The white-collar goon: Abhishek Banerjee on Ajji
It is almost midnight. The rains have stopped, the streams have flooded the gutter, the marketplace, shops and the houses are shut. This is when Ajji (Sushma Deshpande) steps out in search of her granddaughter Manda (Sharvani Suryavanshi). So far, this was clear in director Devashish Makhija’s next, titled Ajji (or Granny) trailer.The movie has already created a buzz among the audience and critics alike after it garnered several accolades at various film festivals across India and abroad. As coincidental as it may sound, you can compare how Ajji (Sushma) has a similar attitude that Keanu Reeves carried off in John Wick — both the characters have a single-minded approach and are focused on one specific factor — the nemesis, in this case, Dhavle (Abhishek Banerjee), son of the local politician and someone who is on a ‘powertrip’.“Dhavle is a person who thinks he can do anything in his area, suppress people, use violence against them and threaten them. In the powertrip, when some people lose their way, Dhavle loses himself and becomes a sexual predator. The prostitutes, his wife or local women are all affected by this one guy,” says Abhishek, who is also the co-founder of Mumbai-based Casting Bay.
Like mentioned before, on an unfortunate night, when the seven-year-old Manda was walking back home after delivering a stitched blouse to Leela (Saadiya Siddique), a local prostitute, she is raped by Dhavle.
“For him, it is another drunk night. The incident is not even a crime in his eyes. He justifies his actions stating that this was a lesson for the girl, who was walking alone in the night,” says 32-year-old, an alumnus of Kirori Mal College, New Delhi.
Despite the gory revenge scenes and the quest for justice, the aspect of fighting the rich and powerful is vital to the story. Abhishek offers, “The real world is far worse than what we have done in reel.
Also, as far as the practicality goes, we came across a case during our research, where a woman castrated her husband for raping their daughter. If one person stands against such injustice and the powerful, all of that we have shot is possible in the real world,” he concludes.
Ajji releases today.