Tag Archives: Dhundiraj Govind Phalke

The New Wave of Marathi Cinema (10+1list)

The New Wave of Marathi Cinema.

written by Souranath Banerjee

The New Wave of Marathi Cinema is right here right now, exploding this instant, getting more ingenious and innovational every year – but first, let’s get back to the time when it all started!

Flashback. It was in 1913 when a man from Trymbakeshwar (Nasik) called Dhundiraj Govind Phalke (popularly known as Dadasaheb raja-harishchandra-posterPhalke) made the first ever Indian Cinema, a short film named Raja Harishchandra!

Yes, it was a silent film but still essentially a Marathi one, since all the actors and the director himself were from Maharashtra; and then the screenplay, the prologue in the beginning of the movie and even the explaining of the plot details are all in Marathi!

Then followed a number of interesting films including a famous classic biography called Sant Tukaram (1936), directed by the famous director-duo Vishnupant Govind Damle and Sheikh Fattelal.

And over the years there were many acclaimed Marathi directors who made cinema that won the heart of both the audience and the critics across the country. The likes of –

jait-re-jait-posterShyamchi Aai (1953) and Mahatma Phule (1954) by director Pralhad Keshav Atre.

Me Tulas Tujhya Angani (1960), Rangalya Ratree Ashya (1962), Ektee (1968) and Mumbaicha Jawai (1970) by director Raja Thakur.

Samna (1975), Jait Re Jait (1977), Umbartha (1982) and Ek Hota Vidushak (1992) by director Jabbar Patel.

And then there were the entertaining Blockbuster hits like Maherchi Sadi (1991) and the popular horror flick Zapatlela (1993); and a few commercial comedy films like Pandu Hawaldar (1975), Ashi Hi Banwa Banwi Dombivli-fast-poster(1988) and Dhum Dhadaka (1985).

But the sign of the upcoming New Wave of Marathi Cinema came with the release of films like Kalat Nakalat (1990), Bangarwadi (1995), Not Only Mrs. Raut (2003)Saatchya Aat Gharat (2004) and Dombivli Fast (2005). 

Yes, the time has come for experimental, off-beat, innovative, new-generation Marathi Cinema, and here is the list of the best Marathi films of the last decade or so.

10. Shwaas (2004)

Film clip: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rlg5yScPQ18

shwaas-posterA six year old village boy goes to the city (Pune) along with his grandfather for the treatment of his eyes. But the doctor have some tragic news for them.

Directed by Sandeep Sawant, this is a film based on the emotions of a brilliantly touching grandparent – child relationship.

Such powerful performances – a film that will surely wrench your heart to it’s limit.

9. Harishchandrachi Factory (2009)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LPvvMbXLfpA

harishchandrachi-factory-posterDadasaheb Phalke aka Dhundiraj Govind Phalke made the first cinema in India – a silent, black and white film in 1913 known as Raja Harishchandra.

Directed by Paresh Mokashi, this is the biopic on Mr.Phalke who was a visionary, an artist, a film maker and an entrepreneur, and this particular film is about his adventurous endeavours towards making the first ever film of India. 

8. Natarang (2010)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HWzxFgP2f8g

natarang-posterMaharashtra has a rich tradition of theatre and thus when acclaimed director Ravi Jadhav did finally make a film based on the brilliance of Marathi theatre it was undoubtedly one of the most successful regional films of the year.

The film worked both commercially as well as artistically; a visual treat brilliantly supported by the music of the talented composer duo Ajay Atul.

Atul Kulkarni was nominated for Best Performance By An Actor in the prestigious Asia Pacific Screen Awards 2010 for this film!

A few other Marathi films from the same director are Sound of Heaven: The Story of Balgandharva (2011) and Balak Palak (2012).

7. Deool (2011)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lfzctPCpb2A

deool-posterAn innocent villager claims the arrival of God in his village!

Initially ignored by all but soon the rumour starts to spread and businessmen and politicians doesn’t seem to miss this opportunity to cash in on people’s faith and belief.

Directed by Umesh Vinayak Kulkarni, written and brilliantly performed by Girish Kulkarni, a must watch indeed.

6. Shala (2011)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6IFxDCci564

shala-posterA marvellous take on young hearts, school romance, the nostalgic moments of having an infatuation or a crush on somebody, the innocence of experiencing love for the first time – and all that combined together!

Directed by Sujay Dahake, this is one film that creates the magic of that divine first love – so pure and blissful. Superb performances by the child actors – a must watch.

5. Killa (2014)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ORlbsJLJuQ

killa-marathi-posterA coming-of-age film based on a young boy who arrives at a new place along with his single mother and is forced to adapt to a new village/school environment.

