The Gujarati film industry has been strengthening its foothold since the last couple of years and this past year has seen a number of impressive releases.
Produced by The Travelling Circus and co-produced by CineMan Productions, Shubh Aarambh is directed by Amit Barot and stars the much acclaimed Harsh Chhaya, Prachee Shah Paandya and young actors Deeksha Joshi, Bharat Chawda, and Aarjav Trivedi. The story writer, Vipul Sharma, and screenplay and dialogue writer, Abhinay Banker, have provided a straight-forward plot line which becomes the driving force of the film.
Poetry, mature dialogues, and humour – all come together in a combination which is generally difficult to bring together.
Shubh Aarambh deals with marriage and relationships and takes a fresh, toned-down perspective in contrast to the conventional overtly romanticized version of it shown on screen and in society. It does not idolize marriage and put it on a pedestal. Instead, the older generation is shown to be aware of the pitfalls of marriage and even discusses them openly with their sons and daughters.
It shows love and marriage to be a combination of romance and realistic life – just like it is in everyday lives. There is loneliness, heartbreak, betrayal, monotony, and disturbing silence along with companionship, love, romance, and celebrations.
Moving away from stereotypes, the film also shows the younger actors to be mature twenty-somethings who are not naive, idealistic and over-the-head romantic about love, marriage, and relationships – something rarely shown in mainstream cinema.
Deeksha Joshi plays Riddhima’s character with fun, ease, and maturity. Her character almost successfully manages to not fall into any stereotypes of the extremely “good, shy, shaant, sushil” girl or the overtly “modern forward” girl – she imbibes both and more in herself. Bharat Chawda, playing the character of Shubh compliments the frame extremely well. Both these young actors hold their own alongside the much more experienced actors such as Harsh Chhaya and Prachee Shah Paandya, a commendable task in itself.
Aarjav Trivedi’s comic timing is impeccable and brings down the tension of the film to a comfortable experience, an essential element for the audience to sit through the film.
Harsh Chhaya is the much-needed anchor to bring such a script to its deserving glory. His acting, his dialogue delivery and the poetry recitation give this film a romantic, poetic touch. Prachee Shah Paandya portrays a character that is a beacon of feminine strength and subtlety. Although she does not have much to say till almost an hour into the movie, the silence has an effect and when she does speak up, she takes control of the plot – almost as if in an admirable power struggle with Harsh Chhaya’s character.
The film almost manages to take up the issues of marriage and divorce in a socially sensitive perspective – some stereotypes do fall through, however, most of these are essential realistic flaws needed to balance out the socially sound voices in the film.
The cinematography of the film is attractive; the background score impresses with ‘Geet Gulabi’ scoring high on everyone’s favourite list. As a whole, Shubh Aarambh comes as a breathe of fresh air to the Gujarati film scene as it directs the industry to newer, more nuanced themes and topics. The film seamlessly moves out of the struggle to impress and ends up impressing with clean technique and mature content, the mark of good cinema.
If you haven’t booked tickets for your family to watch this film, watch this trailer and you won’t be able to resist:
Book your tickets today!