|Image Courtesy: Digital Poster from Barefoot Pictures|
(Grandmother), Saara Nahar (Small Girl Diya), Prakhar Morchhale (Brother
Prakhar), Ajay Chourey (Typist), Purva Parag (Mother), Kuldeep Dubey (Father),
Sharad (Biker), Guarav Patel (Police Officer), Pankaj Mali (Farmer), Sangita
Mali (Farmer’s wife), Rajendra Bhatia (Truck Driver), Arvind (Tempo Driver)
Morchhale’s debut film, conveys a beautiful as well as strong message which is
indeed very relevant, soul-touching and also thought provoking. It has been
already showcased in many international festivals all across the globe and gathered
many accolades. For the first time ever, a film’s commercial release is funded
by 238 Proud Funders from 15 countries. After
watching the movie, I did feel that, isn’t it the story of almost every
household today. Yes, Praveen touches a contemporary social issue. Parents do
every bit to make their children self-reliant, independent, and educated. The
same children, after growing up, move to different cities, countries for better
career prospects. This is inevitable. But what is saddening is that aging
parents are abandoned in some distant land and absolutely forgotten in the mad
race of earning livelihood or living one’s own life. They have become a
liability. The relationships are not valued, turning out to be merely a ritual.
Today, when a person thinks about his or her family, it is limited to his / her
spouse, and children i.e. the immediate family. What about the aging parents,
who don’t feature in the list, and are left to fight their own battle that too
at the fag end of their lives. Relationships have taken a beating in this fast
paced society. We don’t spend quality time with our loved ones. Children don’t
get to experience the ‘story-telling grandmother’ in person. There is a strong
need for privacy. But isn’t it ironical that one’s privacy is assumed to be at
stake due to one’s own parents. Kudos to Praveen and his team, the theme has
been handled with considerable sensitivity. No over-the-top dialogues, no
melodrama, rather, silence is used to convey a strong message. Barefoot to Goa
does explore the nuances of human values and relationships, and also it questions
the innocence we overlook.
Morchhale’s Table: Barefoot
to Goa is a kaleidoscope of modern society through the eyes of children
particularly of India, with its contradictions of modernity, economic expansion
and traditions. In today’s nuclear family era and race of materialistic
achievements and migration to big cities, aging parents are being ignored and
they are assumed as burden. It might be due to the pressure of city life, space
constraints and economic limitation. All these lead to the disintegration of
the family and old age parents are left to fend on themselves at the fag end of
their life. I understand our aging parents / old age people don’t expect
anything except the love and caring. But do we really care about them? Are we
not responsible for this situation of neglect and their abandoning? Film’s
morally correct two children protagonist revolting silently against parents and
embark on a journey to bring back their abandoned grandmother. They face
challenges and hurdles, which raise questions for those, we have no answers.
Old age people could be metaphor too. Are we not leaving behind our culture,
rituals and our own self in the so called race of development and self-centered
The movie begins at Goa where Dadi (Farrukh Jaffar) is going to
a typist to get a letter hand-written for her son and his family. Legendry
singer Yesudas’ song ‘Naina do Pyare…” (his return to Bollywood singing after
two decades) adds so much meaning to these frames. It conveys so beautifully
the whole soul of the movie. The emotions on typist’s face are captured so
beautifully when he reads out the letter to Dadi. In spite of not getting
responses from her son and family, Dadi is regularly sending them letters and
some gifts viz. Laddu, Lattu (spinning top or wooden spinner) etc.
delivered at her son’s place in Mumbai, but neither reaches her son or
grandchildren. Purva Parag (Mother) dumps the sweets into the waste basket and
hides the letters from husband (Kuldeep Dubey) as well as children. But, one day, when grand
children Diya (Saara Nahar) and Prakhar (Prakhar Morchhale) coincidently find
these letters from grandmother, that is where their journey Barefoot to Goa
begins to bring their ailing grandmother (suffering from cancer) to Mumbai.
manage to reach their grandmother’s place at Goa forms rest of the story. How
do they deal with the things when they move out of their cocoon? They come
across lot of good Samaritans who become part of their journey. Unfazed by the
uncertainties, they keep exploring the untread path, fully determined to bring
their Dadi back.
both the good and not so good parts of rural and urban life. On one side, we
see selfless support of a few strangers and on the other side, we see somebody
not even able to accommodate one’s own family. The irony is shown that there is
room for full-time maid at home, but no space for ailing mother-in-law. Innocence
of children is captured so beautifully. Do they become successful in reaching
grandmother? How does the climax shape up?
mentioning: A beautiful dialogue by
typist when he is asked to write the letter instead of typing: “Syahi se
shabdon me aatma aati hai”; Father nostalgically expressing about childhood
days and his mother to Diya which is followed by a deep breath (is it his
helplessness or guilt?); Diya and Prakhar looking into dictionary to find the
meaning of cancer; Diya’s response to Prakhar’s question whether she knows
where Goa is: Kya Vasco De Gama ko pata tha ki Goa kidhar hain?; Diya and
Prakhar looking at sky during their journey and wondering: Mumbai me taare kyon
nahi dikhte; Prakhar losing one of his priced possession Guitar, but the very
next moment, both Diya and Prakhar are enjoying and playing with splash of
water on the roadside.
is definitely the last scene, it makes one ponder.
better: The whole movie has projected so
much of positivity, so, was it required to project mother shrewd. She is not
shown as a pleasant mother. Her sensitivity as mother reflects only during two
scenes: when she comes to her children’s room to switch off the light or when
the kids are found to be missing. Generally, what I have observed is that
mothers are very sensitive to their children, but the same mothers are found to
be insensitive towards their in-laws. But, here Purva Parag is shown as
not-so-caring mother as well. I also felt, the family bonding could have been
shown. Was that not biased while trying to show the divide between urban and
rural people’s attitudes? There is a scene, where people come in a luxurious
car, have corn from a wayside vendor, ignore the children sitting there and
even drive away without paying the vendor, whereas a truck driver not only
stops to notice children but also gives them lift.
she has, her loneliness, her positivity all are so beautifully depicted by her.
She represents so many forlorn elders of our society. Prakhar’s face spoke
volumes, he as a caring elder brother is very good, though I felt, he could
have been explored more. Sara as Diya steals the show with her innocence as
well as strong determination. Rest of the cast are also good and convincing.
of values and beliefs without being mournful. In Praveen Morchhale’s words, it
is a bright film about sadness. A movie of less words, but with lot of depth.
beyond any rating, still let me rate it.