The heartbreaking Fandry – my first Marathi film review

Fandry was my first Marathi film.  It was recommended by several people on my Quora post about why I love Indian cinema.  I foolishly asked for recommended films of the commenters, and the list is well over 300 films long now.

I was delighted to discover that Fandry, a film festival favorite, was available on Netflix streaming.

Jabya is an untouchable. He’s the sweetest, most adorable intelligent 7th grade boy who is in love with a fair-skinned higher caste girl. He can’t even bring himself to speak to her. His family are the poorest in the village, and his father and the rest of the family are expected to do all the menial work in the village that no one else will do. The title means “pig” because chasing and killing the wild pigs that live around the village is something no one else will do. Anyone else who is even touched by one of the pigs is defiled.

Your heart bleeds for this boy, and his dreams. His father doesn’t want him to go to school, just wants him to help earn money for the family. Jabya is mortified that his classmates see him having to do horrible jobs, and in the end climax, the verbal abuse piled on him by other men and boys in the village becomes overwhelming rage in Jabya. The final moments of the film left me stunned with my hands over my mouth. So powerful, so heartbreaking.

This is the director’s debut film. No one else was telling his story, so he made this film to tell it.   I highly recommend Fandry.  It is an incredible parallel cinema film giving you the perspective of an untouchable young boy.

4 1/2 stars out of 5.

Fandry is currently available to watch on Netflix Streaming.