Film: Ventilator (Marathi)
Producer: Priyanka & Madhu Chopra
Writer/Director: Rajesh Mapuskar
Cast: Ashutosh Gowariker,Jitendra Joshi, Sulbha Arya, Sukanya Kulkarni-Mone,
Viju Khote, Boman Irani
Large families come together mostly during weddings and funerals. For Kamerkar family, the get together is always the Ganpati festival celebrated with aplomb at the ancestral home. The festival is just three days away and while everyone is rushing with preparation a phone call bursts the bubble.
An elderly uncle in the family, Gajju kaka is in coma and put on life support – the ventilator. Chaos ensues as relatives from the coastal village arrive in the city and park in the hospital lobby and some more are expected from abroad too.
It is not an unusual plot in the sense we have watched films where families resolve conflicts in crisis. Set inside a hospital where the waiting area and the corridors become reasons for volatile outbursts and reconciliation, the director travels you through tattered, fragile relationships, daring to untangle stubborn knots.
All intimate relationships are vulnerable and the film addresses anguish accumulated over years of unexpressed communication.
The best thing about the film is the splendid writing. Simple, sincere and effective, there is not a false chord in the narrative and you laugh and cry with the characters without even being aware of it.
On the downslide the big Indian family is of course exaggerated. They monopolize the hospital lobby and are never thrown out. The frenzy of the festival diligently established in the opening credits (the best one has ever seen) is sorely missed after the story shifts to the hospital.
All the performances are praiseworthy and special mention must be made by Hindi actors (Priyanka Chopra, Boman Irani) to speak in Marathi.
The elephant God in the film teaches a few valuable lessons to the Karmekar family.
The Ventilator can prove a life transforming experience for your family.
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