Movie: Hostel Days
Duration: 120 min.
Studio / Presenter: Shree Parshwa Productions, Twenty Four Studios
Producer: Subhash Bora, Chandan Gehlot, Ajay Naik Productions
DOP: Mayur Hardas
Director: Ajay Naik
Cast: Prarthana Behere, Aroh Welankar, Virajas Kulkarni, Akshay Tanksale, Chinmay Patwardhan, Sanjay Jadhav, Sagarika Rukari, Purva Shinde, Ankita Lande, Aishwarya Kapare
Movie Review by: Ulhas Shirke
However old one may become, the memories of college life never fade away. In the past we have seen films on classroom gimmicks while in school or college and love stories of youngsters on the backdrop of college life. Even otherwise, Marathi films made on the subject of youngsters have received good response from the audience during this decade. Best examples are films like ‘Time Pass‘, ‘Sairat‘, ‘Boyz‘ and so on. But, the music has played a very important role behind the success of these films.
Music director turned Presenter and writer -director Ajay Kishore Naik who presented a film ‘Satarangee Re‘ and directed a film ‘Lagna Pahave Karun‘ in the past, has now tried a new experiment through his latest released film ‘Hostel Days‘, which is set on the backdrop of student’s hostel at a district place off Satara, Maharashtra. But, while presenting his subject, Ajay has tried to mix love stories of other students, besides presenting the love triangle of the lead characters comprising of Shiva Mohite ( Aroh Welankar), Ishani ( Prarthana Behere) & Jai Dharmadhikari( Virajas Kulkarni). And, that’s not enough. As, he has shown the conflict between two groups, i.e. local students belonging to lower and middle class groups and so called rich students coming from metro cities, who acquire admissions on huge donations.
As the love stories and their gimmicks in hostel continue to happen in this film, we find a sudden twist with one student suddenly getting exposed with his hand in glove dealings with new trustee of the group of educational institution Mr. Babasaheb Buchkule( Vidyadhar Joshi). This maligns his character in his group, with his girlfriend also misunderstanding him. But, as we have seen it happen in many Bollywood love stories, his friends and well wishers, including the audience get convinced with the reasons behind his act later. All is well at the end, but not before another twist in the climax.
Looking at the screenplay, it is felt that writer director Ajay has consumed a lot of time to cover all the 17 or 18 important characters in this film, while offering them scope on the screen. As a result, the film has been stretched longer with almost 150 minutes length. This could have been avoided by editing long conversations within the group. He could have paid more attention on either the love story or the conflict between rich and poor. But, since he wanted to make it a musical love story, being a music director himself ; he had to accommodate 7 to 8 songs in the film. However, only two songs are well presented. Instead, he could have presented only three songs, with more attention on highlighting the conflict between the two groups and making the film’s screenplay more gripping. Many scenes in the film have been shot during night hours, thus depriving the DOP to capture natural outdoor beauty. But, in spite of that DOP Mayur Hardas with the help of art director Siddharth Tatuskar has captured some good locations very well through his camera.
Though there are three young artistes namely Aroh, Prarthana & Virajas in prominent lead roles, Akshay Tanksale through the character of Buchchan steals the show. He had done this before while playing the role of Battees in the film ‘YZ‘. In short, his character is well developed to exploit his potential. No wonder, he also plays the narrator in this film. Among the three lead artistes, Aroh does well as the leader of the group. He has shown that quick change in him in every situation. Prarthana is good , in the role of Ishani . But, the character of Virajas hasn’t been developed properly. If he was to be shown in negative role, there are not enough scenes to his share, except for his entry. Nevertheless, being his first film, he does well.
Director turned actor Sanjay Jadhav impresses in a different look, while playing the Rector of the college , who lives in the hostel campus. Among the six new female faces, Sagarika Rukri as Sonia and Sonia Patwardhan as Madhura find better scope. Good support comes from other co artistes in the hostel group. The film’s story has been set during the period of 1994, when there were no mobile phones and social media networking. The film is targeted at young audience and therefore, it remains to be seen whether it will attract youngsters at cinema halls? But, surely those who have experienced hostel life during their college days, especially during early 90s, will be tempted to watch ‘Hostel Days‘ film. Overall, it has turned out to be little above average entertaining film.