duties and responsibilities towards his family. It took a while before he was recognised as a gifted singer and that journey was full of ups and downs. He was brought up by a single mother, spent time in Nagpur, Pune and Lahore, and had to face economic difficulties as well as questions raised on his skills. In the words of Master Deenanath, ‘The biggest discouragement that one can face is that you want to sing, but no one wants to listen to you’.
Vasantrao didn’t sing in a specific style of any gharana, but he developed a singing style of his own that brought him acclaim, gradually. But the journey that is showcased till he reaches that point is what engages the viewers. You feel numb and angered at the way the legendary vocalist was once treated. You get to see varied shades of Vasantrao in the film and Rahul Deshpande portrays the role brilliantly. Besides being a fantastic singer, Rahul is a seasoned actor and that comes across in this film. Be it the Vasantrao to family, Vasanta to friends or Deshpande to those in his field, Rahul leaves no stone unturned to do justice to the role. Aarush Nand and Gandhar Joshi, who play the younger versions of Vasantrao, are perfect too. Of course music is an integral part of this journey of Vasantrao that unfold in the screen, and composers Vaibhav Joshi, Mangesh Kangane and Mayuresh Wagh, along with singers Priyanka Barve, Himani Kapoor, Saurabh Kadgaonkar, Anjali Gaikwad, Shreya Ghoshal, Anand Bhate, Urmila Dhangar, Raul Deshpande and others have mesmerised the audience with their work.
As for the technical aspects, the writing, art direction, dialogues, cinematography and editing, all are brilliant examples that ultimately make this a complete experience that is unmissable. Be it Amey Wagh, Alok Rajwade, Kumud Mishra, Kaumudi Walokar, Durga Jasraj, Shakuntala Nagarkar, Yatin Karyekar or Sarang Sathaye, each actor has given Me Vasantrao their best. All this and more makes the film stay with you for a long time after you exit the cinema hall.