‘Bucket List’ review: Madhuri’s happy Marathi debut

It’s inevitable that Madhuri Dixit is the centre of attention in her long-overdue Marathi debut, and Bucket List is almost tailor-made for her in that regard. The 51-year-old actor is in almost every frame as the mother of two, who undergoes a heart transplant surgery, and seeks to fulfil the desires of her deceased donor. It’s a premise appropriate for both sweetness and melancholy, but not without an imminent threat of being saccharine and mawkish. Tejas Prabha Vijay Deoskar’s film oscillates between those two outcomes, often struggling to find a fine balance.

Madhura Sane (Dixit) is a traditional home-maker based in Pune, who dedicates every minute of her day to the well-being of her family and in-laws. After Madhura’s heart surgery, she discovers that her donor was a 20-year-old girl, Sai, who died in a car accident. Madhura’s attempts in striking off tasks on Sai’s bucket list sends her on a path of self discovery. For instance, on the list is an evening of drunken debauchery at a pub, for which Dixit dons a glittery sequin top and is forced to queue up outside a club. “Is it the ATM line?” she wonders. “I thought the currency shortage problem was solved by now”. It’s a night like this that makes her realise how deeply patriarchal her marriage is, now that she has tasted freedom. In many ways, Sai’s bucket list liberates her. Though a well-intentioned film, Bucket List is repetitive and often hammers its message to a point of sheer boredom.

Bucket List works best when Dixit tries her hand at doing what a 20-year-old would, but one wishes those moments were more frequent. They are what makes this film truly enjoyable. Besides, one would expect the desires of a young girl to be more adventurous and audacious than learn to ride a bike, kiss her boyfriend and dance in front of a crowd. But the film chooses to play it safe and remain universal in its appeal, keeping in mind a family audience. You know that for certain when you observe a variety of product placements of brands like Make My Trip, Max Fashion and Saraswat Bank, all of which are targeted towards families.

Irrespective of who this film is meant for, Bucket List is bound to attract an audience on the sheer popularity of Dixit. The film doesn’t hurl any challenges at the actor for her to disappoint, especially considering that more often than not, all she has to do is grin on-screen to win over the audience.