Marathi Well Done Baby Fails To Hold Attention

Well Done  Baby(Amazon Prime)

Starring  Amruta Khanvilkar, Pushkar Jog, Vandana  Gupte

Directed by  Priyanka  Tanwar

Rating: * ½ 

 Marathi cinema has made great headway in terms  of  themes performances  and execution. But  the fascination  bordering on fixation with rural themes  has  given Marathi cinema  its own self-limiting spectrum. If I  could  only  say that Well Done  Baby yanks  Marathi cinema  into an urban environment—London, no less—and emerges a  winner.

Sadly  it  doesn’t. Well Done,  Baby is  not well done at all.  Its  90-minute  excursion into a young couple’s marriage  ruined by  a monstrously  interfering mother-in-law  reminded me  of AnilGanguly’s  Kora Kagaz where  Jaya Bhaduri and  Vijay Anand’s marriage  was destroyed by  the  former’s mother Achala Sachdev’s constant  interference.

Here the mother, played by an over-acting Vandana Gupte, is an  officious  busybody  following her daughter and  son-in-law  around ,  filming them on a phone,  offering them  unsolicited advise,listening in  to their  bedroom  conversations. Quite understandably the  couple  Aditya and Meera are  on the verge  of a split. 

After 30 minutes of watching the  couple  bicker over ma-in-law’s  bullying I  though the husband and wife would go their separate ways and we would be free to go home(provided we  were  unfortunate  enough to be watching the  film in a  theatre).But no . Meera gets pregnant and the couple  gives the marriage  on try. 

 Then  begins the audiences  tortuous  inclusion into scenes  describing pre-birth therapy , yoga lessons  and  baby  gyan.While the  couple’s bickering continues , the  mother-in-law shamelessly eavesdrops and meddles. Till the end in the hospital  when she  argues loudly with her son-in-law  about the way the baby should be born, the  screenwriter fails to see the  mother-in-law as the problem in the marriage. She means well, you see.

Throughout  the film the  mother-in-law is seen as meddlesome but a well-meaning  presence when in fact she is the  problem. Well Done Baby is  based on  a fractured premise that never repairs itself as  the narrative  progresses. All through the  film we see the couple trying to project themselves as  urbane  and sophisticated by speaking a mongrel mix of Marathi and  English.  Hindi also comes  in with Meera’s gynecologist. 

Oh , Meera’s  husband is a psychiatrist and there is  this foreigner  woman patient who tells  him, “I can’t stop  thinking about how you  would look naked.”

This woman needs help.So does this film,  which tries to be  cute  and cool and  only ends  up being annoying and silly. I guess Amruta Khanvilkar and Pushkar Jog who play the squabbling couple may be good actors if given better  lines and  a more credible  situation  to  prove their worth. This is  neither  the  time nor the place to recognize any merit  in any  of the  actors or technicians. Sitting through 90 minutes of  this  crashing bore is equivalent  to conquering a Himalayan peak.

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