Review: LATHE JOSHI

Gharche Loka Mast Aahet,
Joshibua Kadhi Shikteel?


2.5 stars


CBFC RATING: U


Pravah Productions and Dawn Studios
Producers: Sonali Joshi, Mangesh Joshi
Writer/Director: Mangesh Joshi
Stars: Chittaranjan Giri, Ashwini Giri, Om Bhutkar,
Seva Chauhan


Story:


After working for 35 years, Joshi is laid off from the factory.
The reason, automation. His wife has a thriving catering
business and his son repairs computers and machines and
they tell him to relax. But Joshi, who excels at the Lathe
machine wants nothing but to continue working. Can he
compete with modernisation?


Review:


The Joshi family lives in a dilapidated wada (old style home),
and they seem to be delightful simply because somewhere the
audience knows someone like the characters occupying the
house, or have been in similar domestic situations, like the
Joshi family.


‘Will someone give me tea today?’ complains the granny, who
wears the dark glasses that eye surgery patients wear.


Before you can say, ‘Old people never have the patience,’ the
on screen granny (played brilliantly by Seva Chauhan, has
already ranted five times about how she’s being ignored and that
no one cares… When the daughter in law brings the tea, the
granny is upset because the grandson Dinu (nicely done by
Om Bhutkar) has teased her about acidity and her old age.
Dinu’s mother (Ashwini Giri, terrific in her role) gently rebukes
him, ‘Why do you tease her! She’s already cranky enough!’
The granny hears the word cranky and now refuses what we
now know is the third cup of tea! She drinks it, of course, but we
are waiting for Lathe Joshi who has said nothing since the
beginning of the film, to tell his family that he has lost his job.


He cannot because his wife is busy cooking and finishing the
order for the day…And you realise, that he is not about to tell
his family that he has no job, because his factory unit has been
sold and the company has opted for automation.


The film is as slow paced as can get. Very old world, like Lathe
Joshi himself. He has little to say but he observes everyone and
everything. He doesn’t belong to the world where his wife watches
cooking channels on TV, wants to keep up with the Joneses
because she’s catering to their parties and events; his mother
wants nirvana, will not chant the mantras, but just counts the beads
as the recorded machine chants continuously, she cannot see,
but will hear her favorite TV show on channel 788; the son who
repairs computer, but knows how to charge more than the cost
because he wants to make money. Joshi cannot adapt to this world.


He looks at his colleagues who have accepted their fate, and is
determined to change his. The film has been shot with love.
Written with love too. There are blatant brand endorsements too.
But this is a film that goes nowhere and the solution offered is
too easy a way out. Cinema needs to infuse hope, this doesn’t.
Watch it on a Sunday on TV.

(you should read the ghastly changes toi made and posted!)

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