“The journey from ego to realization” – This is what the film is all about, to describe it in one sentence.
Anant (Sandip Kulkarni) is born to play basketball. He’s a coach of a basketball team in Nagpur, until the team unbeaten (Ajinkya) till this game, is defeated. His expectation of “We should win every match by at least 25 points” is shattered and as promised to his wife, he quits basketball altogether. He cannot digest the defeat and ahead of sour relationship with his wife Saee (Kadambari Kadam) he decides to get himself transferred. His egotist approach towards game, as well as life, estranges his relation with his wife and drowns him towards denial.
The second half of the movie guides him away from his egotist approach and makes him understand and accept his faults and responsibilities. Various small things, that happen with him in this new town and new people, make him realize how wrong was his path towards excellence. Sarika Nilatkar, his ex-assistant coach and a family friend, is pivotal in bringing him close to realization. Various instances are beautifully crafted to outline this journey. The movie, overall, is good to watch and learn.
Having said that, the film however keeps you guessing for references (of some scenes) and misses high-points which are necessary to build the story and tempo. The mosaic of flashback and present is delicately woven but their constant and unwarranted occurrences baffle the viewer. There are two songs in the movie “Ajinkya Theme Song” and “Jari majha tujha ha khel” which go very well with the situations. It is good to see that movie is not flooded with songs (as the story doesn’t quite need them to hold) and optimum quantity is assured. The cinematography is crisp and precise. The unnecessary usage of bold lighting is avoided and doesn’t get engaged in shenanigans of awkward angles. A bit better editing could have made the movie bloom more.
Congratulations to the whole team of “Ajinkya” – most of them (barring the actors) are first timers and the effort is very credible. I wish much more success to them in the coming time.