India Today - - LEISURE - —Suhani Singh

The hero of Marathi drama Lathe Joshi is a man of few words. A skilled welder, his work is his pas­sion, not only defin­ing but also con­sum­ing him. When ma­chines ren­der his ser­vices use­less, Joshi strug­gles to adapt. So be­gins a nu­anced char­ac­ter study of a gloomy hero whose si­lence speaks vol­umes. Led by a beau­ti­fully in­ter­nalised and re­strained per­for­mance by Chit­taran­jan Giri, chem­i­cal en­gi­neer­turned­film­maker Mangesh Joshi’s de­but film ob­serves how change, a con­stant in our life, grad­u­ally breaks the spirit of a man. After win­ning ac­co­lades at the Pune and Ban­ga­lore In­ter­na­tional Film Fes­ti­vals and screen­ing at fes­ti­vals in Rus­sia, Mex­ico and South Africa, the film plays in the cap­i­tal at the Habi­tat Film Fes­ti­val (May 19­28).

Ma­chines, ex­plains Mangesh Joshi, are not the an­tag­o­nists in his film. Lathe Joshi’s hard­work­ing and en­ter­pris­ing wife (Aswinin Giri) ex­pands her ca­ter­ing busi­ness thanks to food pro­ces­sors and a car. His son is an elec­tron­ics re­pair­man and his age­ing mother can now en­joy vir­tual dar­shans of her favourite tem­ples. The tit­u­lar hero qui­etly takes in how tech­nol­ogy now con­trols his fam­ily. “Tech­nol­ogy is in­evitable,” says Joshi. “I have made the film us­ing tech­nol­ogy. How can I blame it?” In­stead, he says, he “wanted to sen­si­tise au­di­ences about the peo­ple who are left be­hind”.

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