Kaasav Marathi Movie Review: Sensitive, nuanced take on depression

Sumitra Bhave & Sunil Sukhtankar – the conscience keepers of Marathi cinema and filmmakers par excellence – are back. If you are familiar with their exceptional body of work, you would know their approach to filmmaking – a pertinent social issue tackled cinematically with utmost sensitivity, grace and sincerity. Often Bhave’s screenplays layer the seemingly simple storyline with deep meanings with the help of metaphors. Their latest Kaasav (Turtle) also uses the same tropes to great effect.Continue reading “Kaasav Marathi Movie Review: Sensitive, nuanced take on depression”

10 Path-Breaking Marathi Films of this Decade (So Far)!

We all must be aware that in terms of filmmaking, ‘Path-Breaking’ is an adjective used for films which in a way opens up a different genre/style/theme or redefines a previously known genre/style/theme. In case of Marathi cinema, ‘Path-Breaking’ could be a title used to honor films that broke the mould of conventional ‘Marathi’ genres/styles/themes & while doing so also succeeded in overall aspects, expected from a good film. Comedy & family drama have always been the most conventional genre in Marathi, not to forget ‘melodrama’! There are people who have recently recognized Marathi cinema & have also coined the term ‘The Marathi New Wave’ which includes any random popular Marathi film (like Natsamrat or Katyar..) of recent times. Is the ‘Wave’ really there? Even if it’s there, is it even averagely substantial? Well, let’s examine it!

Note: ‘This Decade (So Far)’ stands for 2010-2016.Continue reading “10 Path-Breaking Marathi Films of this Decade (So Far)!”

Sumitra Bhave-Sunil Sukhtankar: Finest Marathi Filmmakers Around!

Praising Marathi cinema is a kind of in thing, these days. You would find quite a few movie buffs on Twitter or elsewhere, catching up on the few absolute gems from Marathi cinema in recent times like Fandry or Killa and then going gaga over it. Directors like Umesh Kulkarni or Nagraj Manjule are celebrated not only in their home state but by cinema aficionados from all over the country, and rightly so! But there is one name that is hardly discussed, especially among the English media of all kinds, and that is of the director duo of Sumitra Bhave-Sunil Sukhtankar. I would stick my neck out and say that their body of work over the last two decades is as good as any other contemporary filmmaker in India. But, sadly, their cinema remains mostly unseen and thus underappreciated.Continue reading “Sumitra Bhave-Sunil Sukhtankar: Finest Marathi Filmmakers Around!”

Sunday Watch : Phir Zindagi

Phir Zindagi, a short film about how organ donation has the potential of changing lives, has been released online. It has been written and directed by the acclaimed duo Sumitra Bhave and Sunil Sukhtankar.

It stars stalwarts like Naseeruddin Shah, Vikram Gokhale, Ratna Pathak Shah among others.

Do let us know what you think about the film.

Continue reading “Sunday Watch : Phir Zindagi”

Phir Zindagi (Short Film) : Trailer

Phir Zindagi PosterSumitra Bhave, who ventured into filmmaking more from circumstances than choice after the positive responsive to her short film ‘Bai’, is back to making a short film called ‘Phir Zindagi’ with her co-director Sunil Sukhtankar.

It is the story of how organ donation has the potential of changing lives. It also sheds light on the complicated and emotionally charged process of organ donation.

The short film has many veteran actors like Naseeruddin Shah, Ratna Pathak Shah, Vikram Gokhale and Neeraj Kabi among others. It has been produced by ZTCC foundation and written and directed by Bhave-Sukhtankar.

The film will release online on the 5th of December.

Here’s the trailer : Continue reading “Phir Zindagi (Short Film) : Trailer”

Astu (So Be It) Marathi Movie Trailer

Astu Marathi film PosterThe pair of Sumitra Bhave and Sunil Sukhtankar are among the most consistent directors in the country. Their latest film Astu which means “so be it” is basically about a father-daughter relationship that reverses the equation between the father and his daughter when the father, a retired Sanskrit scholar, suddenly loses his memory and the daughter finds herself mothering him like a child.

Appa – Dr.Chakrapani Shastri (Dr. Mohan Agashe), retired director of an oriental research institute is now suffering from dementia. His daughter Ira (Iravati Harshe) & her doctor husband Madhav(Milind Soman) are trying to cope with Appa’s decaying memory. But one day Appa disappears, Ira panicks and is trapped in the chain of Appa’s memory while Appa is living his day moment to moment with a tramp couple Anta (Nachiket Purnapatre) & Channama(Amruta Subhash) & their elephant Laxmi.

The film is co-produced by Sheela Rao and Mohan Agashe.

