Anandi Gopal tells the true story of a young girl, who became one of India’s first women doctors. Starring Lalit Prabhakar and Bhagyashree Milind, this Sameer Vidwans directional is a tale filled with love and hope. The film is quick in setting the tone and introducing us to the characters. Gopalrao Joshi (Lalit) is a widower who wishes to remarry. But he doesn’t want a wife who spends her time cooking or taking care of the house. He has one condition- his partner should pursue studies and enter the field of medicine. Anandi is an innocent young girl, who is set in her ways. She is married off to Gopal, even before hitting puberty.
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With an age gap of almost 20 years and personalities and ambitions that are poles apart, an explosive marriage is the expected outcome. But Anandi Gopal surprises you when you are least prepared for it. What starts out as a bitter bond soon develops into a loving and inspiring one. Gopal is headstrong and is extreme in his ways. He doesn’t realise that Anandi is an impressionable girl, who has dreams and desires, other than pursuing medicine. He forces his wishes upon her and makes her succumb to his ways, even if it involves being violent. A part of you hates him, given how unreasonable and aggressive he can be.
But as the story progresses, you see a side to him that changes your impression of him. He proves to be a progressive man, who believes in equal rights for men and women. Gopal makes Anandi his priority and goes out of his way, to support her. Once she decides to study medicine, he enrolls her in a school. From buying her a uniform, to helping her study to encouraging her at every step of the way, Gopal does it all. His character is extremely complex, and that’s the fun of it. Till the very end, you can’t decide whether you like him or not. Lalit does justice to his stern character and fits the role perfectly.
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Metamorphosis Costume is a huge part of getting into character. The right costume determines the character, helps the actor feel who he is, and serves the story. It was a great experience working with @sachinfido sir. I am always thankful to you and your team. #AnandiGopal#process
Anandi on the other hand is a timid soul. But what’ interesting to see is that she stands up for herself, when need be. You get to see her transformation from a girl to a woman, as the narrative unfolds. Bhgayashree is convincing with her powerful act as the protagonist.
Aside from the performances, Lalit and Bhagyashree’s solid chemistry in the film is another factor for it being a must-watch. The two bring a certain charisma to the table with their on-screen pair. Along with tracing Anandi’s journey into becoming a doctor, the film also sheds light on the stigma that was attached to women being associated with medicine. Set in the 19th century, Anandi Gopal highlights the regressive mentality at the time and how Anandi battled all odds, to reach her goal.
The film captures the pre-Independence era beautifully. One can tell that Sameer has paid attention to all intricate details, from the sets to the costumes etc. You are taken on an inspiring journey of determination and hard work. But be prepared to face a blow when the reason behind Anandi’s tragic death is revealed. You don’t believe in irony, this would be a start.
All in all, Anandi Gopal is a wholesome, heartwarming tale of a woman who fought a tough battle, despite the chinks in her armour. It is an important and relevant tale, that everyone needs to know. Check out the film above and tell us what you think in the comments section below!
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