While I was watching ‘Family Katta’ (Chandrakant Kulkarni, 2016) one part of my mind was constantly parsing it’s screenplay. In the world of Hindi films, it is unimaginable to think that the first half of an entire feature-length film goes by watching an old couple preparing for the celebration of their 50th wedding anniversary the next day, eagerly waiting for their children and their families. The second half of the film is more dramatic in the conventional sense, but yet very low-key compared to most Hindi films. It’s been a while since I have seen this pace of narrative in a commercially released Indian film, but that is perhaps because I haven’t been watching much outside Hindi cinema.
However, the film can be easily dismissed as something to watch on television. I don’t think the script is to blame for that; it is quite real, subtle, compassionate. The film also has an enviable troupe of stalwart actors from the Marathi film world. But the visual and cinematic treatment is completely flat and unimaginative. There is zero sound design, the music is repetitive and almost plays in a loop like stock. And the most banal is the cinematography.
The location is an old bungalow in Poona, typical middle-class Puneri Maharashtrian house. Since the film is almost entirely indoors and with mostly 2 characters, it afforded so many possibilities of lighting it up in a more defined way. Usually in cases like this, low budgets are cited to excuse insipid cinematography. Plus the digital format makes everything bright and ready for the LCD screen, easy to believe that the film has been shot and is looking good.
I would have sacrificed even the few exterior locations and shots and saved the money to keep the film completely within the house and increased time for good camera work.
Note: The film is in Marathi. Available with English subtitles on Amazon Prime.