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Barefoot to Goa 2015
Description: A parable on the moribund human bonds in a fast-paced world, which is a warning that poignantly highlights the futility of life and death.
Released: 10 Apr 2015 Director: Praveen Morchhale Writers: Praveen Morchhale Actors: Sonu Chourasia, Ajay Chourey, Farrukh Jaffar, Prakhar Morchhale Genres: Adventure, Drama, Family
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Barefoot to Goa Reviews:

Barefoot to Goa is an indie movie written, directed and co-produced by a Mumbai-based filmmaker called Praveen Morchhale. Morchhale's debut film, Barefoot to Goa was in tournament at the 2013 Mumbai Movie Festival in its Celebrate Age section. On the face of it, Morchhale's movie is a tale of two siblings, an eleven year old brother and his nine year old precocious sister, who witness the loss of innocence during a life-changing street trip they undertake, stepping out of their cocooned environment for the very first time in their lives, in order to meet their ailing, abandoned grandmother. But, in its essence, Barefoot to Goa is a social commentary on the nice rural-urban divide in India. Morchhale limns a vivid canvas to depict the dichotomy between the two Indias and the manner in which their inhabitants think, behave, act, and live. How a selfish daughter-in-law living in the comfort of a middle-class urban settlement deliberately tries to slash all the ties between her husband and his aging mother. How a destitute, deaf-and-dumb rural couple selflessly shower their hospitality on total strangers.Barefoot to Goa closely examines, through its characters, the three various stages of the human life-cycle: childhood, middle-age and dotage. It's a cinematic essay that celebrates the innocence of the young, mocks the indifference of the grown ups, and mourns the loneliness of the old. Morchhale's movie serves to be a parable on the moribund human bonds in a fast-paced world. As an exemplum of our urban society's moral and cultural decadence, Barefoot to Goa is a warning that poignantly highlights the futility of life and death. And, yet, it's a film that's full of hope for the entire of mankind. In its short runtime of 80 minutes, the film touches upon few complex motifs that deal with life and humanity at large. It is for all these reasons that one just cannot regard Barefoot to Goa as a run-of-the-mill children's film. Barefoot to Goa inevitably brings to one's mind the 1955 Satyajit Ray masterpiece Pather Panchali, which, like Morchhale's film, revolved around two young siblings who experience loss of innocence while struggling to come to terms with the difficult realities of life. Morchhale, like Ray, not only chooses a topics that's quite hard to store but also treats it in a manner that's breathtakingly refreshing. While Ray's work was an adaptation of a famous Bengali novel by Bibhutibhushan Bandopadhyay, Barefoot to Goa is based on an original screenplay by Morchhale himself. Morchhale's bold transport to create non-actors enjoy pivotal roles in the film reminds one of Italian Neorealist gems like The Bike Thief. All this as well as the fact that Morchhale shows courage to create such a various movie at a time when Indian cinema finds itself at the crossroads—while it's been doing really well commercially, it's clearly been left far behind, whether in terms of quality or the laurels received in the international arena—makes his effort a very unique one.Whenever one talks of the 21st century avant-garde cinema, it's imperative that one talks about independent filmmakers. Buoyed by their inexorable passion for cinema and undeterred by the paucity of resources, this tenacious breed of artists has been instrumental to the constant evolution of cinema in today's age of commercialization. And the onus truly lies with all those who understand and appreciate cinema to shower praise on this ingenious brigade of filmmakers by celebrating their sui generis works of cinema. In the newest years Hindi cinema has seen a resurgence of a parallel stream of filmmaking that seems to have blurred the line between the mainstream and the art house cinema. Today, the independent filmmakers are being actively backed by established production houses committed to improving the quality of cinema in India, a trend which has given rise to movies like Dhobi Ghat, Paan Singh Tomar, Ship of Theseus, Lootera, The Lunchbox, etc. Barefoot to Goa, even though it is not funded by any large production house, in the opinion of this critic, is the crowning jewel of this fresh avant- garde movement in Hindi cinema.Overall, Barefoot to Goa is a profound work of cinema that needs to be watched by everyone who loves and admires filmmaking that's both honest and pristine. Morchhale's movie can be deemed brilliant on both the technical and emotional fronts, especially given the budget constraints that one often associates with an indie detail film. Morchhale uses minimal dialogue and mostly relies on his strong imagery to convey the message to his audience. The characters written by Morchhale are quite memorable and the actors who enjoy them support them bring to life. Morchhale needs to be commended for eliciting such convincing performances from his actors, especially the two young leads who enjoy siblings. The street trip that the two children take comes across as such a rich and strong experience for the viewers that some of the scenes are likely to stay with them for ever. The soothing melody written by the squad of Jack Francis and Rohit Shama immensely adds to the movie's poignant feel. Ujjwal Chandra's editing is topnotch and the same can be told of the John Breakmas Kerketta's breathtaking cinematography. Barefoot to Goa can definitely prove to be a cathartic experience for those on the lookout for something to soothe their senses. While an average moviegoer may fail to appreciate the movie, the clever viewer will savor the meal for thought which it offers in plenty. (This review was originally published in my movie blog "A Potpourri of Vestiges")


