Dashakriya (2017)

Dashakriya is the 64th National Award winning Marathi drama film directed by Sandeep Patil. The film is based on the novel of the same name by Baba Bhand, Dashakriya dives deep into the exploitation that happens while going through the last rite rituals in the name of attaining ‘Moksha’ (Salvation).

The story sets in the town of Paithan where families of deceased gathers on the banks of the Ganges, the sacred river, to do the last rite rituals performed by the priests. The film starts with three lead characters and revolves around them. Keshav Bhat (Manoj Joshi), a stiff and stubborn man, the alpha priest of the town, who is more concerned about his ‘Dakshina’ (fees) than the mourning family’s emotions. Bhanya (Aarya Adhav), a poor small kid, who makes a living by searching for coins in the ashes of the dead people. Patre Savkar (Dilip Prabhavalkar), an understanding and kind-hearted elder of the town, who becomes the voice of the people against the exploitation and commercialization done by unreasonable priests like Keshav Bhat of the sacred ritual called ‘Dashkriya’.

Dashkriya presents the unspoken truth of the society in very precise and artistic manner, and that’s where Sandeep Patil as a director is exceptional. Along with leads, there are so many other characters which justify their role well. But the real show-stealer is Manoj Joshi, who with his outstanding performance literally makes your jaw drop, and undoubtedly that’s the reason why he got the National Award. There are some flaws in the storytelling where it feels choppy and dragged unnecessarily. There are so many things which happen in parallel, even songs are good and situational but those deviates the film from the main topic.

The film does not represent any particular community in poor light but rather it cleverly depicts the dark and harsh reality of how exploited the society has become nowadays. The film delivers very strong and powerful messages but the bottom line of the film is “Nothing is sacred anymore!”. Men are corrupt, so the religion, and so the whole system.

Verdict : Definitely worth a watch for very strong and impacting message along with some really fine performances.

Rating : 3.5/5

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