Time Movies' EHSAAS, written-directed by Mahesh Manjrekar, deals with the relationship of a father with his 11-year-old son.
Ravi (Sunil Shetty) lives in Goa with his son Rohan (Mayank), who is an excellent athlete. Ravi wants Rohan to win the 400 meters race in the All India Inter Schools Meet and to realise his dream, he slave-drives Rohan.
Gradually, Rohan develops hatred for his father and he starts rebelling. Antra (Neha) is Rohan's best friend and soulmate. Rohan always pours his woes out to her and she also feels that Ravi is a despot, a tyrant.
As the AIISM draws near, Rohan's training intensifies and so does his hatred for Ravi. And one fine day, an incident shatters Ravi's dreams. What happens next?
EHSAAS is an honest attempt by Mahesh Manjrekar that tackles the sensitive father-son relationship. Though movie buffs have witnessed films of this genre aplenty (MASOOM, AKELE HUM AKELE TUM and the more recent RAHUL), EHSAAS is different in the sense that the father wants to realise his dreams through his son.
On the script level, the film is focussed and does not meander to sub-plots, but the flaw lies in the fact that the father is shown in a negative light in the entire first half. His ill-treating and abusing his only son is a bit too hard to absorb. Although the reasons for doing so are genuine (he wants his son to be a first class athlete!), such behaviour makes you feel as if the child were his step-son.
The film is simplistic in narration and unadorned in terms of look and setting. But it lacks a hit score to elevate the proceedings. The songs are tuneful, no doubt, but slow-paced and situational. 'Yeh Din Bachcho Ke' is the pick of the lot, while 'Tumse Milkar Hua Hain' has a soothing effect.
After establishing the characters in the initial reels, the story gathers momentum only in the post-interval portions, when Mayank meets with an accident and Sunil's expectations come crashing down. The sequences thereafter are skilfully executed, mainly the athletic meet and the race.
Mahesh Manjrekar's indelible stamp comes to the fore in the final half-an-hour of the film. The race is simply brilliant and the plight of the kid moves you. The emotions depicted are successful in striking a chord.
Cinematography (Vijay Arora) is first-rate. The outdoor locales of Goa are a visual treat. Dialogues are very well penned. Editing is sharp.
Sunil Shetty does a commendable job, underplaying his character with maturity. This is amongst his best performances. Neha is just about okay. Master Mayank is a complete natural. He enacts his part with utmost ease. Kiron Kher and Sanjay Narvekar are adequate.
On the whole, EHSAAS is an honest attempt that has all it takes to pick up with word of mouth publicity. Had the film opened during vacations (the target audience being kids and families), its prospects would've been further enhanced. The film deserves to be tax-exempted. A film worth watching with the family.