Zwigato movie review: Kapil Sharma reflects hope, resilience
What: Zwigato - Kapil Sharma reflects hope, resilience and disappointment in the 'struggle on the wheels' drama"
Zwigato movie synopsis
In Nandita Das's Zwigato, standup comedian, show runner of the popular entertainment show, Kapil Sharma plays Manas Mahto - a perennially morose food delivery guy struggling to make his ends meet.
After losing his job at a factory and running jobless for a couple of months, Manas Mahto starts earning as a delivery executive in the city of Bhubaneswar with 'Zwigato' ( the name is a quintessential portmanteau of Swiggy and Zomato), a fictitious outfit that has supposedly employed a mammoth of jobless people.
Zwigato chronicles the struggles of this man who runs his family in a One Bedroom-Hall Asbestos-roof house comprising his supportive wife, Pratima (Shahana Goswami), an ailing mother and his two kids and also runs for incentives which can be achieved by fulfilling more than ten deliveries a day.
Nandita along with co-writer Samir Patil conjure up a somber and solemn portrait of hope, disappointment and resilience imbibed in the joy-and-sorrow ride of the protagonist. Nandita, who made films like Firaaq and Manto in the past, is a very perceptive filmmaker who has a flair for finesse - which is demonstrated in the intimate detailing around Manas and Pratima's life, the intricate nuances around the daily chores and the emotional arc.
But the indulgence in Manas's life turns out to be a bit problematic. What Zwigato offers us is a documentary with its flat storytelling. There are a lot of people around Manas and Pratima, but they are just mere props in the plot. After a point in time, I felt that the narrative needed some ups and down, some tension or some urgency. Some sub-plots could have been freshened up well.
Bhubaneswar is a city of temples. Nandita, who has her roots in Odisha, doesn't exploit the beauty and vibrancy of the city except an unflattering view of the Lingaraj temple in one sequence. There is a good deal of sub-titled conversations happening in Odiya which gives a hard-baked feel of its ethos because the characters serve mere token presence.
However, I was invested in Kapil's earnest act in depicting a rider's arduous journey. This is strikingly different from he did in two of his past films - Kiss Kiss ko Pyar Karoon and Firangi. It must have been a tough call for the actor to come out of the comedy zone and sink his teeth into the character of a common man grappling with life's miseries. His Mahto is cynical, grumpy and also clumsy. At one point, he struggles to take selfie with his customer which can boost his rating. At another, he gives a befitting reply to an irreverent one and thereby sabotages his job. He is a simple man with lot of self-respect.
Complementing him in most of the frames (where he is not riding!) is Shahana who takes up odd jobs of a masseuse and cleaner staff at a mall. An extremely intuitive and seasoned actor, she nails the parts encompassing the occasional sting that Pratima feels because of her socio-economic status.
Zwigato, as a ride, is tedious with its 1 hour 45 minutes of runtime but if you enjoy the sweet and sour vagaries of life, you may give it a chance.
I go with 3 out of 5 stars.