What is the story about?
Vimal, an overworked widow, tries her best to take care of her son Balu and her ailing mother-in-law. Due to her late father-in-law's job in the armed forces, the family gets a pension which is dependent on the life of Vimal's mother-in-law. But when she suddenly dies, what do Vimal and Balu do?
Marathi cinema has a huge knack for setting a number of stories that talk about the condition of the poorest and most vulnerable sections of society. Pension belongs to this category. The struggles of Vimal and Balu, as they run around trying to make ends meet on a paltry pension, are heartrending to watch. Director Pundlik Yashoda Laxman Dhumal tries to tell this story sans any sort of embellishment. However, the limitation of a story like this is that there's not much novelty, considering that similar stories have been done before. After a point, you start getting tired of all the various characters, who keep coming and going to Vimal's house, as the film wears on. Even at a run time of 90 minutes, this film feels awfully long and convoluted.
It's the Sonali Kulkarni show all the way, as the veteran actress conveys the struggle and pathos of her circumstances as Vimal. Sumit Gutte is okay as Balu, her son, while Nilambari Khamkar shines as her long-suffering mother-in-law. The rest of the cast get too melodramatic and over-the-top at times.
Music & Other Departments
Cinematographer Raaja Phadatare does a decent job of doccumenting village life. Ulhas Bhalchandra Nandre's art direction is okay, Arvind Sagole's score is passable.
The dramatic sequences are decent. The attempts to show Vimal's efforts to cover up her mother-in-law's demise are heartrending.
The narrative stretches too much even within its 90-minute runtime.
Did I enjoy it?
I found it passable. There are some sequences that stay with you, though.
Do I recommend it?
You can always give this a one-time watch. But it's useless to expect something extraordinary.