BANDISHALA (Marathi) | 22 June, 2019

Shantaai Motion Pictures and Shree Mauli Motion Pictures’ Bandi­shala (Marathi; UA; meaning ‘Prison’) is the story of a principled prison officer.

Madhavi Sawant (Mukta Barve) is a conscientious prison officer who wants transparency in all matters relating to the jail. Her senior, the cor­rupt police inspector in the jail, Sud­amrao Jadhav (Sharad Ponkshe), feels threatened by Madhavi’s ways. Politician Bhagwantrao (Pravin Tarde) and a contractor and a doctor – all three of who stand to gain by lack of transparency in the day-to-day working of the prison – also feel threatened by Madhavi. As a result, the four hire the services of Dilip Javalikar (Anil Nagarkar) and four others to rape Madhavi.

The upright Madhavi is raped mer­cilessly. The matter reaches the court. Madhavi’s husband, Shekhar (Vikram Gaikwad), and their friend, Rukhsana (Hemangi Kavi), stand behind her and fight it out in the court. The judge pro­nounces the rapist and his four acc­omplices guilty and sentences them to life imprisonment. But during the court proceedings, the involvement of police inspector Sudamrao Jadhav, politician Bhagwantrao, jail contractor and doctor also comes to the fore.

Does the court pronounce the four men, who were behind the rape, guilty too? Or do they go scot-free?

Sanjay Krishnaji Patil has written a fairly nice story but it lacks novelty. His screenplay is interesting in the first half but gets somewhat dull after interval. Nevertheless, some part of the courtroom drama is engaging. Sanjay Krishnaji Patil’s dialogues are good.

Mukta Barve shines in the role of prison officer Madhavi Sawant. Shar­ad Ponkshe is pretty effective as poli­ce inspector Sudamrao Jadhav. Vik­ram Gaikwad is alright as Shekhar. Hemangi Kavi lends fair support as Rukhsana. Umesh Jagtap makes his mark as Raghu Farkate. Pravin Tarde is okay as politician Bhagwantrao. Anil Nagarkar is alright as rapist Dilip Javalikar. Prasanna Kelkar lends rea­sonable support as SP Nimbalkar. Asha Shelar (as Janabai), Anand Al­kunte, Ananda Karekar, Pankaj Chemburkar, Krutika Gaikwad, Madhav Abhyankar, Shivraj Wavle­kar, Savita Prabhune, Ashwini Giri, Varsha Ghat­ande and the rest lend average sup­port.

Milind Lele’s direction is nice. Amit­raj’s music and Sanjay Krishnaji Patil’s lyrics are commonplace. Vitthal Patil’s choreography is appealing. Vijay Narayan Gawande’s background score is okay. Camerawork (by Suresh Desh­mane) is of a fine standard. Narendra Haldankar’s art direction is commonplace. Action scenes are quite thrill­ing. Bhakti Mayalu’s editing could’ve been sharper.

On the whole, Bandishala is too ordinary a fare to make a mark at the box-office.

Released on 21-6-’19 at Plaza (daily 1 show) and other cinemas of Bombay thru Rajat Enterprises. Publi­city: fair. Opening: dull.