|Cb Rating: 3.5 out of 5|
India steps into the 69th year of Independence in 2015. While we were ruled by the Britishers before 1947, now the rule of corruption, politics, red tape and what not, simply cannot be dismissed. The situation resonates in the statement the film’s protagonist Gour Hari Das (played wonderfully by Vinay Pathak) makes towards the end when he says that British India was better because at least he knew who the enemy was.
Gour Hari Dastaan is a movie based on the true story of Indian Freedom Fighter Gour Hari Das, who in his childhood was part of Gandhiji’s Vanar Sena(monkey soldier). He was jailed in Balasore prison for his deeds by the Britishers. Post Independence, Gour Hari Das moved to Mumbai and this is where most part of the movie takes place.
The story revolves around the struggle faced by Gour Hari Das when he has to run from pillar to pillar, for recognition of his participation in India’s struggle for freedom.The ‘Tamra patra’, is an acknowledgement given to the freedom fighters by the Indian government. To Das, a tamrapatra means many things. Over the 32 years of his struggle to gain it, he has lost his son’s faith, and is isolated amongst his neighbours, who are made to believe that he is a fake. His wife (played well by Konkana) supports him through the struggle.
Vinay Pathak plays his role with a lot of caution, especially with the movie shuttling between 1970s and 2007. He is a brilliant actor, and that can be seen with the ease he handles both the eras without making you realise. The make up of Pathak to make him look like he is in his 70s in not convincing enough though. Ranvir Shorey, Saurabh Shukla, Rajit Kapoor, Vikram Gokhale and Murali Sharma do more than justice to their roles.
The main problem the film ails from is its speed. With time in his side, the director Ananth Narayan Mahadevan takes us on a slow journey through through the life of Gour Hari Das, but in the process also ensures that a lot unwanted characters and incidents creep in sometimes, forcibly trying to get themselves attached to the many dimensions of the film.
Overall, the movie is a good watch, and would not disappoint you in any way. You may find it slow at times, and trying to add too many dimensions, but at the end of the day, you will surely go home feeling good having made the decision to watch it.
3.5 stars from CultureBowl for Gour Hari Dastaan