Subtle yet cinematic, mature believable performances and great story telling.

Directed by well known Bollywood cinematographer Avinash Arun – a superb directorial debut.

4. Dr. Prakash Baba Amte: The Real Hero (2014)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YnqioO1v8fs

dr-prakash-baba-amte-posterA well crafted biography made on the Dr.Prakash Baba Amte and his wife Manadakini, who has given their entire life for the welfare of others (for humans and animals).

(Click for Review)

Well directed by Samrouddhi Porey, and tremendous performances by Nana Patekar and Sonali Kulkarni, the film not only touched the important aspects of Amte’s life but also has stressed the emotional moments with enough dignity.

3. Katyar Kaljat Ghusali (2015)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1iTazEogwiY

katyar-kaljat-ghusali-posterWhen two musical dynasties fight for supremacy there can be only one winner – Music itself!

Directed by Subodh Bhave, this is an unique musical (based on a play by the same name) that has a string of brilliant songs and powerful story telling!

Shankar Mahadevan and Sachin Pilgaonkar are the spine of the film – superb performances!

2. Natsamrat (2016)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bp1Hv_-hLUY

Natsamrat-poster2Directed by Mahesh Manjrekar, this one is an emotional
story of an aged couple who has become a nuisance to their own children, a mere botheration and a reason of embarrassment in their modern lifestyle.

(Click for Review)

An unique blend of Theatre and Cinema – Nana Patekar with one of his best performances ever!

A few other Marathi films from the same director are Kaksparsh (2012) and Astitva (2000).

  1. Sairat (2016) 

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wMrMKnoYWwA

sairat-poster1The story of Romeo and Juliet, Laila and Majnu, Heer and Ranjha – retold and rediscovered with the backdrop being somewhere in the interior of Maharashtra!

A fisherman’s son and a local politician’s daughter fall in love and dare to defy their families and caste barriers.

Directed by Nagraj Manjule, this is one of the best films I have seen in recent times!

Another Marathi film from the same director Fandry (2013).

and (The ‘+1′ film is not necessarily the best but certainly the most innovative one. A must watch)

+1. Court (2014)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4sc8z7zav9A

court-posterDirected by Chaitanya Tamhane, a Marathi film that won the National Award (Golden Lotus Award) in the Best Feature Film category and innumerable prestigious International awards as well. 

(Click for Review)

A court-room drama that revolves around folk-singer Narayan Kamble’s unique prosecution – a script deliberately underplayed and yet so effective to it’s purpose!

A few other Marathi films that have made their marks within these recent years Mee Shivajiraje Bhosale Boltoy (2009), Jogwa (2009), Mumbai Pune Mumbai (2010)Yellow (2014), Time Pass (2014), Elizabeth Ekadashi (2014), Rege (2014), Double Seat (2015).

Poster courtesy: www.marathifilm.inmarathistars.com.

Best Bollywood Classics (10+1list)

Best Bollywood Classics

written by Souranath Banerjee

Best Bollywood Classics: Can anybody pin point the place so popularly know as ‘Bollywood’?

You cannot, because interestingly enough Bollywood does not exist as a physical place.

Bollywood’s existence is only in the form of it’s Cinemas; the films that are produced from in and around Mumbai (earlier called Bombay) essentially in the language ‘Hindi’.

When Dhundiraj Govind Phalke (popularly known as Dadasaheb Phalke) made the first Indian silent feature Raja Harishchandra in 1913; when Ardeshir Irani directed films like Alam Ara in 1931 (the first talkie film of India) and Kisan Kanya in 1937 (the first Indian colored film) – little did they know that some day the Bombay-based Film industry (Bollywood) will churn out the maximum number of films in the world!  

Bollywood is our planet’s largest Cinema factory, producing more than 1,000 films annually; about the double of Hollywood’s output!

And now let’s focus on some of the evergreen Bollywood classics; films which are adored by all generations and are directly responsible for Bollywood’s world wide success.

Here we go.

1. Do Bigha Zamin (1953)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fmy8B_4bhAQ

Do-Bigha-Zamin-poster

Staring Balraj Sahni and Nirupa Roy, the film is a classic tale of economic exploitation with which we can easily relate to, even today.

Directed by Bimal Roy, it’s the heart breaking story of a poor farmer who in order to free his land-debts takes up rickshaw-pulling as a profession.

The film won the first ever Filmfare award and also got a special mention at the Cannes film festival.

2. Shree 420 (1955)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RRg65WuI1tY

Shree420-poster

Probably the most influential film of the time that took Bollywood to global popularity.

