PUSHPAK VIMAAN: the delusional divine-ride

Subodh Bhave’s story has a knack of an overarching creative concept which interests the audience which influences their emotional response. Root of the creative concept lies with mythological treat where Lord Vishnu was so impressed by the devotion and singing of Saint Tukaram that he came with a Pushpak Viman (a heavenly aircraft shaped as an eagle) to take him to heaven. Unfortunately, Pushpak Vimaan remains just a creative concept but it doesn’t deploy the creative force when it transforms on-screen.

Tatya (Mohan Joshi) who resides in a village, is a staunch devotee who sings devotional bhajans of Sant Tukaram and his Pushpak Vimaan. His grandson Vilas (Subodh Bhave) has migrated and settled in Mumbai, who aspires the urban life exclaiming, “one needs courage to buy a house in Mumbai”. Tatya’s life becomes a gamble settling in the urban yet clumsy lifestyle and one fine day he witnesses a flight what Vilas describes as, “the Pushpak Vimaan” under certain circumstances owing to personal relationship dynamics.

What comes across as an interesting story looks great on paper, perhaps, it’ll make a terrific comic book or a novel. Here, it comes across as a wannabe deliverance which is stretched too far with repetitive scenes with Tatya’s struggle and aim. Screenplay by Chetan Saudane & Vaibhav Chinchalkar flatters itself with too leisure writing and pacing running at 2 hours 15mins. While the first half works in terms of the comical nature and the establishment of the characters, the way village life is juxtaposed and adored in front of Mumbai, is something worth an existential porn. A divine bhajan set in village is cut to Tatya crumbled into the local train with chaotic bhajan being chanted in the same train – such scenes prove the calibre of a potential direction of the mythological-cum-realistic story.

On the positive front, the regional tussle or tadka makes it more lively dialogue writer Chetan Saudane makes sure the two distinct dialects meet in an urban compromised lifestyle, one of the major takeaway in consonance. Director Vaibhav Chinchalkar has been able to materialise a handful of instances and the environment, with the scenes like the one mentioned above he has far more potential. The creative concept is left far off from its centre, while taking too liberties in terms of its character writing, establishments and plot points. Like, a crucial seed is sown in the pre-climax and we’re expected to believe it right away; it comes across too filmy to believe which makes an instant disconnect.

Tatya’s character is rather delusional than what the makers deliver and expect us to believe. In a mass world, the mythological believes are honoured with due respect by the so-called educated characters. But, when Tatya becomes delusional, he walks and talks with Saint Tukaram – which the educated characters casually shoulder off. It was such a disappointing scenario to witness sensible characters making a person believe in such delusions (I know the story demands it, still). And strangely Tatya witnesses a flight after 1.5 months in Mumbai, didn’t he ever heard or witness it back in his village? Yes, we do get a reason which is quite unreasonably foolish. Though the Pushpak Vimaan stands as a metaphor for death (not a spoiler), the path towards reaching it rather shallow because we’re on the verge of cinematic sickness. Mohan Joshi has rightfully painted Tatya in a promising manner, Subodh Bhave sleepwalks while Suyash Zunjurke as Firoz has a bright future given his capable performance here.

Pushpak Vimaan is a delusional divine-ride which drifts itself without passenger seat-belt signal during turbulence. Saint Tukaram will surely witness a turbulent acrophobia, if he ever experiences the divine and enchanting climax.

Note: It co-incidentally has a similar setting song setting and the instruments used, like Vimaanam (2017), a Malayalam Film which also revolves around “flight”. Strange!

Language: Marathi
Release: 03 August, 2018
Rating: 2/5


Copyright ©2018 Ninad Kulkarni. This article may not be reproduced in its entirety without permission. A link to this URL, instead, would be appreciated.


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