anandi-joshi

What a movie! Lets begin with that.

I was waiting to watch this movie for a long time now. Truth be told, their promotions on Zee Marathi and their intreguing trailer made me want to watch this movie on Friday, 15th of Feb itself.

But here I am, half an hour after watching the movie. Freshly out of the theatre, writing and publishing my review on the recently released Marathi film – आनंदी गोपाळ.

Before I begin with the movie review, I’ve to tell you’ll that this is my 1st ever experience watching a मराठी चित्रपट in cinema near me. Yes, its quite strange and amazing at the same time. I never thought, my first “Marathi movie” in cinema would be about something I dearly connect and support – women and child empowerment + upliftment.

Movie Expectation

I walked into the theatre expecting to watch a strong, impactful and meaningful story that would leave me with something special/powerful at core, at the end of 2hrs 14mins. High expectations you think? Yes. Because that’s how impactful the true story or reality of Anandibai Gopal is even now (I will be talking about it later in the post).

The standards were already set high. And I’m sure the filmmakers of this movie were aware of what they had bargained for.

Not to mention, the songs from the movie were already on everyone’s lips. That too had added to the anticipation of the film.

My Mom and me, we reached Sterling Cinema, Fort around 5:30pm to buy our tickets off the counter thinking we’ll definitely get two tickets at the row of our choice. And funny enough, when we reached the theatre… although I was the only one at the ticket counter buying tickets at Rs.160 each, I was told that “Ma’am only three seats are left. 1 at the back and two in the front row. Which one do you want?” Lol! What? I could not believe it. I just could not. Lol.

I am coming to watch a movie, that too a “Marathi” movie in “South Mumbai” on a “Sunday” in the “evening” at 6.06pm at Sterling Cinema after 5 years and I don’t get a seat next to my mother, let alone getting seat of our choice. Lol. I was absolutely surprised and in a good way might I add.

The theatre was fully booked. I just got lucky. Had we been few mins late, we wouldn’t have got to watch the movie. Mind you, we were there half an hour in advance and this was the state.

I was mainly surprised to see such massive turn out for a Marathi film in South Mumbai because this has never happened before. At least, in front of my eyes or through people I know. This itself made my expectations rise further more because people were spending their hard earned money and time to watch this movie with their respective families. Surely something attracted them and I couldn’t wait to discover it myself.

Anandi Gopal – Movie Review

This movie is mainly about two things for me –
1) Anandi’s commitment to herself and becoming self-reliant
2) The importance of having the right partner or making your way through in life with someone who supports your dreams and endeavours in life as if they are his own like that of Anandi and Gopal

The story is adapted or one can say it is based on Dr. Anandibai Gopalrao Joshee’s life – India’s 1st female doctor (M.D.) at the nascent age of late 20’s became a female icon from the year 1885 onwards.

During that time, India was under British Raj and things were different. Orthodox norms continued and the life of any female was limited to getting married, having children and looking after her family. Thats all. No easy life. No need for education. Things like becoming untouchable during periods. No access to good medical aid. Dowry. Child marriage. Inequality. Gender superiority – Men are superior to women. All the things we’ve heard of in the past and even continue to do so in the exterior parts of India as on today all parts of India, be it in cities or villages.

Did you know: In order to curb the same, the Indian government under PM Narendra Modi’s guidance has launched बेटी बचाओ बेटी पढ़ाओ scheme in 2015 for saving girl child and promoting women empowerment in general. We are still battling these orthodox traditions and this current movement is a testament to that. Hence, Anandi Gopal, is a fitting movie in todays time.

This story is about a strong headed man who married a young girl (child-marriage), moulded her into being an educated woman in her own right. Which then further led to her becoming a doctor in 1800’s (which was unheard of) and paving way for generations to come to break norms and become whoever they want to. Regardless of their gender. Only for the benefit of the people. Of the country. Of mankind.

Whats mind blowing is that Anandi aka Jamu (Jamuna) aka “Boss Woman” in todays terms, did something so brave… brave enough not only to dream with open eyes but also stand up against all odds – crazy/oppressing husband, orthodox family, dramatic mother-in-law, horrible society, no-aid no-help from anyone etc. etc. during those days. I mean, women were so ill treated. Forget about them having any rights whatsoever. It is truly commendable. Her courage. Her valour.

But Gopal (his character) in many ways was loud with the tough-love and give-a-damn attitude. But his support for his wife, his respect for women and that inclination to uplift women beginning from his own house made me feel that shouldn’t all men be like this? May be not his copy, but these traits. So important, so basic, yet missing in so many.

In short, it is a love story hidden behind the legacy or should I say struggles of a great woman who left India with her indefinite mark for decades to come. The movie is charming, it hits all the right cords. The cinematography is beautiful and so are the authentic locations changing from city to city. The Marathi language used in the film is pure and I would even go to the extent of saying that it is a mix of old-school and new-school Marathi. But lovely in total.

The narration itself is smooth flowing and there is no disconnect in the movie at any given point. Engaging and impactful acting by all the artists and their respective characters. Attention was paid to every minute detail. One can tell, from the whole cinematic experience that it is an unforgettable story for many. Stunning.

Movie Credit

I most definitely have to give credit to the makers of this movie, Director Sameer Vidwans, Writer Karan Shrikant Sharma and team to bring such a significant story to life. A very well narrated and captured film – from start to finish. The music is melodious and enchanting.
Bhagyashree Milind as Anandibai and Lalit Prabhakar as Gopalrao Joshee have done a marvellous job. Truly. Every emotion, every turn well executed. All the child artists have done such good work! Including the supporting cast as well. It’s amazing. The casting is spot on.

What more can I say? I think I’ve gushed enough. Kudos to the entire cast and crew of Anandi Gopal for creating this master piece.

Movie Rating

4.5 / 5 – Simply because I feel the movie could have been made a bit long or better utilisation of time could have been done, as the second half of the move went super fast. Many jumps back to back. The momentum was getting lost somewhere. Perhaps, the last slideshow could have been cut to a list.
But, having said that as it is based on a true story. It does get difficult to combine the entire story in such little time. However, I still feel… given the vision of the filmmakers that they could have done better with the timeline of the film.

This movie has mass appeal for people across all languages. It is indeed a great value for your money. Go to the theatre’s near you and enjoy some great cinema!

I can not go without sharing with you’ll details about Jamuna aka Anandibai –

anandi-gopal-joshis-153rd-birthday-google

Google in honour of Anandi Gopal Joshi created a doodle commemorating her legacy on her 153rd birthday by artist – Karishma Sarode in 2018. They’ve given you a snap-short about her life and this article celebrates her.

Please go ahead, read this article, google, do your own research and support women who take the plunge to make this society a better place to live in. #GirlLove #SheLove #WomenEmpowerment

[su_note]Remember: You don’t need to be a feminist or a third person to cause “women empowerment”. It all begins from within you. When you start overcoming your own battles you are empowering yourself. Women are more than capable of empowering themselves. Just don’t come in their way and only support them. That’s all we need. [/su_note]

P.S. I’m not a film critique and nor do I claim to be one. I am sharing my review as a viewer/lover of cinema, who spends her own money to buy the movie tickets and shares her independent verdict devoid of any external inputs.

*Images used for representative purpose, contact for credits.*