Opening this week

‘Kaccha Limbu’ film review: Meet the parents with special needs

Prasad Oak’s movie, starring Sonali Kulkarni and Ravi Jadhav, examines a couple’s struggle to bring up their mentally challenged adolescent.

When Bacchu walks across the house, his misshapen bulk casts ominous shadows on the wall, like Quasimodo on the loose.

Bacchu is 15 and mentally challenged. He is shown no mercy in reputed actor Prasad Oak’s directorial debut Kaccha Limbu, which is based on Jaywant Dalvi’s novel Runanubandh. The provocative and beautifully performed movie is filled with taboo ideas, macabre thoughts and vivid images. Moving far away from political correctness but also keeping distance from the outer edge, Oak sets up a mostly absorbing drama about a couple struggling to bring up their only son while simultaneously trying to hold on to what brought them together in the first place. The Marathi movie has been released with English subtitles.

The most shocking idea in Kaccha Limbu is not that Bacchu’s adolescent hormones have started kicking in, and that Bacchu (Manmeet Pem) paws his mother Shaila one night. It is that Shaila (Sonali Kulkarni) and Bacchu’s father Mohan (Ravi Jadhav) are fed up and honest about it. They have mixed feelings towards Bacchu, and they give expression to their conflicting emotions in different ways. Mohan berates his fate and belts Bacchu. Shaila daubs lipstick and seeks friendship and possibly more when her kindly boss Pandit (Sachin Khedekar) takes an interest in her domestic woes.

A love triangle seems to be falling into place, but the real monster under the bed – literally so in some scenes – is the uncontrollable and underdeveloped Bacchu. Mohan handles the night shift at the telegraph office and Shaila works at a pharmaceutical company to ensure that one of them is around to clean up after their son. They worry about money, and save up coins and single notes for the “Bacchu Fund” that they are setting up for their son. When Pandit gives Shaila a cake for her birthday, she beams as though she has been gifted venison.

Kaccha Limbu (2017).

The parents are the ones with special needs, requiring money, therapy and comfort. The movie goes far beyond the stage adaptation Nati-Goti, which Dalvi also wrote, in examining the daily anguish that marks the couple’s lives. Sexual desire is more explicitly stated, and in three scenes, Oak sensitively handles unthinkable realities of the household. Some of the scenes have the flavour of the Greek dysfunctional drama Dogtooth, but Oak calibrates the cruelty to balance shock with empathy.

Some scenes lean towards the grotesque without needing to, and Oak stretches the story for much longer than it is worth. The heart of the movie is the bond between Mohan and Shaila, which is movingly and powerfully depicted by Kulkarni and Jadhav. Kulkarni is especially effective as the harried wife trying to hold on to her feminine side, and Khedekar is good too as the boss who alters the contours of the couple’s relationship with one another.

The genteel poverty of a Mumbai chawl is superbly lensed by Amalendu Chaudhary in vivid black-and-white to heighten the family’s general state of impoverishment. Colour is used only for scenes and objects that depict a happier past – the hope-filled union between Mohan and Shaila, their joy at the birth of their son, the wedding sari and perfume that remind Shaila of her fading feminine side.

The use of tight frames and close-ups in the interiors has a handsome pay-off in the exterior scenes. By following the characters closely and zooming out only in carefully framed shots, Oak and Chaudhary intelligently recreate 1980s Mumbai – fewer people, a slower time – with the minimum of fuss.

The ’80s setting goes some way towards accounting for the overall ignorance and neglect of Bacchu’s condition, though it doesn’t adequately explain Oak’s disinterest in humanising the teenager. Reduced to a pile of grunts and gurgles, Bacchu is a mere footnote in a larger saga of domestic cruelty. He doesn’t even get a proper name that befits his age. His parents treat him like the child they wish he was, and the filmmaker treats him like a spare part when he is actually the motor driving the show.

Majhe Aai Baba, Kaccha Limbu (2017).
We welcome your comments at
Sponsored Content BY 

Not just for experts: How videography is poised for a disruption

Digital solutions are making sure it’s easier than ever to express your creativity in moving images.

Where was the last time you saw art? Chances are on a screen, either on your phone or your computer. Stunning photography and intricate doodles are a frequent occurrence in the social feeds of many. That’s the defining feature of art in the 21st century - it fits in your pocket, pretty much everyone’s pocket. It is no more dictated by just a few elite players - renowned artists, museum curators, art critics, art fair promoters and powerful gallery owners. The digital age is spawning creators who choose to be defined by their creativity more than their skills. The negligible incubation time of digital art has enabled experimentation at staggering levels. Just a few minutes of browsing on the online art community, DeviantArt, is enough to gauge the scope of what digital art can achieve.

Sure enough, in the 21st century, entire creative industries are getting democratised like never before. Take photography, for example. Digital photography enabled everyone to capture a memory, and then convert it into personalised artwork with a plethora of editing options. Apps like Instagram reduced the learning curve even further with its set of filters that could lend character to even unremarkable snaps. Prisma further helped to make photos look like paintings, shaving off several more steps in the editing process. Now, yet another industry is showing similar signs of disruption – videography.

Once burdened by unreliable film, bulky cameras and prohibitive production costs, videography is now accessible to anyone with a smartphone and a decent Internet bandwidth. A lay person casually using social media today has so many video types and platforms to choose from - looping Vine videos, staccato Musical.lys, GIFs, Instagram stories, YouTube channels and many more. Videos are indeed fast emerging as the next front of expression online, and so are the digital solutions to support video creation.

One such example is Vizmato, an app which enables anyone with a smartphone to create professional-looking videos minus the learning curve required to master heavy, desktop software. It makes it easy to shoot 720p or 1080p HD videos with a choice of more than 40 visual effects. This fuss- free app is essentially like three apps built into one - a camcorder with live effects, a feature-rich video editor and a video sharing platform.

With Vizmato, the creative process starts at the shooting stage itself as it enables live application of themes and effects. Choose from hip hop, noir, haunted, vintage and many more.

The variety of filters available on Vizmato
The variety of filters available on Vizmato

Or you can simply choose to unleash your creativity at the editing stage; the possibilities are endless. Vizmato simplifies the core editing process by making it easier to apply cuts and join and reverse clips so your video can flow exactly the way you envisioned. Once the video is edited, you can use a variety of interesting effects to give your video that extra edge.

The RGB split, Inset and Fluidic effects.
The RGB split, Inset and Fluidic effects.

You can even choose music and sound effects to go with your clip; there’s nothing like applause at the right moment, or a laugh track at the crack of the worst joke.

Or just annotated GIFs customised for each moment.

Vizmato is the latest offering from Global Delight, which builds cross-platform audio, video and photography applications. It is the Indian developer that created award-winning iPhone apps such as Camera Plus, Camera Plus Pro and the Boom series. Vizmato is an upgrade of its hugely popular app Game Your Video, one of the winners of the Macworld Best of Show 2012. The overhauled Vizmato, in essence, brings the Instagram functionality to videos. With instant themes, filters and effects at your disposal, you can feel like the director of a sci-fi film, horror movie or a romance drama, all within a single video clip. It even provides an in-built video-sharing platform, Popular, to which you can upload your creations and gain visibility and feedback.


So, whether you’re into making the most interesting Vines or shooting your take on Ed Sheeran’s ‘Shape of You’, experience for yourself how Vizmato has made video creation addictively simple. Android users can download the app here and iOS users will have their version in January.

This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of Vizmato and not by the Scroll editorial team.