REVIEW: BABOO BAND BAJAA (2012)
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Baboo Band Baaja, Poster Banner: Jai Gajanan Productions
Producer: Neeta Jadhav
Director: Rajesh Pinjani
Story: Shantanu Ganesh Rode
Screenplay: Shantanu Ganesh Rode
Cinematographer: Raja Phadatare
Cast: Master Vivek Chabukswar, Usha Naik, Milind Shinde, Milatee Jagtap Varadkar, Chhaya Kadam, Master Amaan Attar, Sanjay Kulkarni, Vinod Raut, Mukund Wasule, Rajesh Bhosale, Rajesh More, Mahesh Ghag
'Baboo Band Bajaa' - a masterpiece

Planning Commission deputy chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia defined Rs 32 per capita per day as poverty line and was criticized by the media and experts. Indeed, Mr. Ahuwalia, hasn't seen the poverty in villages of Maharashtra. To get a better idea, he should watch Rajesh Panjani's latest released marathi film 'Baboo Band Bajaa'. It is not only the earnings to eat the daily bread, but to manage the house and offer minimum education to the children and meet their medical expenses; that counts to decide the poverty line.

Set on the backdrop of a typical village in Maharashtra, the film revolves around one such family of Jaggu( Milind Shinde) , who plays band at weddings and funerals in the village. He shares his income with other three colleagues and sometimes uses his son Baboo( Vivek Chabukswar) , in absence of any one from the group. There was a time, when Jaggu owned his band in the name of his son 'Baboo band Bajaa'. But, due to poverty and accumulation of debt, he has keep his instruments as security to the moneylender, against loan.

Mitali Jagtap, Baboo Band Baja Jaggu's son Baboo studies in 3rd standard in the village school, but he cannot even afford his school uniform. One day, his school bag is lost. Baboo gets thrashing from his father as well as school master, who sends him home. Jaggu wants Baboo to join his group, but his mother( Mitali Jagtap) does all odd jobs to earn extra, so as to offer education to her son. Baboo's grandmother( Usha Naik) too wants her grandson to receive good education. One day, after attending to the labour pains of a woman from a upper class family, she requests the head of the family for job. She finds one as a contract labourer at a cotton depot. But, there too, the manager delays her payments.

The bad luck continues with the family, as the old woman too sits at the local market to sell essential items. Jaggu and his group suffer another setback, as the local politician plans community weddings, offering incentives to the newly wed couple. He also plans to invite a Big band group and photographers from the town to get maximum publicity. This results in unemployment for Jaggu as
well as local photographer. But, the local photographer, who marries Jaggu's friend's daughter (Namrata Awate) has some photos clicked of the politician's secret deals. In return, he demands the contract for himself Jaggu’s group for the big event.

Everything seems to be going well, when another tragedy strikes the family. But, in spite of that loss, Baboo gets ready to attend his school and Jaggu gets back his instruments after repaying his loan. 'Baboo Band Bajaa' is a sensible film, which sends across a strong message on importance of education to rural children. The director has presented the subject with total sincerity, without paying much attention to unnecessary glamour or item numbers. From start to finish, he has focused his attention on the main issue; trying to explain how women in India are concerned about the education to their children.

The film has already won many awards at the film festivals, with the leading lady of the film - Mitali Jagtap Varadkar, having won the best actress national award last year. Undoubtedly, she has given an outstanding performance. The child artiste Vivek Chabukswar has displayed his extra ordinary talent, through the role of Baboo. Among the other artistes, Milind Shinde looks very natural and has given his best. But, others like Usha Naik, Namrata Awate and others have supported very well. It’s the good team work of the artistes and the technical people, which makes this film a masterpiece.

by Ulhas Shirke  © MMW