Saturday, May 26, 2018

Bucket list - a bucket half full

When I first saw the trailer of Bucket List, Madhuri’s first Marathi movie, it showed everything Madhuri is best known for – her style, her grace, her dance. The trailer however gave out almost everything the movie had to offer. There was literally no surprise element left for the viewer paying to watch it in the theater – even the Ranbir cameo had no one squealing in enthusiasm, as everyone in the theater already knew who the hooded man in the bar would be.

The story is simple – a quintessential housewife, Madhura (Madhuri) in a typical Maharashtrian joint family staying on Prabhat Road (where else), undergoes a heart transplant and as a gesture decides to complete her organ donor, Sai’s bucket list – a half completed list of things, the now deceased Sai, wanted to complete before she turned 21. Madhura’s journey, while she completes Sai’s bucket list is fun to watch – learning to ride a Harley, drinking in a pub, getting arrested, going viral –giving the ever-so-charismatic Madhuri Dixit a chance to showcase her talent.

Coming to what I liked in the movie – I was nervous about Madhuri’s Marathi diction considering we haven’t seen her speak much Marathi before, plus the fact that she has lived in the States long enough for the American accent to pop up. However, Madhuri did the Marathi task flawlessly! The second thing I was worried about whether Madhuri’s majestic onscreen persona would fit the role of the simple Marathi “soon” (daughter-in-law). She did that job fine too.  And she still lights up the scene when she plays with her eyes and flirts mischievously with the audience. Of the supporting cast, Vandana Gupte played the mother in law character with ease. The way she speaks Hindi (Marathi style) reminded me a lot of my own mom 😊 Renuka Shahane, as the mother of Sai, was pleasant but making an actress who is best know for her big broad smile look glum because of the loss of her daughter, felt like a wasted resource. Sumeet Raghavan, known for his sweet on-screen persona, fitted the job of the caring husband well. But all in all, the movie was about Madhuri, and Madhuri alone.  Well, that was why the audience was there too!

Coming to where the movie felt short – some of the scenes between Madhura and her teenaged daughter felt straight out of English Vinglish. The song with Madhura and her husband in Malaysia, with wind blowing through 2 yards of saree pallo, seemed awkward and unnecessary. Maybe it was added only for the Dharma stamp. With so many producers name in the credits, I would think the makers had enough money and yet we see Madhuri advertising MakeMyTrip in one of the scenes – it so didn’t suit her class!  And then the bucket list itself – felt so short. One of Sai’s friend clarifies in the beginning “Sai has already completed a few tasks, but a few remain”. And the audience can’t help but feel – “Why did Sai have to do anything, it would have been so much better if Madhura had to finish the entire list”. Why did the bucket have to be half full? The audience leaves the theater yearning for more. We love you Madhuri and we can't have enough.

3.5 stars for the movie, with one star only for the Diva.

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