‘Come…relive your adolescence’ should have been the tagline of the film Time Pass (2014) (aka TP). After Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikandar (1992) and Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na (2008), Time Pass makes you relive your magical and special first love and is dedicated to everyone who has fallen in love at least once.
TP is a story of a mischievous poor boy Dagdu (Prathamesh Parab) and a middle-class girl Prajakta Lele (Ketki Mategaonkar). Dagdu is a school dropout, who eventually decides to deliver newspapers. One day he is insulted by one of the residents Madhav Lele (Vaibhav Mangle). Dagdu decides to teach him a lesson. He decides to hit on his daughter Prajakta and woo her with the support of his friends.
Prajakta is the quintessential girl next door, bound by the rules set by her father. Dagdu initially thinks of this as a pastime, but eventually is infatuated to her. Prajakta on the other hand initially ignores Dagdu, but she is attracted to his simple nature. She seeks freedom, a break from her father’s militarised home environment. She is more than happy just to be with Dagdu. His innocence and straightforwardness make her fall for him
Slowly, Dagdu becomes Prajakta’s (or Paraju as he calls her) best friend and soulmate. And he slowly captures her heart and mind. It feels funny when Prajakta confesses her love in the most poetic way and Dagdu is unable to comprehend whether it is acceptance or rejection. It is said that when you fall in love, you begin to mirror each other. This is evident when Prajakta also speaks broken Marathi like Dagdu and shocks her parents.
While still trying to understand whether this is a pastime or love, Dagdu and Prajakta fall head over heels for each other. This is highlighted in a scene in a library, where Dagdu and Prajakta try to convey their feelings silently to each other by picking up the right book titles, thus delivering the best scene in the movie. They try to hide their relationship from her dreaded father, but the cat is eventually out of the bag. They are too young to realise that love is just not enough to live life. A poor class Dagdu can never match to the standards of Prajakta’s family which are rich in culture and has a higher degree of education and sophistication. Spruha, Prajakta’s music teacher, convinces Dagdu that education is the only bridge that will make him traverse that gap. Also, the relationship between Spruha and Vallabh, Prajakta’s elder brother is strained due to their father. And that he would never approve of their love relationship.
Set in Thane, western India in the mid-80’s when cultural and class differences were most prominent, and love relationships were still a taboo, Time Pass is a story that is closer to your heart, especially if you have lived your childhood in Mumbai, Thane and surrounding areas. The film also pays tribute to the yesteryear Hindi cinema when Dagdu and his friends refer to Prajakta’s father as ‘Shakaal’ (of Shaan (1980) fame). Vallabh also passes a comment to Dagdu ‘Since Tarzan (aka Adventures of Tarzan,1985) has released, everybody has started to flock the gym.”
Although Dagdu could have convinced Prajakta to run away with him, the motherless child still has in values in place. This is evident when Dagdu rides a bicycle for three days continuously to save his father’s auto rickshaw, which was their only source of income and pawned to pay for Dagdu’s tuition classes.
The scenes where the parents hit their daughter are a bit confronting (again a glimpse of mid-80s), and could have been avoided. The climax comes at a point, on Prajakta’s birthday, where both families are made aware that their children are dating each other. Prajakta’s family calls Dagdu to rebuke him. He leaves promising that he will get out of Prajakta’s life once and for all. The film ends with Dagdu meeting Prajakta for one last time and promising her that will gain his status through the path of education. This sets the premise for another heart warming roller coaster ride of young and innocent emotions – the part 2!.
Prathamesh and Ketki are the most appropriate for their roles in the film. Vaibhav Mangle as Prajakta’s father is convincing and menacing but lovable. Bhalchandra Kadam as Dagdu’s dad gives a very compelling performance. Music by Chinar-Mahesh is fresh, mushy and soft. You want to hear the songs again and again. Screenplay and direction by Ravi Jadhav are top class. He took the risk of working with less known actors like Prathamesh Parab and Ketki Mategaonkar but gained solid multi-fold returns, which goes to show again that content it always king and why you should believe in fresh blood.
Based on Shaiju Mathew’s coming-of-age novel Knocked Up, Time Pass breaks away from the convention of a happy ending – the reason it is now a candidate for remakes. It is optioned to for remake in Telugu.
Many Marathi movies have been remakes of Hindi films. It is now time for Hindi film industry to pick up these gems.
This review is also published on IMDb.