‘Habaddi’, a feel-good, aspirational Marathi film is currently proving once again why regional cinema is decisively becoming a pan-Indian phenomenon. This Nachiket Samant directorial was released on the OTT platform on August 1 and is already winning over critics and audiences alike with its heartfelt tale of a young, orphan child who finds a way to defy fate, overcome a speech defect and triumph over bullies through the game of Kabaddi.
The film makes you see the world through the gaze of Manya (Karan Dave), a 10-year-old boy living in Kolhapur who desperately wants to travel to Mumbai with his school’s Kabaddi team. He also wants to meet Ketaki (Vedshree Mahajan), a girl in Mumbai who happens to be his crush but there are many odds in his way. Due to his stutter, he cannot even say ‘Kabaddi, Kabaddi’ properly and is always the butt of jokes and bullying. With simplicity and sweetness, the film goes on to build this narrative arc and transports us to our childhood and drenches us in bitter, sweet nostalgia.