The film Muramba asks a very pertinent question – in spite of all the freedom to choose and decide (a life partner, but also everything else), why do so many break ups happen?
Muramba means a combination of sweet, sour and tangy which, when blended in the right proportion, forms a beautifully homogeneous mixture of a heavenly sublime quality; and the longer it “rests” ( for want of a better word, the Marathi word “मुरणे” is the most apt and does not really have an exact English counterpart!), the deeper and more complex the taste. Apply this principle to human relationships and what you have are layers and layers of complex emotions which reveal themselves slowly and can enhance and mature a relationship only over a period of time. Just like the taste of Muramba which reveals itself only after a certain period of “resting”, not right away after it is made!
The film is about the break up of a young couple who have been together for three years and on the verge of an engagement and eventually marriage. When they break up, the parents of the boy decide to try and mend the relationship, which they have seen grow and accepted. (The film portrays the urban, educated middle class and does not make anything a taboo – drinking, getting drunk, overt references to sex, kissing, premarital sex – everything is treated as a natural part of relationships and hence also does not jar on the psyche.) How they try to do it, the often-hilarious methods they use, the awkwardness between the once-in-love couple and the parents’ efforts to get to the bottom of the real cause between the break up and then try and bring them together, often citing examples from their own relationship, is the story of the film. It progresses slowly and may look like it might drag a bit at places, but one is not really expecting a fast-paced, racy progression here, so it didn’t really bother me!
I loved the way the parents handle the situation – without bringing in any prejudices, any egos, any “घर की इज्जत” issues or hang-ups about the girl and completely avoiding being judgemental. How they avoid automatically assuming that the other party would be at fault and not their son, how they genuinely want to understand and help sort out things between the estranged couple and how they genuinely want to hear the girl’s side of the story too before accepting the break up. And somehow all this does not sound utopian or strained, but very real. Born out of real wisdom which comes from many years of their being together and accepting and appreciating each other with all the little faults and idiosyncrasies which has after all given the Muramba of their own relationship a wonderful flavour, to be enjoyed and savoured together. As per their own admission their relationship has not been without ups and downs, but they have in their own way worked on it and sorted it out and they try and make their son realise this too.
The film teaches without being preachy, always maintaining a light, playful note throughout and yet addressing a lot of issues which always lie dormant just underneath a relationship. And while it ends in a most predictable manner, with the young couple of course getting back together again, it does not really seem as if the whole story has been built to reach this very logical conclusion. The actors (all the lead ones – Chinmayee Sumeet and Sachin Khedekar as the parents and Mithila Palkar and Amey Wagh as the young couple) are restrained yet spontaneous and look and sound completely natural. Another treat (for Punekars like me of course) is the liberal “Sthala-Darshan” of “Aaple Pune”!
Do watch it, all 20+ folks, but do yourselves a favour and leave the kids home! Their heartrendingly innocent questions begin right from the second scene of the film ( Mama, break up mhanje kay?”)!!! And no amount of bribes of popcorn, coke, to the final, inevitable yelling from the parents keeps them engaged! They’re better off at home than trying to watch and comprehend something way beyond their capacity!
My rating is a 4/5. I came away with a sense of having seen something entertaining and meaningful.