Here’s the trailer:-Continue reading “Astu (So Be It) Marathi Movie Trailer”

Samhita (The Script) and recent trends in Marathi Cinema

Milind Soman and Devika Daftardar in SamhitaThe marathi cinema fiend in me was rather disappointed with the films churned out in the year that was. The rare gems that can be liked without any reservations are what first attracted me to marathi cinema. The average quality of films being made in the marathi film industry is as low as any other in India. So I look forward more to the ‘gems’, the ones which you discover underneath the thick foliage of all the mediocre films and then flaunt it proudly to the entire world. Sadly, this year’s collection will have only a solitary Samhita (The Script) by Sumitra Bhave and Sunil Sukhtankar.Continue reading “Samhita (The Script) and recent trends in Marathi Cinema”

Masala – Deool team’s next film.

Deool, the shared National Award winner for the Best Film of 2011, was part of an unprecedented act yesterday. It was telecast on Television with English subtitles and that too with an ad on the front page of  Bombay Times. I have personally always dreamt of such a thing happening and needless to say I am elated that a Marathi film is reaching a wider non-Marathi audience. But, Star Pravaha which showcased the film is assumed to have paid Rs.1.5 Crores for the satellite rights which is a humungous sum for a Marathi film. This coupled with the first ever ‘shared’ National Award for the Best Film, a suspicion regarding the award is bound to arise as many film enthusiasts feel Deool was undeserving of the award.

Girish and Umesh Kulkarni

Anyways, Umesh Kulkarni and Girish Kulkarni, the creative team behind this film and their two other ones Valu and Vihir have gone ahead to make their fourth film together titled Masala. The film is based on the journey of the biggest masala producing company of Maharashtra called Pravin Masalewale. Once a home enterprise established by two people, Hukmichand Chordia and his wife Kamalbai Chordia, Pravin Masalewale is now an employer of around 1000 people. Like any typical Indian business, this one too has been run over the years by generations of the Chordia family. Masala, though not an official biography, is very much based on the journey of Mr. Hukmichand Chordia and his wife and also has been produced by them.

Girish Kulkarni, who surprisingly also won the award for the Best Actor for Deool at the National Awards, again doubles up as a lead actor and the script writer of the film. Umesh Kulkarni plays a different role of that of a ‘creative’ producer here and passes the mantle of the all-important director to the debutante Sandesh Kulkarni who is also actor Sonali Kulkarni’s brother. Amruta Subhash(also Sandesh’s wife) plays the female lead.

Sandesh Kulkarni

Sandesh Kulkarni is basically a theatre man. He runs the theatre group Samanvay from Pune for almost two decades. The group is known for its experimental and off-beat plays. Punnashcha Honeymoon written-directed by Sandesh and starring him and his wife(Amruta) is probably the most noted of their productions. Sandesh’s first play Pahila Vahila was the only Marathi play to be performed in a festival organized by the British Council in association with the Royal Court Theatre in London. He has directed another acclaimed play Makdachya Haathi Champagne. Sandesh has also received the Charles Wallace Scholarship for attending the International Residency for Writers at the Royal Court Theatre in July,2003. But cinema is a different medium altogether and your laurels from theater don’t really count. In the recent past we have had filmmakers in Marathi cinema who come from a theatre background like Sachin Kundalkar and Paresh Mokashi who have made Gandha and Harishchandrachi Factory respectively. The transition regarding these two seemed to be really smooth. It remains to be seen whether Sandesh Kulkarni’s foray into the world of moving pictures would be as successful. He definitely has more than capable people for his support in Umesh and Girish Kulkarni.

Marathi theatre legend; Dr. Shriram Lagoo, will after a long break return to acting with a small role in this film. Other stalwarts like Dr.Mohan Agashe and Dilip Prabhavalkar are also a part of the cast.

The DOP of this film H.M.Ramchandran has been a DOP for quite a few films of highly reputed Kannada director Girish Kasarvalli. He has won a National Award for his camerawork in Kasarvalli’s Dweepa.

The music of the film has already released. It has been composed by Anand Modak and interestingly the lyrics have been penned by a filmmaker Sunil Sukhtankar.

The team of Masala has been on a promotional bus tour all around Maharashtra including the usually neglected Vidarbha. This unique endeavour has to be appreciated. The film has also got footage on news channels. But they haven’t been able to create a buzz on the internet unlike Shala which had almost 10000 people in its Facebook Group even before its release.

Masala is set to release on the 20th of April. Here’s wishing the whole team a best of luck from MAM. And here is its trailer which in the first place made me write all this –

Ha Bharat Mazha Movie Review: Subtle Social Drama

Cinema of the writer-director pair of Sumitra Bhave and Sunil Sukhtankar is parallel in every sense. The subjects they have chosen right since their very first film Doghi(1995) have always been brave and socially conscious much unlike the most of Indian cinema.  They have managed to fund their films in ways uncommon. They our content in making films from their hometown Pune which while showing their persistence, commitment and a sense of security in their kind of cinema also makes their films parallel in a production sense.Continue reading “Ha Bharat Mazha Movie Review: Subtle Social Drama”