- 1 hr 48 min
Devrai is an Indian Marathi language drama film released in 2004 directed by Sumitra Bhave and Sunil Sukthankar. The film features Atul Kulkarni, Sonali Kulkarni, and Tushar Dalvi in the lead roles, alongside actors Mohan Agashe, Renuka Daftardar, Kiran Yadnopavit, and Jyoti Subhash in supporting roles. The story revolves around Shesh Shahi, played by Atul Kulkarni, who is a software engineer working in Mumbai. Shesh is a smart and ambitious professional who has a bright future ahead of him, but he is struggling with a mental illness known as schizophrenia. Due to his condition, Shesh starts seeing and hearing things that are not real, making his life extremely difficult. His condition deteriorates with time, and he is finally forced to resign from his job and return to his village in Konkan, Maharashtra.
Shesh's family is elated to have him back home, but his father, played by Mohan Agashe, is apprehensive about his son's well-being. Shesh's village is a serene and tranquil place, surrounded by dense forests, and the inhabitants of the village believe in the concept of Devrai, a sacred grove of trees that is revered by the locals. The villagers believe that Devrai is home to the spirits of their ancestors and offer prayers to the trees to seek their blessings.
Shesh is initially hesitant to accept the belief in Devrai, but as he spends more time in the village, he starts understanding the significance of the sacred grove. He becomes close to Nandini, played by Sonali Kulkarni, who is a school teacher in the village and an expert on the subject of Devrai. Nandini is a kind-hearted and empathetic person who tries to help Shesh overcome his mental illness by encouraging him to seek solace in nature and the divine spirits present in Devrai.
As the story progresses, Shesh begins to recover slowly from his illness and starts seeing the world in a new light. The film beautifully portrays the various stages of Shesh's mental illness and his eventual healing. The bond between Shesh and Nandini is the crux of the story, and their relationship is portrayed with sensitivity and warmth.
The film also sheds light on the importance of preserving nature and the ill-effects of deforestation. The character of Nandini advocates the need to protect nature and Devrai to ensure the well-being of the entire community. There is a poignant scene in the movie where Nandini takes a group of children to Devrai and explains the significance of the sacred grove to them.
The acting in the film is top-notch, and all the actors have delivered fantastic performances. Atul Kulkarni is exceptional in his portrayal of a person suffering from schizophrenia. He captures the nuances of the illness with precision and sensitivity, making the audience empathize with his character. Sonali Kulkarni shines in the role of Nandini, effortlessly playing the role of the guiding light in Shesh's life. The supporting cast has also done an excellent job, with Mohan Agashe and Renuka Daftardar standing out.
The film has been shot beautifully, capturing the serene beauty of Konkan and the dense forests surrounding the village. The background score is minimalistic yet effective, blending seamlessly with the mood of the film.
Devrai is a thought-provoking and heartwarming film, exploring sensitive themes like mental illness, spirituality, and the importance of nature, with great depth and subtlety. The film is a must-watch for anyone who enjoys meaningful cinema that leaves a lasting impact on the viewer.
Devrai is a 2004 drama with a runtime of 1 hour and 48 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 8.1.