Maybe I should cancel the trip to my family…
Servus Freunde, my name is Jimmy Cage and
KARKHANISANCHI WAARI, also known as
ASHES ON A ROAD TRIP, is a new Marathi language
comedy drama, that was just released on the
OTT platform Sony Liv.
It was directed and co-written by Mangesh
Joshi and its world premiere was already last
year at the Tokyo International Film Festival,
which is very fitting, because its lighthearted
tone with a serious touch and the subject
matter of a family in disarray – that’s
something that I have seen in a few Japanese
movies as well.
ASHES ON A ROAD TRIP is a lovely little independent
film, that has heart and humor and deals with
family matters in an honest and subtle way.
It has a great beginning, opening up in the
back of a car, in which one man lies dead
and three others are sitting in front of him.
There are some really funny comedic touches
and it’s a nice way to establish the story
The dead man is Puru Dada, the oldest brother
of the titular Karkhanis family.
And the three other men are his brothers.
It is soon learned that Puru made a
His ashes should be scattered in three different
His ancestral house, on the land he owns and
in the Chandrabhaga river in Pandharpur.
And only when that wish is fulfilled, should
his family open up the envelope he left for them.
Which also gives the film a clear goal and
something the audience is curious about and
looking forward to.
ASHES ON A ROAD TRIP then unfolds, as the
title suggests, as a road movie.
A sub-genre in which our main character or
in this case little ensemble of characters,
learn something about themselves or have to
come to terms with something and make an important
decision in their lives.
As you can see on the lovely poster, our road
trip crew contains of the three brothers,
the sister Sadhana and the son of the deceased.
That son, Om, played by Amey Wagh, probably
qualifies as our central protagonist and his
struggle is out in the open the most, at least
for the audience, not so much for the other
characters in the car.
In the beginning we learn that his girlfriend
Madhuri, played by Mrunmayee Deshpande, is pregnant.
A situation that he is very much overwhelmed
Not only does his family not know about his
girlfriend, but his family also sees him as
a good-for-nothing failure because he hasn’t
achieved much yet.
His girlfriend is also tailing them on their
trip on her motorcycle and throughout the
movie we get several small moments with our
two youngest characters.
We also get a second little side journey,
in which the widow of Puru, Indira, played
by Vandana Gupte, has to find out the real
reason why she isn’t able to access their
shared bank account.
And the four siblings in the car also have
things to find and figure out and the film
does a good job, laying out little clues for
the audience about their own private affairs.
One element that certainly connects the characters
is their obvious idea that Puru will leave
them some money and that that money will help
or even solve their main struggles.
Which is of course a frail and deceptive hope,
but also very relatable.
ASHES ON A ROAD TRIP is a nice little comedy
drama about the problems but also the importance of family.
The expectations, secrets, projections, envy,
greed and backstabbing but also the similarities,
memories and shared feelings.
The film can be quite funny but it always
remains grounded and never sacrifices its
It’s basically a feel-good independent movie.
The performances by all actors are really
good, too and there are a few nice, poetic
songs woven into it as well.
It’s not a film that will give you definitive
conclusions to all its narrative threads though.
It leaves some things open, yet still gives
you a satisfying direction, in which they
might go from here.
I really enjoyed how certain topics are tackled
in a rather subtle manner.
Like traditions, generational conflicts, gender
relations or emigration.
And I also liked some of its visuals and visual
and thematic motifs.
At one point they encounter two brothers who
have a car workshop and when they go back
there, things are quite different – not
to spoil anything.
At first, I was quite surprised and wondered
why that is in the film, but on a second thought,
it fits really well, because it’s also about
sibling rivalry and secrets and revelations.
The film also beautifully bookends the journey
of Om just through the way one character is
And since this is a road movie, it’s certainly
nice, that it also has some nice cinematography
and beautiful locations.
It’s not a groundbreaking or super special
film in any regards and most of it feels rather
familiar, but it’s still handled with care
and it keeps you engaged and entertained until the end.
So In German I’d say:
I give ASHES ON A ROAD TRIP 7 out of 10.
It’s more like 7.4 but I don’t do that.
Alright, that’s it.
Like always, comment below and let me know
what you think about ASHES ON A ROAD TRIP.
And also, what is your favorite Indian road
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