STORY: Yaman Shastry, seven years old, is the pride and joy of his grandparents. A family court struggle results from the grandfather's strong refusal to allow Yaman's child leave the ancestral home when his parents plan to move to the US.
Review: 'Shastry Viruddh Shastry' explores a topical matter that many urban parents find relatable: the dependence on grandparents for child care. The film presents a thought-provoking experience by highlighting the patriarchal dynamics within families and the potential ramifications, as exemplified by the conflict between a father and grandfather over a child. The last hour drags the story out and includes didactic remarks that could have been left out, but it manages to keep the audience interested.
The protagonist of the narrative is Yaman (Kabir Pahwa), who lives in Panchgani with his grandparents, Manohar (Paresh Rawal) and Urmila (Neena Kulkarni). Malhar (Shiv Panditt) and Mallika (Mimi Chakraborty), Yaman's parents, work in Mumbai and only come to Panchgani on the weekends. They primarily communicate with their child via video chats. But Manohar Shastry fiercely opposes Malhar's plans to move to the US with his wife and son once he obtains a job offer, which sets up a heated custody dispute in court.
The same directing team that helmed this movie also directed the Bengali film "Posto," which is essentially what this movie is a remake of. Notably, the grandfather in the first movie was played by seasoned actor Soumitra Chatterjee. Shastra Viruddh Shastry features a number of heartfelt, emotionally charged moments. On-screen, moments like the one in the courtroom when the son finds it difficult to watch his father being questioned by the attorney or the one in which the boy begs for assistance after his grandfather passes away while returning from school, are both skillfully performed and emotionally impactful.
Paresh Rawal gives a strong portrayal as the devoted grandfather who is still sceptical of his son because of his drinking and unstable work schedule. As Malhar and Mallika, Shiv Pandit and Mimi Chakraborty radiate confidence, while as Yaman, Kabir Pahwa captivates the audience and makes them grin on multiple occasions. But Amruta Subhash, who plays a shrewd lawyer in this social drama, gives the best performance. False notes have no place in Subhash's excellent performance in her role.
For urban couples who can relate to the events depicted, this emotionally packed movie takes the audience on a familiar trip. The film's allure is also derived from the traditional charm Nandita Roy and Shiboprosad Mukherjee skillfully created. But at 140 minutes, the film's length starts to become a bit of a disadvantage, particularly in the last half hour, when it can try viewers' patience and cause them to check their watches out of anticipation inadvertently.