Movie Review: YES PAPA by FENIL SETA

It’s an exciting cinema as filmmakers are attempting topics which were not touched even by a barge pole earlier. Continuing this trend, Saif Hyder Hasan, who has made his mark as a successful director and writer of plays, is all set to release Yes Papa this Friday. It touches upon an important issue and has been treated sensitively, which makes it worth a watch.

The story of the movie: Vinita Ghoshal (Geetika Tyagi) is a divorcee. She was married to Harshit (Hasan Zaidi) and they have a child, Masha (Yusra Tariq). One day, she murders her father Satyaki Ghoshal (Ananth Narayan Mahadevan). She is arrested and when her case reaches court, it comes to light that she killed her papa as he had raped her.

99% of Yes Papa is in black-and-white. In no time, viewers get used to it and also to the different way of execution. This is especially once the courtroom drama begins and the makers intersperse it with the flashback portions. The entry of public prosecutor Pradeep (Sanjeev Tyagi) and the defence lawyer Pronoti (Tejaswini Kolhapure) grilling Vinita and Harshit are very arresting scenes in the first half. The scene where Satyaki’s face is finally shown sends a chill down the spine. In the second half, the film continues to remain engaging as more facts come out. At the same time, the film also gets predictable here though.

Speaking of performances, Geetika Tyagi is excellent as the woman, who is traumatized by her past. It’s an extremely challenging part and Geetika has essayed it very well, knowing where exactly to underplay and where exactly to go all out. She deserves to be seen more. Ananth Narayan Mahadevan has a late entry but makes up for it with his act. The idea of making him sing lullabies to send a chill down the spine of the viewers is a masterstroke and it enhances his performance. Hasan Zaidi looks dashing and he’s yet another talented actor who should be doing many more films. Tejaswini Kolhapure is dependable, as always. Sanjeev Tyagi goes a bit overboard but it helps, especially in the scene where Tejaswini is asking questions to Geetika. Yusra Tariq is cute. Nandita Ghoshal (Nandita Puri) is fine and her character should have got more screen time. Hareesh Chhabra (drug addict) is okay.

Ratnesh Bhagat‘s music is fair. Out of all the songs, ‘Papa Teri Main Gudiya’, played in the opening credits, stands out. It’s quite soulful and has a relaxing vibe. Ratnesh Bhagat‘s background score is subtle yet impactful. The cinematography is excellent and the lensmen have shown their brilliance in several shots. Chetan Chand‘s production design is straight out of life. Pallavi Patel‘s costumes are anything but glamorous, as per the theme and zone of the film. Abhijeet Deshpande‘s editing (co-editing by Hrishikesh Petwe) should have been tighter.

Saif Hyder Hasan‘s story is unique. There have been films on rape survivors but to have a film where the protagonist has been raped by her own father is novel. Saif Hyder Hasan‘s screenplay is effective as it’s simple and to the point.

Saif Hyder Hasan‘s direction has many plusses. Firstly, he executes such a sensitive topic with maturity. He doesn’t titillate or get into any such antics like it used to happen at one point in our films. He also touches upon issues revolving around this heinous crime like support from family members, mental trauma which the survivors go through, legal loopholes in proving the crime etc.

However, the film is not without its share of minuses. Though Yes Papa is just 85 minutes long, it still seems like a lengthy affair. Ideally, it should have been a 50-55 minute film. The film gives a déjà vu of the Shefali Shah track in Monsoon Wedding. Moreover, the entire second half is predictable and there are no surprises in the narrative.

On the whole, Yes Papa sensitively touches upon a burning issue and is embellished with excellent performances. Written, produced and directed by Saif Hyder Hasan, this film deserves to be seen by those who crave meaningful and unconventional cinema.

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