Barefoot to Goa, Praveen Morchhale's debut film, conveys a pretty as well as powerful message which is indeed very relevant, soul- touching and also thought provoking. It has been already showcased in many international festivals all across the world 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 storyline of almost each household today. Yes, Praveen touches a contemporary social issue. Parents do each bit to create their kids self-reliant, independent, and educated. The same children, after growing up, transport to various 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 angry 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 kids i.e. the instant family. What about the aging parents, who don't detail in the list, and are left to war their own war that too at the fag end of their lives. Relationships have taken a beating in this quick paced society. We don't spend quality time with our loved ones. Kids don't receive to experience the 'story-telling grandmother' in person. There is a powerful need for privacy. But isn't it ironical that one's policy 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 powerful message. Barefoot to Goa does discover the nuances of human values and relationships, and also it questions the innocence we overlook. The Storyline: The film starts at Goa where Dadi (Farrukh Jaffar) is going to a typist to receive a letter hand-written for her son and his family. Legendary 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 entire 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 bonuses viz. Laddu, Lattu (spinning top or wooden spinner) etc.These letters though receive delivered at her son's zone 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 kids Diya (Saara Nahar) and Prakhar (Prakhar Morchhale) coincidently search these letters from grandmother, that is where their adventure Barefoot to Goa starts to bring their ailing grandmother (suffering from cancer) to Mumbai. How do Diya and Prakhar manage to reach their grandmother's zone at Goa forms rest of the story. How do they deal with the things when they transport out of their cocoon? They come across lot of nice Samaritans who become part of their journey. Unfazed by the uncertainties, they hold exploring the un-tread path, totally determined to bring their Dadi back. The screenplay picks up both the nice and not so nice parts of rural and urban life. On one side, we see selfless help of a several strangers and on the another 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 zone for ailing mother-in-law. Innocence of kids is captured so beautifully. Do they become successful in reaching grandmother? How does the climax shape up?Certain scenes worth mentioning: 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 search the meaning of cancer; Prakhar losing one of his priced possession Guitar, but the very next moment, both Diya and Prakhar are enjoying and testing with splash of water on the roadside. The show-stopper stage is definitely the last scene, it makes one ponder.Cast: Farrukh as Dadi is extremely good. Her being content with what 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 should have been explored more. Sara as Diya steals the present with her innocence as well as powerful determination. Rest of the cast are also nice and convincing. Barefoot to Goa is a mourning of the death of values and beliefs without being mournful. In Praveen Morchhale's words, it is a bright movie about sadness. A film of less words, but with lot of depth. The message through this film is so powerful that it stands beyond any rating, still allow me rate it.It gotta be watched.


I adore independent films, and had all the reason to be excited about this crowd-sourced drama. But, it is made on such a childish note that it looks like a mess.Diya (Saara Nahar) and Prakhar (Prakhar Morchhale) are two school- going siblings born to irritable parents in the town of Mumbai. Their mother is one careless and dominating personality who won't allow her husband's mother come and live with them. Tired of the eternal wait to meet their grandmother who lives in Goa, the duo set out one day, unprepared and impromptu, with the hope of spending time with their granny who would create sweets for them.What is a very novel approach to showcase the ridiculous lifestyle decisions we create involving our family members, the movie uses subtlety as its largest power. There is enough material for one to ponder about life's tragedies and especially about their grandmothers, but there is not one remarkable moment in the film. Except for the lady who plays the granny, none of the cast perform well. It was very clear that they were following the previously-read script without any practice or imagination. Director Praveen Morchhale manages to write some nice points, but his shoddy direction spoils the broth. Despite the actors' terrible performance, the photography should have saved the film, but thank the cash-strapped production which provides zero cinematic help to the feature.Except the melody and a reminder that we could everytime care for our parents and grandparents, there is no one thing unique about this film. And please note that the film's distribution was crowd- sourced, not the current movie production. Further, Morchhale tries to cram too many subject into the 75- minute narrative. And, as a result, loses focus on the core subject, which is placed on the table with a cranky, kneejerker ending.BOTTOM LINE: Praveen Morchhale's Barefoot to Goa has an interesting concept at its base, but is built with weak quality materials and rusted equipment. Read the synopsis online and forever forget about the film.Can be watched with a typical Indian family? YES



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