Tag Archives: Mahesh Manjrekar

Mard Ko Dard Nahin Hota (2018)

written by Souranath Banerjee

Mard Ko Dard Nahin Hota Review: After ages I watched a typical Bollywood action masala film and enjoyed it to the bone. Ouch!

My ratings: 4/5

If a film keeps you smiling even after you have left the theatre, it has definitely done a job well!

Vasan Bala (writer of Raman Raghav 2.0) directs his second feature – and we have the best action comedy of recent times! An ode to the VHS era, Bruce Lee martial art flicks and also to the old Bollywood spells like Geraftaar (1985) and Aaj Ka Goonda Raj (1992)!

Separated childhood lovers finding themselves in adulthood, a set of good/evil twin brothers, a VHS inspired Karate kid who can beat 20 goons singlehandedly, a charming yet psychotic villain who kills in a wink – clichés lining up one after another. But the beauty of Mard Ko Dard Nahin Hota is that it takes advantage of all these clichés, owns them proudly and churns them into pure cinematic humour.

Now what is fresh in this movie is the concept of ‘Congenital Insensitivity to pain’, Abhimanyu Dasani (his debut film), a brilliantly choreographed action sequence with Kishore Kumar’s evergreen song ‘Nakhrewali’ playing in the background and then of course the overall amazing performances!

Abhimanyu Dasani (son of Bollywood actress Bhageshree) stands out clearly as a winner in his debut film. Superb screen presence, he looks like a younger version of Madhavan plus the extreme level of fitness. Then there is the immensely talented Radhika Madan (earlier seen in Vishal Bhardwaj‘s Pataakha) and she is an absolute delight to watch. Mahesh Manjrekar and Jimit Trivedi are at their best perfectly blending into the roles and giving the film the additional support it needed. Even Shweta Basu Prasad made her presence felt in her cameo.

And then of course we have Gulshan Devaiah in his effortlessly charming double roles – he is so natural, funny and full of charisma. His best performance till date.

Mard Ko Dard Nahin Hota is essentially a love story but told in style and a rare confidence that we search for but seldom find in our current day movies.

Paap ko jala ke raakh kar doonga” (Will burn all evil/sins to ashes) is the idea in prominence throughout the movie but it gets specially silly and enjoyable when told from a kid’s perspective.

Though the voiceovers repeatedly reminds us “Har mindblowing kahani ke peeche kuch bahut bure decisions hote hain” (There are always some bad decisions behind every mind-blowing story), but trust me, your decision to watch this awesome movie will definitely be a good one!

Go watch it.

Film Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jb0-Mw_V_bA

Poster courtesy:www.imdb.com.

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.

Natsamrat (2016)

Natsamrat review

written by Souranath Banerjee

Marathi Cinema and Nana Patekar both at their best form.

My Ratings: 4.2/5.

Maharashtra is one of the very few states which has managed to enrich the tradition of theatre in India through all these decades of Natsamrat-poster2our ever-increasing love for Cinema.

Then again, the accessibility, the flow of money, the immense popularity/fame and the ability to create the impossible – all being in favor of Cinema, could theatre ever compete with the popularity of a film?

Probably not, but keeping aside the Theatre Vs Cinema debate for another time, let’s acknowledge the fact that screenplays which are essentially based on significant dramas have always given birth to films of great quality and popularity!

The play A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams was later Natsamrat-poster5made into a popular movie by Elia Kazan by the same name, then the drama Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? by Edward Albee was successfully adopted for the screen by director Mike Nichols, the legendary film Throne of Blood by Akira Kurosawa is a direct adaptation of William Shakespeare’s Macbeth, and George Bernard Shaw‘s ‘Pygmalion’ transformed into My Fair Lady by acclaimed director George Cukor.

All exceptional films built upon extraordinary plays from all across the world!

And recently, reputed Indian film maker Mahesh Manjrekar made a film Natsamrat (language Marathi), adopted from an iconic Marathi play Natsamrat-poster1of the 70s by the same name, written by famous Marathi play-writer Kusumagraj.

Interestingly, this remarkable film is not only special for it’s theatre adaptation but then, Natsamrat itself is a tribute to the grand tradition of Marathi theatre!

An aging theatre artist Ganpat Ramchandra Belwalkar (Nana Patekar), versatile and renowned, takes his leave from the stage and expects to lead a peaceful retired life with his devoted wife and caring children (and their extended family) but soon finds out that with growing age and fading popularity nothing remains the same as expected.

