Ravi Jadhav’s debut feature film Natrang, was a critical and commercial success. He followed it up with a period biopic Balgandharva which was grand, but left a lot to be desired. Last year, he kick-started the year for Marathi cinema with a fabulous film called Balak Palak (BP). And now, he kick-starts 2014 with a cinematic ode to the tender concept of first love – the kind that happens irrespective of education, family, socio-economic status which are the endless parameters that define the framework of love and relationships as we grow older.
Dagdu (Prathamesh Parab) is a rickshaw driver’s son, who has successfully flunked his SSC exams, and has been kicked out. As he delivers newspapers to make some money, Dagdu meets his Jaani Dushman – aka Lele. With qualifications and designations pasted on his door, Lele is your typical lower middle-class Marathi man who prides on his education, hatred for cinema and living life like a total robot.
Enter Dagdu’s friends who convince him that he needs some "TP in life" before giving him a short yet hilarious discourse on the varied types of love. That’s when Dagdu notices Prajakta (Ketaki Mategaonkar) in addition to being his arch nemesis’ daughter, she is also what they collectively consider MM (marriage material).
Dagdu does very 80s Bollywood love-storyish things like following her, singing in the rain and then jamaoing impression before her with filmy monologues etc. Love blooms between the two as Dagdu helps the repressed Praju (whose name he cannot even pronounce) find herself through song and dance. But what happens when the two lovebirds fly into reality? What happens when love stops being just TP and consumes you completely? If you look to TP to answer those questions, you'll have to wait. The film ends with a hook, suggesting a sequel.
Ravi Jadhav proves himself a compelling story-teller as he establishes the story, and its background with a very stylized, distinctive voice. Using a stellar background score, enthralling music and some snazzy editing wisely, Ravi Jadhav pulls you into Dagdu’s world quite cleverly. Be it Dagdu’s first face-off with Lele, where Lele bursts into a hilarious Marathified Hindi lines or Prajakta enacting Dagdu’s monologue in front of the mirror or the singers breaking into Sai Baba bhajans to the tune of popular Hindi songs in the background as Dagdu seeks divine intervention – Jadhav has a distinct style of bringing out different dimensions to his story.
And the cast co-operates wonderfully with Jadhav by giving honest, realistic touches to their characters. Prathamesh's performance is a tad to over-the-top but it ends up working for Dagdu, and Ketaki’s Prajakta is largely demure with bursts of ‘jhatak’ touches.
The music of the film is rather impressive. Chinar-Mahesh turn ‘Chhan Kiti Diste Fulpakhru’ -- an innocent poem most kids learn in school into a fun riot with a touch of rock.
Time Pass's story is essentially one line and in the second half it feels a bit stretched. But barring that and a misplaced item song, Time Pass makes for an entertaining experience. Time Pass begins as time pass, and as you laugh and guffaw with it, it turns out to be an emotional ode to first love. This one’s definitely worth a watch -- Aai-Baba anni Sai-Babachi shappat!
PS: TP has done a massive business of Rs 10 crore already!