Posted on 25 February, 2016 by Team Wishberry
Marathi films come as a breath of fresh air for anyone who’s been tired of the commercial fare, mostly thanks to its willingness to explore fresh stories – be it through slice of life, satire, plain slapstick humor or social commentary. And in the past year, we’ve only seen some of the most wonderful Marathi films come out. If you’ve somehow missed out on these movies by this time, there are only two explanations. Either you’ve been living under a rock or haven’t yet dipped your toes into this. Either way, we’re here to help, with our favourite picks of last year’s Marathi films! Translation: A Dagger Through the Heart The film is based on a 1967 musical play by the same name. Katyar Kaljat Ghusli, directed by Subodh Bhave, revolves around a battle between two rival Hindustani classical music maestros in the kingdom of Vishrampur. The movie not only transports you back into opulent royal courthouses but also to an era of classical music. The film is a musical treasure chest of sorts. There’s everything from classical, semi-classical to contemporary and qawalli music too. Paired with top notch acting by Sachin Pilgaonkar and debutantes Shankar Mahadevan and Subodh Bhave, this film will rekindle your love affair with classical music. Translation: Obstacle Khwada is written and directed by debutante Bhaurao Karhade. The film is a story about a shepherd and his family who leave their village and moves the big city, after their land has been seized by the forest department. Karhade gets his inspiration for the film from his own village and its shepherd community in Ahmadnagar. The film is intense, heart-wrenching and most importantly, offers insight into a community we rarely think about. The film won 2 National Awards, 5 Maharashtra State Film awards and the Pune International Film Festival Award. India’s official entry to the Oscars, Court has been the most talked about Marathi film from last year. Although released in 2014, it became available in India only in 2015. Court, directed by Chaitanya Tamhane, is a courtroom drama about Narayan Kamble, an ageing Marathi folk singer, who’s arrested on the charges of abetting suicide. The accusation itself is absurd – that one of his songs drove a manhole cleaner to commit suicide by jumping into a sewer. From this point begins a rather incisive journey into the Indian legal system and what one can call a beautiful marriage of social commentary and black humor. Translation: The Fort Killa is yet another film that scores a big brownie point for Marathi independent cinema. Directed by Avinash Arun, the film is about an 11-year old boy who’s coping with the death of his father, while dealing with moving into a new location, surrounded by new people. The beauty of the film lies in how it portrays a child as someone who is emotionally complex, optimistic and yet misunderstood, while keeping every bit of its innocence intact. The film offers a beautiful and intimate understanding of a child’s psychology without even once getting too insensitive. It’s charming, moving and full of self-discoveries. It won the National Award for Best Feature Film in Marathi. Translation: The Emperor/Ruler of Theatre Although released in 2016, the film is an unmissable one, and therefore, it’s only legit that you add this to your viewing list. Directed by Mahesh Manjrekar and starring Nana Patekar as the protagonist, Natsamrat is a tragedy film about a veteran theatre actor. Beautifully bound together by strong acting, sharp dialogues and gripping storytelling, Natsamrat is one of those rare films that will leave you with a whole range of emotions long after you’ve watched it. It’s extremely interesting to note that all the above films (except Natsamrat) are directorial debuts of sorts (Court is Tamhane’s first feature length film). This not only marks a bright and interesting future for Marathi cinema, but also gives a great start your love affair with this space.