In between the articulate poems and the priceless extracts from many famous plays, the film masterfully brings out the emotional Natsamrat-poster3story 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.

Then again, the film is also a celebration of friendship, of human relations, bondings, emotions and pure empathy.

But of course, the prime reason to watch Natsamrat is none other than Nana Patekar and his exceptional performance.

Like everybody else, I have been admiring Nana Patekar as a class Natsamrat-poster4actor in many of his earlier films like Ab Tak ChhappanParinda, his recent Hemalkasa and even his over enthusiastic character in Krantiveer but with this role as the ‘Natsamrat’ he has given his lifetime best.

And very well supported by Medha ManjrekarVikram GokhaleMrinmayee Deshpande, Sunil Barve and others, the overall acting standard is superbly maintained.

Great music by Ajit Parab (who also acted in the film) and cinematographers Ajith V. Reddy and V. Ajith Reddy needs a special mention for their camera work.

Natsamrat is a film that not only makes Marathi Cinema proud but it is undoubtedly one of the best Indian films of recent times.

Go watch it, it’s totally worth it.    

Poster courtesy: marathistars.com

Bajirao Mastani (2015)

Bajirao Mastani review.

written by Souranath Banerjee

‘Cheeteh ki chaal, Baaz ki naazar aur Baji Rao ki talvar par sandeh nahi karte, kabhi bhi maat de sakti hai.’

My Ratings: 4/5.

Almost twelve years back in 2003, director Sanjay Leela Bhansali wanted to make a film Bajirao Mastani with Salman Khan and Bajirao-Mastani-poster2Aishwarya Rai in the lead roles. But fate had some other plans. 

Finally in 2015, the film was made, i may add very beautifully made, with a fresh cast, Ranveer SinghDeepika Padukone and Priyanka Chopra.

Now, there are rarely any Bollywood films (if any) that are so pleasing to your eyes that the story, content and characters almost get sidetracked by the sheer beauty of each and every frame.

Bajirao Mastani is one such example of cinema.

Mr.Bhansali along with his cinematographer Sudeep Chatterjee and production designers Saloni DhatrakSriram Iyengar and Sujeet Sawant have managed to create stunning painting-like-shots (many Bajirao-Mastani-poster3of the frames in the film actually resembles classic paintings of famous Marathi painters) and have enthralled us with these great visuals through out the film.

And talking about the story of the film, (without going into the debate of how much historical authenticity it has), I would say it comes under the classic ‘doomed love story’ category, where love wins only through destruction of them who are in love!

Baji Rao Ballal Balaji Bhat, a great Maratha general of the early 1700, who though happily married and Hindu, falls in love with a charming half-muslim princess Mastani and eventually makes her his (second) wife.

But Baji Rao’s family (especially his mother and brother) are not too happy about this second marriage. So correspondingly, they humiliate Mastani and try to kill her a couple of times.

Bajirao-Mastani-poster7At the end, they do understand that ‘Baajirao Ne Mastani Se Mohabbat Ki Hai, Aiyashi Nahi’, but by that time it was too late!

Acting wise. superb performance by Ranveer Singh; his way of speaking Marathi, his body language as a warrior, his confident dialogue deliveries – basically he did look the part.

Deepika Padukone and Priyanka Chopra also did great job, and played out the perfect love triangle scenario.

Even the secondary characters Tanvi Azmi (as mother), Milind Soman (as minister), Aditya Pancholi (as the rival), Vaibbhav Tatwawdi (as brother) and Mahesh Manjrekar (as Maratha King) – all were at their best.

The content is relatively simple but the presentation is creditable, a Bajirao-Mastani-poster4bit too loud often (specially the dialogues) but again, that’s the part of Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s filmmaking style I guess.

A clever move to put a disclaimer in the very beginning of the film which basically said that the film doesn’t claim to be faithful to any historical facts; and then only did all the fuming historians calm down and concentrate on their popcorn tub.

Don’t forget the numerous elaborately choreographed dance sequences; decent musical score by Sanchit Balhara and Sanjay Leela Bhansali himself.

Do watch it in big screen to absorb the opulence and grandeur of this film.

P.S – Bajirao Mastani is banned in Pakistan since it is regarded as ‘a historical drama that is indirectly against Islam and Muslims.’ (No idea why or what that means).

Poster courtesy: www.muchask.netdailyroabox.comwww.bollywoodmdb.com