Guthlee Ladoo review: A rural tale of caste oppression stretching the need for education

Guthlee Ladoo review: A rural tale of caste operession stretching the need for education

Guthlee Ladoo review: A rural tale of caste oppression stretching the need for education

What: “Guthlee Ladoo” – ‘just chill’ fame Sanjay Mishra starrer is a willing shout for equality and education that manages to hit the right chord.

Guthlee Ladoo movie synopsis

In a remote Indian village what seems to be from Bundelkhand region, "Guthlee Ladoo" is a story about two close friends Guthlee (Dhanay Sheth) and Ladoo (Heet Sharma) hailing from the Dalit background. The father of Guthlee Mangru (Subrat Dutta) and Ladoo Budhiya (Kanchan Pagare) earn their living by cleaning toilets and sewages. Ladoo is satisfied with his life but Guthlee wants to be free and wants to learn, study, go to school. The school's principal Harishankar ( Sanjay Mishra) an upper caste brahmin feels for Guthlee but the rigid and bias mindset based on caste system discriminates people like Guthlee from their world and treat them as untouchables.

How Guthlee and his family fight the rigid caste system and find hope forms the crux of this relevant social drama.


Guthlee Ladoo movie review

Somehow passing images of Nagraj Popatrao Manjule’s 2011 short film Pistulya flashed at times. The movie showed the struggle of a child from a Dalit family for an education.

It’s a duty of a realistic cinema on caste struggle to expose the perils of rigid social hierarchy with facts and vigour.

Guthlee Ladoo directed by Ishrat R Khan (previous assistant in brainless mad capers like Welcome, No Entry and the recent Dream Girl 2) takes a relevant subject that needs to be addressed. The story by Srinivas Abrol is a mix of social comment having the undercurrent of coming of age.

The screenplay and dialogues by Ganesh Pandit, Srinivas Abrol and Ishrat R Khanthat has a build-up (seen during the casting) and the intro of Sanjay Mishra’s character Harishankar and Guthlee’s learning in school by peeping from the window outside the class room. The divide is established but its not that sublime and hard-hitting tale of rights, desires, equality and power struggle.

Though we stand for Guthlee and our heart bleeds for Ladoo but not everybody will be enraged the way we were when we watched Dhanush’s Karnan and Asuran. Or another gem of Majule Fandry (2016).

You can’t expect a Shyam Benegal from Ishrat R Khan instantly after being part of Bollywood’s harmless madcap comedies but I wanted some good debate on caste system which was missing.

However, Ishrat R Khan makes the journey of Guthlee run intimately with the class/power struggle and Harishankar’s coming of age.

Ishrat R Khan makes it simple and meaningful and maintains a rhythmic energy akin to Indian sensitive cinema. A couple of scenes stayed with me like the sad incident of Ladoo and the filmy but impactfully metaphoric climax. 

The settings is realistic thanks to the wonderful camera work by Anil Akki, fine editing by Steven H. Bernard. Costumes by Sagar Trilotkar are perfect. Amar Mohile background score sets the mood. Sara Ishrat Khan’s production designing is adequate.


Dhanay Sheth as Guthlee is a stealer, the child actor is a bundle of talent and the movie belongs to him.

Sanjay Mishra as Harishankar (School principal) is in his element.   

Subrat Dutta as Mangru (Guthlee’s Father) is outstanding, the scene were he angry broken stands out.

Kalyanee Mulay as Rania (Guthlee’s Mother) is fabulous and has her fine moments.

Heet Sharma as Ladoo is endearing.   

Kanchan Pagare as Budhiya (Ladoo’s Father) is fantastic.

Archana Patel as Dhaniya (Ladoo’s Mother) is good.

Arif Shahdoli as Chaube (Politician & School Trustee) makes his presence felt.

Sanjay Sonu as Ganesia (Peon) is niece.


Guthlee Ladoo - Final words

Movies on class struggle in Indian cinema had made tremendous impact and not just acted as mirrors. Right from India’s first Cannes triumph Palme d'Or winner Neecha Nagar (1946) by Chetan Anand to Bimal Roy’s Do Bheega Zameen to Anubhav Sinha’s Article 15 to Majule’s Fandry.

Ishrat R Khan’s Guthlee Ladoo is a necessary cinema that manages to deliver the message. Watch it if you are looking for sense and sensibility in cinema.


Rating : 3/5

Director :
Actress :

About vishal verma

vishal verma

A child born from life & fed by cinema. A filmi keeda from child & a film journalist for the last fifteen years. a father, seeker, foodie who loves crooning bollywood melodies More By vishal verma

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