Posted on 1 March, 2016 by Team Wishberry
Recently, we shared a list of the 5 Marathi films from last year that you have to, HAVE TO check out. Taking that forward and in an effort to expand your ‘To Be Watched’ list some more, we took a trip back in time and dug up some of the most precious Marathi films that are definitely worth checking out! Here are twelve films that will make a special place in your heart forever.
Shwaas Directed by Sandeep Sawant, Shwaas is a heartachingly beautiful film about a grandfather helping his little grandson come to terms with his inevitable blindness due to a rare disease. The beauty of the movie lies in how, in spite of its emotional theme, it refuses to fall victim to dramatic stereotypes. Although released in 2004, Shwaas continues to be a special film twelve years on, not only because of its beautiful execution, but also because it was India’s entry to the Oscars. It also became the first Marathi film to win a National Award FIFTY years after Shyaamchi Aai, thereby putting Marathi films back on the radar, officially. Harishchandrachi Factory is a biopic based on the first ever film made by Dadasaheb Phalke, the forerunner of Indian cinema. However, unlike ordinary biopics which tend to get boring and verbose, Harishchandrachi Factory is a journey that any viewer will enjoy to the fullest. Loaded with witty punchlines and a lot of humour (even in seemingly maudlin moments), the film will give you a beautiful peek into Dadasaheb's challenging journey of making the first ever motion picture, without even once getting too dull or too lighthearted. Deool is a satirical film based on a village called Mangrul located in the remotest parts of Maharashtra. The film revolves around the village's belief in religion and the subsequent blind faith. Although the movie is not too different in its theme of challenging social dogmas, it is the seamless union of neat dialogue writing, fluid narration, beautiful backdrop and acting that makes you fall in love with each of the characters. Packed with talent powerhouses like Nana Patekar, Dilip Prabhavalkar, Girish Kulkarni and Sonali Kulkarni, Deool – though 2 hours and twenty minutes long – does not disappoint. Timepass is a movie that celebrates the bliss of innocent teenage love between a Dagdu an SSC-failed boy who is the son of a rickshaw drive and now sells newspapers, and Prajakta, a demure, studious girl from a conservative but educated family. Through Dadgu's idiosyncracies, the 80s Bollywood style of wooing and little joys like sharing an ice candy, the film will take you back to your wonder years, when we all did something crazy and ridiculous in and for 'first love'. This film is an ode to that, in the sweetest and endearing ways! Vihir is a gorgeous coming of age film, not only visually but experientially too. The story revolves around two cousins (who are also best friends) and their adolescent days. Through the eccentrities of living with all relatives under one roof, games of hide & seek and Chinese whispers, swimming in the well, losing a loved one and finding oneself in the process, the film promises a heart-wrenching trip that will leave you thinking about a lot of things, much after you've watched it. Kaksparsh is a film set in the pre-independence days of the Konkan region of Maharashtra. The film is based on a story by Uma Datar, and deals with subjects such as widow rights and a kind of relationship that challenges and transcends social conventions. Visually, the film does an excellent job at transporting viewers to the pre-independence rural India. Through brilliant acting by Sachin Khedekar, Ketki Mategaonkar, Priya Bapat and Sanjay Khapre, Kaksparsh does what hardly any films do these days – tell stories that make the audience uncomfortable and question even the most seemingly normal things. It's 2o16 and adults still can't talk to their teens about sex without having an anxiety attack. But in 2013 Balak Palak ventured into the fragile and complicated territory of birds and bees, which an ease, light-heartedness and finess one hardly sees around this subject. Set in the 90s, the film revolves around four best friends and their curiosity-driven misadventure into exploring porn films. Entertaining and relatable even to this day and age, this is a film for the youth as well as the adults!
Tingya 2000s onwards were the years when Marathi filmmakers told socially relevant and thought provoking stories through children as the main characters. Tingya is one such film, about a small rural boy called Tingya and his friendship with a bull. Through their relationship and its turmoils, you're brought face to face with not only the indomitable spirit of childlike love, but also the many hardships farmers in rural Maharashtra face on a daily basis. The best part? The movie does all of this without overwhelming you with despair. Made in 1988, Ashi Hi Banwa Banwi some of the most notable marathi actors – Ashok Saraf, Sachin Pilgaonkar, Laxmikant Berde and Sushant Ray. The film is a laugh riot where the four protagonists are stuck in a spot where they have to live together in a rented apartment. The catch? The landlady will rent the house out only to married couples. The solution? Two of the four men disguise themselves as women and spouses to the other two men. From here begins a laughter trip that'll leave you in splits right to the end! Watch it for some good old nostalgia and unadulterated entertainment. Fandry is set in a tiny arid village near Ahmednagar. It's about a lower-caste boy who falls in love with an upper caste girl. Yes, it sounds all too done and dusted. But don't shrug this film off yet. This isn't just a film about bleeding causes. It's about coming to terms with one's identity, it's about young love, but more than anything else, this film about some top notch acting by a mostly debutante cast. It's a film that brimming with symbolism and emotions that will leave you restless in your seat. Natrang made a lot of noise when it came out, and rightly so. The film is a marriage of an unusual story and unforgettable acting. Based on Dr. Anand Yadav's book by the same name, Natarang is about a wrestler/farm worker's passion for Tamasha – a form of folk theatre in Maharashtra. The film is a stunning showcase of one's love for art, nosy politics, queer sensibilities, personal sacrifices and more. The true test of a good film is perhaps in its timelessness; in how it resonates true long after its time has passed. Nishikant Kamat's Dombivali Fast is one such film. The film follows Madhav Apte, a righteous civilian who believes that no one is above the law. He's obviously the right man stuck in the wrong time and place. And one day, he snaps, and goes on a rampage against everything and everyone in the city. Here's another movie that'll give some fodder to your thoughts. Which ones have you already watched? And which ones have we missed out on? Tell us!