Updated: December 12, 2021 4:39:15 pm
When a child is born, he arrives into the world crying. He earns a living, does good and bad equally, makes something of himself so to speak. But when he is dead, he is quiet but the people around him cry this time around. Why not bid farewell just the same way we greet a life? ‘Fun’eral, a Marathi feature film that screened in the Pune International Film Festival (PIFF), instead asks one to give a smiling farewell to anyone, who is parting ways.
The feature film, directed by Vivek Dubey is written and produced by Ramesh Dighe. It narrates the story of a group of friends living in small settlements, but with big dreams to have a business of their own. An incident leads the group to an unconventional path in their lives.
So far, the film has been screened at Port Blair International Film Festival, Ambernath Marathi Film Festival, Rajasthan International Film Festival, Chhatrapati Shivaji International Film Festival, Asha International Film Festival and the International Film Festival of India (IFFI).
Dighe said that the film, shot in the cosmopolitan city of Mumbai, highlights a society where one can earn money but one does not earn four people to shoulder one’s bier in his last journey.
Picking from his own life experiences, Dighe began writing the script in the year 2014, dedicating the film to his friend Hira. “The film is a tribute to my friend Hira. There is a character with the same name in the film. Hira and I come from the chawl area of Mumbai where there is always something happening around you, even in death. The first and foremost thing one does is to fetch that one person knows everything there is to know about a funeral — to arrange for the bier, the rituals to be conducted and how to arrange for the last rites. This film focuses on things that lie in the corner of life but are very important. As for the title, I had thought of that first and the story came to me organically,” Dighe.
Contrasting the prevalent connotations of death being dark, accepting that death is the only truth and the rest is just a wishful illusion, the film is a light-hearted perception of the concept of death. “Death has always been portrayed as something dark or with a heavy philosophy moulded with it, which a person might not want to see or hear. Somewhere, in the back of his or her mind too, they know it is real,” said Dubey.
Dubey said that the project began in 2019 and while a majority of the shooting was finished before the lockdown was in place, it was a hindrance to their dubbing and sound score work.
Talking about how the tone of the story aligns with the contemporary, Dubey said, “When Ramesh had written the story, no one had fathomed what was bound to come. The film has been viewed by many now. People hug us with tears as the film gives them strength. People can connect to the film as somewhere everyone went through a similar kind of grief.”