Director/writer/Lyrist/Editor: Prajakt Rebeloma
Producer: Er. Moreshwar Meshram
What’s Good: Sound and unique script, distinctive and smart dialogues, good songs (not all), exceptional comedy and okay performances and above all a movie with strong climax and incredible punch line, especially for the youngsters.
What’s Bad: Amateur acting and direction, however, the other things compensates for the flaws witnessed in this movie.
To watch or Not?: Indeed an important question though! Lastbenchers is among the amateur movie in terms of acting and performance and to certain extent even direction and photography, however, in terms of theme, script, dialogues, comedy, incredible punch lines and good climax, it can be said to be a must watch movie. The movie, however, lacks the star value with no known face in it except the Slumdog Millionaire girl- Tanvi Lonkar. This may not be a sheer captivating commercial movie in comparison to the other Bollywood movies churning out every Friday, yet it has a subtle message in it backed by a lucid story, which is captivating enough to touch the hearts of audience especially the youngsters. Prajakt has hardly cared to rely on the signpost stars unlike other movie but yes he has focused hard on portraying the message loud and clear that with determination and commitment, you can overcome the hurdles and turn big in your real life. Instead of reiterating on the problems, hurdles and hiccups coming in our way, a man with nerves of steel simply overcomes them and accomplishes his goals. The script of movie is simply incredible, powerful and robust, which has the real punch in it making the movie a worthy watching affair.
Digging deep inside the Script
The story revolves around four young college students who remain backbenchers in their academic life. They are engrossed in all sorts of masti, fun and enjoyment, which any college guy can imagine in his or her life, yet when it comes to facing the real life, they all seem to overcome their flaw in their personality and turn out heroes. The character of Prajakt seems to be the central one in the movie, with other guys like Dipak, Sanket and Prashant being his friend are seen cracking jokes and puns both witty and naive stuff, however, Parajakt seems to be a serious guy in anything he does. He is a man of substance who accomplishes everything with vigour and commitment even when life turns blue or black.
He is a no nonsense person, hence right from melancholy to pain, anger, aguish, success and stardom, he has tried to portray the character of calm and educating mentor in the film. Lastbenchers being his debut movie has a couple of hits and misses, in fact more of the latter than the former. And we have no yardstick to judge him on his past work or projects. So, it would be fair to say that this movie is his lab wherein he learnt a lot in filmmaking, direction, music, cinematography, lyrics and of course acting and performance. He was seen an amateur though in terms of randomness seen in his movie yet has the potential to crack the best in Bollywood.
Interestingly, he is the man who created everything right from the script to shaping up the characters, the lyrics, photography and direction. So as said, a jack of all ends up without being master in anyone seems to be true in the case of Prajakt. Yet, on the positive note, the script has moral lessons, inspirational story, and a vision to do something big despite the constraints for the youngsters. This is where Prajakt is seen winning the race, he has made a movie without any external help forget about asking any support or vision from the B Town, which itself is an incredible feat.
All these factors make the movie a worthy piece to watch in theatres or multiplexes. Though most of the scenes in the movie seemed too random making most of the time to lose the flow, which was more witnessed in the first half, however, as the second part starts, it turns out to be more captivating for the audience to sit and watch the entire one. And the real punch dwells at the end, wherein Prajakt has a strong message for the youngsters.
The movie can miss out lofty mansions, foreign locations to shoot songs, and other scenes, irresistible music and star value yet the power it has in the script gives you enough reason to watch the movie. The real treasure of the movie lies at the end, which means you need to be patient enough to enjoy the max at the climax.
Lastbenchers – Performance, Direction, Editing and Screenplay
All the actors including Prajakt and other guys were seen making their debut in acting and film world with this movie. Hence their performance went roller coaster, with too many misses and less amount of hits. Prajat’s performance seemed turning better as the film progresses and at the end he seemed quite okay. Of course, Tanvi Lonkar seemed better in comparison with others, needless to say that she has acted previously with bigger banners, which even fetched a couple of Oscar awards to her debut movie Slumdog Millionaire. In terms of direction, I will be again miser in giving him upper grades as he is still an amateur and has miles to go. However, to walk a mile you start with a step, hence Lastbenchers can be called his first step, he has more such projects in pipeline wherein he can prove his worth in this industry. Similar was the story with editing and screenplay wherein the amateur stuff was often felt and seen. The songs were okay especially the emotional ones. The song ‘Back in My Life’ seemed incredible, which witnessed a class performance of Prajakt and Tanvi.
A hardcore Nagpurian movie
Looking at the accent, diction, and language of the movie, it seems to be a hardcore Nagpurian movie. The slangs and language you find in Lastbenchers speak the heart and soul of Nagpur, which makes the Nagpurians proud of the same. So, don’t expect the conventional Hindi language you find in the other Bollywood movies that churn out often every Friday.
Lastbenchers can be called as an indulgent affair, which simply breaks down the boundaries of other B Town movies that are made with star value and incredible amount of resources. Prajakt may be an amateur in his debut movie both in direction and acting perse, however, in terms of script and message, he seems very much tangible. He has proven his worth in terms of embarking with a movie encompassing a subtle theme. If you really want to appreciate the efforts of a first time movie maker, director, actor and cinematographer you will not miss Lastbenchers. If you watch films to catch some lessons along with humour and wit, Lastbenchers can be a best bet. For him and his team’s efforts the rating of 3 out of 5 is justified.