‘Zenda’ sends a strong message to fanatical party workers

Rating: na
Presenter: Black Gold Films, A square Entertainments
Director: Awadhoot Gupte
Story : Awadhoot Gupte
Dialogues, Screenplay: Sachin Darekar
Cinematographer: Rahul Jadhav
Music: Awadhoot Gupte
Cast: Pushkar Shotri, Rajesh Shrungarpure, Santosh Juvekar,
Sidharth Chandekar, Sachit Patil, Chinmay Mandlekar, Tejashree Pradhan, Neha Joshi,
Shubhangi Gokhale, Ujwala Jog..
Movie Review by: Ulhas Shirke

You may be a dedicated worker of any political party having blind faith in your leader, but when your leaders take you for granted; the day is not far when your conscience will not permit you to continue with them further. With this theme, Avadhoot Gupte’s much awaited political thriller ‘Zenda’ is all set to release on 8th January 2009. Set on the backdrop of the situation that had arisen in Maharashtra, due to split in a regional party over the issue of their chief handing over the leadership to his own son. Rather than glorifying the party leadership and the internal family affairs, the film maker has tried to emphasize on the impact of such political crisis on the dedicated party workers.

Surprisingly, the film which has uncovered the selfish motives of two leaders trying to show their strength at the cost of their fanatical followers; hasn’t received much opposition prior to its release, except for a delegation belonging to one upcoming party, lodging their protest over few scenes. It is very difficult to predict the success of this well presented film, but one thing is clear that Marathi cinema has taken up a bolder and sensible theme to create that required impact on the target audience affected by blind faith in their leaders.
‘Zenda’ does not openly show the senior political leader and founder of the party in this film, but only his shivering hands holding the Rudraksha string, indicate his presence in few scenes. The entire screenplay tests the patience of three fanatical youths who are affected by the changing political scenario in the state politics with the change in stance by their leaders. On the other hand, how the fourth youth who is a shrewd consultant of an Event Management company benefits out of this political battle, has been cleverly shown through this film.

Director Avadhoot Gupte has tried to touch upon so many other relevant issues covered by the story and screenplay writer Sachin Darekar. One of them is obviously the selfish attitude of the leaders,

while playing the hand in glove game with opposition party leaders to protect each other’s interest; and the other being the modus operandi behind the postings of corrupt police officers to mobilize the funds for the party. Very clearly the film goes on to show how a Home minister of a ruling party is in touch with his opposition party leader to derive maximum benefits for him and his party. In the climax, the director has shown as to how the change in stance by their leaders at the last minute, make them lose their dedicated workers. And at the same time, it is shown as to who ultimately benefits.

‘Zenda’ is an action packed thriller based on a serious issue that ultimately affects today’s youth; but it is a more a serious tale rather than an entertaining film. It is altogether a different cinema showing the dark side of Maharashtra’s politics and how the local Maharashtrians ultimately suffer. Those who love to watch films on realistic subjects, will surely like ‘Zenda’. Besides good music, excellent photography at outdoor locations; the other plus points of the film are good editing and performances of the artistes, who look so natural. Watch Santosh Juvekar as a college drop-out and fanatic party worker. His body language and spontaneous reactions speaks a lot about the dilemma of all those who fall into his category. On the other hand, Siddharth Chandekar, who plays his close friend and his sister’s boy friend; has a different image of a well educated young man, who takes his decisions as per his conscience. He too has played his character with authority. Chinmany Mandlekar, the young party worker from Kolhapur perfectly fits into his character of an educated youth who is very ambitious of making it big in Politics, step by step.

Among others in the cast, Pushkar Shroti and Rajesh Shringarpure fit perfectly into their respective characters, well supported by Sachit Patil, Tejashree Pradhan, Neha Joshi, Shubhangi Gokhale and Ujwala Jog.

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