After his previous flick ?Harishchandrachi factory? that earned him an entry in Academy Awards, Paresh Mokashi comes back with another beautiful story. Elizabeth Ekadashi is richly picturized, portrayed with innocence with notable direction. Set in the holy city of Pandharpur, it definitely hits the vibes of the most famous pilgrimage place of Maharashtrians. For a Marathi movie, Elizabeth Ekadashi is an absolute delight.
Where Elizabeth is the name of a cycle and Ekadashi means an auspicious day in Marathi, this cinema gets its unique name. Madhughandha Kulkarni?s heartwarming story is the soul of this movie. When this narrative is clubbed together with backgrounds on the holy city of Pandharpur, magic happens. The plot unfurls when Dyanesh, the lead character (played by Shrirang Mahajan), shoulders the responsibility to help his mother repay the loan she took for buying a sewing machine. Dyanesh is an innocent, good at heart little kid who sees how much his mother is sacrificing to pay the debt of this loan. So he suggests, his mother if he can put up a small shop for selling bangles in the city. His mother strictly denies his suggestion. Elizabeth is the name of Dyanesh?s cycle gifted to him by his late father. Elizabeth is abundantly dear to the family but when the due date to pay the loan amount nears, talks to sell off Elizabeth begin. Dyanesh firmly denies selling of his Elizabeth. So, Dyanesh resolves to help his mother and save Elizabeth. He opens a bangle shop in the city despite his mother?s permission.
Dyanesh, with a couple of friends, go out on a venture to sell bangles. Hiding from his parents, young Dyanesh runs down the streets of Pandharpur to their bangle shop which has nothing but a display of bangles placed on Elizabeth itself. The innocence and purity of Dyanesh is played superbly by Shrirang Mahajan. The innocent but honest way in which Dyanesh gathers money for his mother is endearing.
The camera work is vibrant and just pleasing to watch. Especially for a Marathi audience, it?s increasingly pleasing to watch Pandharpur vibes, men dressed in white attires, chanting of prayers on the streets, the idol of Vithoba bathed in milk, just makes one feel like being on a pilgrimage. A cherry on top is the story that evokes feels of humanity, innocence, and honesty.
Though the direction falls short on a few factors, the essence of the movie lies in its story and cinematography. Nandita Dhuri, who plays Dyanesh?s mother and Pushkar Lonarkar, who plays Ganya, one of Dyanesh?s friends, do an amazing job in carrying out their roles. But Shrirang Mahajan playing the role of Dyanesh steals the show. A potential flaw in the movie is the almost predictable screenplay. One can easily guess how the story is going to unwind.
Storytelling in the filling coupled with brilliant performances absorbs you into the movie and makes you develop empathy for the characters in the movie. It is nearly impossible to not fall in love with Dyanesh?s character. Catchy and mainly well-suiting songs like ?Dagad Dagad? set the right mood for the movie.
While diverging a little from the main plot, the movie also manages to make a commentary on prostitution and about the anti-superstition bill. The inclusion of such elements gives the movie a more realistic and relatable shape.
Elizabeth Ekadashi is not a movie you want to miss. The struggle of this poor but adorable family to earn Rs. 5000 and repay the loan, is beautifully told. While the backgrounds of Pandharpur are just a delight to the eye and the overall Marathi vibe of the movie is something to be cherished. I assure you, this movie will leave you smiling for hours after the credits roll.
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