'Kaun Kitney Paani Mein'
U/A; Drama/satire
Director: Nila Madhab Panda
Cast: Kunal Kapoor, Radhika Apte, Saurabh Shukla, Gulshan Grover

This satire revolves around a hapless ‘Raja’ Brij Singh Deo (Saurabh Shukla), who is struggling to come to terms with the fact that his days of glory are over. With his coffers empty and inability to look after himself, the Raja’s only way out is sell his palace and his property. But there is a hitch. There are no takers because of the acute water scarcity in his part of the village. The other side of the village, where ‘lower’ caste people reside, has moved on with time and is flourishing because of their leader, Kharu (Gulshan Grover).

Kharu with the help of his daughter Paro (Radhika Apte) has kept up with changing times and introduced some innovative ways of preserving water. Though the Raja is well aware of the changing situations and reversal of fortunes, he still hangs on to the archaic superiority complex. He hatches a plan with his son, Raj (Kunal Kapoor) to get some of the water and prosperity from the other side to flow to their side of the village. But when Raj falls in love with Paro, all his plans go down the dry drain. Panda, who earlier gave us socially relevant films like 'I am Kalam' and 'Jalpari', yet again deals with an important subject — the need for water conservation and also the still rampant and rigid caste system in the country.

A subject of this kind could have easily fallen into the danger of appearing dry and boring, but thanks to a good sprinkling of humour, a screenplay full of life (by Deepak Venkateshan) and some decent performances, this one is definitely watchable. Shukla deserves a special mention for his crackling and memorable performance as a decadent but desperate ‘Kshatriya’ who has fallen on bad times.

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