Sajini Shinde Ka Viral Video is—in one word—Superb!



Radhika Madan and Soham Majumdar in Sajini Shinde Ka Viral Video, Photo: Hype PR

On a piquant note, let me say that two of the breeziest thrillers I have watched in the last decade have been shot in Pune—Badlapur and AndhaDhun—there is clearly something about the city that inspires meaty movie masala!

On a more serious note, Badlapur and A Wednesday! were two films to watch which one walked in with near-zero expectations, but they turned out to be whoppers. Again, like Badlapur and also Finding Fanny and Go Goa Gone, Sajini Shinde Ka Viral Video is a small power-packet produced by Dinesh Vijan and another such superb experience. Its completely unexpected quotient makes it rank high! Just one nitpick: I wish the title had been more alluring for the audience, and had explained the content somewhat.

Another small flaw: a decisive meeting, as shown during the denouement, shows a school principal meeting a teacher at night in her office: not exactly the time when principals are still sitting at work, right? And it would have made little difference had the meeting been shown in the evening instead!

Having elucidated the minor wrongs of this quasi-masterpiece of 117 minutes, everything else is almost perfect. The video of an extremely competent Physics teacher, Sajini Shinde (Radhika Madan) from a Pune school, on an official tour in Singapore, goes viral when she is celebrating her birthday with friends in a pub, with half-naked male dancers. This has a spiraling effect back home on the school, her family, her fiancé and more. And then—she goes missing, complete with a suicide note, though her body is never discovered and her phone, which is being tracked, keeps shifting locations.

Cyber Cell crime sleuth Bela (Nimrat Kaur) is assigned the investigation, and the hard-as-nails cop who has a soft corner for dogs finds out that everyone is a suspect, either for Sajini going missing with a fake suicide note (as she discovers) or for abetment of suicide, just in case she is no longer alive.

The “everyone” includes Sajini’s father Shinde (Subodh Bhave), the arrogant but popular stage actor and producer, his supressed wife (Sneha Raikar), his interfering elder brother (Shashank Shende), Sajini’s idler brother (Ashutosh Gaikwad), her nerdy fiancé from Bangalore (Soham Majumdar) with his double standards and even the school principal (Bhagyashree), who rates her school’s reputation high yet sympathizes with Sajini’s “mistake”. The suspects also go on to include Sajini’s colleagues (Rashmi Agdekar and Shruti Vyas), as one of them has leaked the video.

Accompanied by the dogged inspector, Ram Pawar (Chinmay Mandlekar), Bela pieces together the threads to come up with a shocking revelation that has deep impacts on everyone. Anything more here will be a spoiler, and is to be best discovered in the movie itself.

In multiple ways, the film is a cut above the ordinary. Hitesh Sonik’s background score is magnificently suited to every situation. To say that it is fresh and inventive is an understatement. The key characters talk a lot in their natural Marathi language with English subtitles, lending a lovely authenticity, and followers of Marathi will also realize the power in the original language, which to be fair, is well-translated and sans grammatical or other glitches, which is a norm in our subtitling jobs!

The director is in his element, which means a lot, as he does not let the tempo flag and extracts the best from a bevy of really good actors, mostly those from Marathi stage and cinema.

The technical side is more than adequate, with Sumeet Kotian’s edits being just right. The screenplay is excellent, paced well sans jerks or hurriedness, and the dialogues are another highlight—crisp, acerbic when needed, and with the right touches of humor, wit, empathy and trenchant tones.

Nimrat Kaur is the investigating cop. Photo: Hype PR

This, in turn, obviously leads to a heightened level of performances. Nimrat Kaur as Bela is a perfect fit for the role, and she extracts every meat possible from her demanding character. Equaling her is the redoubtable Chinmay Mandlekar as Ram Pawar, and as in all his other work, his eyes and body language speak much more than volumes.

Radhika Madan as Sajini is effective, but it is Subodh Bhave as her father, Sneha Raikar as her mother and Kiran Karmarkar as their lawyer who are truly brilliant. Soham Majumdar as Sajini’s mercurial yet nervous fiancé is a treat, as are Sumeet Vyas as his lawyer and Shruti Vyas as Sajini’s friend. Bhagyashree is properly dignified as the principal and Ashutosh Gaikwad and Rashmi Agdekar are good in their briefer roles.

Do not miss this film. It is the dark horse of this year so far on the big screen.

Rating: ****1/2

Maddock Films’ Sajini Shinde Ka Viral Video  Produced by: Dinesh Vijan  Directed by: Mikhil Musale Written by: Mikhil Musale, Parinda Joshi, Anu Singh Choudhary & Kshitij Patwardhan  Original Score: Hitesh Sonik  Starring: Nimrat Kaur, Radhika Madan, Chinmay Mandlekar, Bhagyashree, Subodh Bhave, Soham Majumdar, Ashutosh Gaikwad, Shashank Shende, Shruti Vyas, Sneha Raikar, Rashmi Agdekar, Sumeet Vyas, Kiran Karmarkar & others



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