Kastoori Review: A Coming-of-Age Story with Heart and Idealism

Deepanjana Pal

It’s Not Just The Wider Society That Brings Gopi Down, But Also His Family

The boy who dreams of school while being forced to clean toilets and work multiple jobs. both Gopi’s mother and his grandmother see the boy’s education as an indulgence and push him towards work rather than school. 

Set in a Dusty Small Town in Maharashtra

Kastoori follows Gopi (Sonawane) who doesn’t talk about his dreams, but lets us glimpse them through the longing glances he casts at cheerful uniformed children in classrooms and at government officers who sign their names with casual, proud authority.

The Prejudice That Surrounds The Jobs

Jobs that Gopi has to do becomes tangible through the distinctive foul odours that the boy becomes paranoid about. His most prized possessions include a bar of soap and the attar that he shares with his best friend Adim (Shravan Upalkar).

The Starting Point of Kastoori

For writer-director Vinod Kamble was a newspaper article he’d chanced upon, which reported that a student from Class VIII had been tasked with conducting autopsies at a government hospital.

Kamble is Careful To Steer Clear of Lecturing His Audience

There is some heavy-handed symbolism, but for most part, the director works to make the audience care for his characters — not out of guilt, but because Gopi and Adim radiate a sweetness and innocence that feels like the rarest, most precious treasure. 

This is Often a Difficult Film To Watch

Kastoori is a film with a conscience and it doesn’t offer an audience easy entertainment. Instead, it works hard to move the viewer, to make them see those who are usually rendered invisible.