A man comes to Bombay with big dreams that eventually comes true but with a price of course.

Director/actor Raj Kapoor sets a trend with his baggy trousers and the Chaplin-hat as he goes along the road singing ‘mera juta hain Japani’.

3. Mother India (1957)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SmPzpWQ5v_E

mother-india-poster

Starring NargisSunil Dutt and Rajendra Kumar, it was the first Bollywood film that was nominated for the Oscars as the best Foreign language film from India.

The love and struggle of a single mother bringing up her two sons, director Mehboob Khan made the first ever Bollywood film with a female protagonist! 

4. Mughal-E-Azam (1957)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rXz_vWzMh_U

MughalEAzam-poster

A dramatization of the famous Mughal love story – prince Saleem (Dilip Kumar) who falls in love with a court-dancer Anarkali (Madhubala) against the will of his father, emperor Akbar (Prithviraj Kapoor).

Director K. Asif manages to get the best out of these brilliant actors. With only expressions and dialogues – this film is probably the best ‘love-story’ ever made. 

5. Pyaasa (1957)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pBZYJAzz5ys

pyaasa-poster

A film about poetic injustice (literally), since it’s the story of a poet and his thirst for love, fame and recognition.

Guru Dutt, the visionary actor/director along with Mala Sinha and Waheeda Rehman brings us this masterpiece.

Soulful songs – Sachin Dev BurmanHemanta MukherjeeGeeta Dutt and Mohammad Rafi at their best.

The 50s and the early 60s were considered as the ‘golden age’ of Bollywood and rightly so.

6. Sahib Bibi Aur Ghulam (1962)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TCDbIT13MRY

Sahib-Bibi-Aur-Ghulam-poster

Directed by Abrar Alvi, an illicit love story full of passion and desire, hate and loneliness – an epic tragedy.

Guru Dutt, Waheeda Rehman and Rehman in the star cast but the one who really stands out is Meena Kumari. Her drunken outbursts and the sarcastic laughs are textbook even for today’s heroines who dare to take such courageous roles.

7. Anand (1971)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tfGX2AEaMUU

anand-poster

A man who is too busy living his life to the fullest, too busy to notice his terminal illness, too busy to be afraid of his inevitable death!

Superstar Rajesh Khanna gives his career best performance and Amitabh Bachchan is a great support.

Hrishikesh Mukherjee‘s best, the film will make you laugh and cry at the same time!

8. Sholay (1975)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hLhzpe3_V_g

sholay-poster

Bollywood enters the phase of hard-core action and this film is an epic in it’s own right. A true entertainer.

Ramesh Sippy‘s direction, the brutal clash between Gabbar (Amjad Khan) and Thakur’s (Sanjeev Kumar) hired ‘hands’ Jai (Amitabh Bachchan) and Veeru (Dharmendra).  

Hema Malini and Jaya Bhaduri takes care of the love stories on the side.

9. Deewaar (1975)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xN1ptONRWpE

deewar-poster

Enters the ‘angry young man’ – the era of Amitabh Bachchan best portrayed by this particular film.

The anger and an attitude of revolt against the system, the underworld and the police, the clash of two brothers, and the dilemma of their mother.

Yash Chopra direction, staring Shashi KapoorNeetu SinghNirupa Roy and Parveen Babi

10. Bhumika (1977)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JdcVs0nceOY

bhumika-poster

Shyam Benegal was one director who held tight the reigns of art-cinema in Bollywood. This film is one of his greatest work and Smita Patil gives her best performance. 

The story of a girl growing up, her career, her affairs, her joy and her despairs.

Naseeruddin ShahAmrish PuriAmol PalekarKulbhushan Kharbanda all at their best.

and (The ‘+1′ film is not necessarily the best but certainly the most cool one. A must watch).

+1.  Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro (1983)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=spkmLziFFg4

Jaane-Bhi-Do-Yaaro-poster

And finally a comedy, an ultimate political satire, full of dark humor and many rib-tickling moments of absolute joy.

Directed by Kundan Shah, the film is about two photographers Ravi Baswani and Naseeruddin Shah who are sucked into a whirlpool of dishonesty, corruption and murder.

Om PuriPankaj KapurSatish KaushikNeena Gupta all at their best but towards the end of the film Satish Shah as ‘Draupadi’ is simply priceless!

Similar Interest: Best Hollywood Classic Romantic Films

Similar Interest: Best Classic Silent Films – the power of visuals

Similar Interest: Best Classic Short films ever made

Similar Interest: Best Classic Christmas Films of all time

Similar Interest: Best of Film Noir

Poster courtesy: www.imdb.comwww.impawards.com.