In a bid to get the true recognition for Marathi language and boost it at schools and college levels, political parties have urged the authorities at different schools and colleges in Mumbai to celebrate ‘Marathi Bhasha Diwas’ every 27th February.
As the office of deputy director of Mumbai division issued circulars to all schools and even a prominent party politician introduced a 12-point programme to ensure that the entire state of Maharashtra celebrates Marathi Bhasha Diwas, (#मराठीभाषादिवस) let us do our bit to make people aware of the importance of this language in Indian cinema.
This day has its relevance in the fact that it observes the birth anniversary of Marathi Literary Laureate, V V Shirwadhkar also known as popular poet, Kavi Kusumagraj, (#kusumagraj) his pen name.
On this #Marathibhashadiwas, we would like to pay a tribute to all the eminent Marathi directors, producers and actors and the cast of some great Marathi movies, out of which few should have even been nominated for Oscars. We are always so excited about Italian, French and Japanese cinema and others, despite the fact that we depend on the subtitles. Here, by any chance we are not suggesting that they are not good, rather they are exciting and promote the great direction and cinematography skills in a movie. But on a comparative basis, do we ever watch even a few movies belonging to the Indian regional cinema category. Marathi movies have faced much low appeal among its audience although there are many high-quality movies that it is difficult to list down a few among the plethora of great feature films in the industry, that are worth a watch for all the cinema lovers out there for the levity of the work and its though-provoking as well as appeasing nature. Here we list down a few Marathi movies which every non-Marathi must see.
10.) Chaukat Raja
This movie released in 1991 starring Dilip Prabhavalkar shows him playing the character of a mentally challenged boy was versatile enough and portrayed a different perspective to specially-abled people. These movies from our growing-up days gave us a true picture of real life and its absurdities.
9.) Shala (2012)
This movie set in the innocent school set-up defines the lives of four 9th grade kids, coming from different cultural and family backgrounds, who wrote their own destinies where one of them faces the trouble behind letting his love know his feelings towards her. All these friends face similar phases, struggles and attempt to become free and liberated while also feeling lonely at times. This is one movie that is sure to make you nostalgic and think of your innocent childhood when you were free of all the complicated struggles of life yet the simple troubles used to seem so large that we used to think that we are the most troubled lot.
Sujay Dahake’s direction has truly presented Indian culture and the childhood emotions in a brilliantly wonderful manner, so much so that everytime you watch it, the movie strikes a chord with you and your childhood days.
8.) Ratra Aarambh
This movie in 1999 was based on a schizophrenic and the workings of his mind. Again Dilip Prabhavalkar plays this role and brilliantly edges out the workings of the mind of a schizophrenic. However, while ‘A Beautiful Mind’ grabbed four Oscars, this movie based on a similar concept and equally gripping could not gain much international recognition.
Recently, The Lunch Box acquired much critical acclaim but there is also a Marathi movie, Uttarayan that redefined love with the concept of love being ageless and a post-retirement phase where two partners celebrate love and life. Accomplished actors like Shivaji Satam and Neena Kulkarni played the parts of the two lovers.
This movie would resurrect the value of the eternal institution of marriage with senior actors such as Vikram Gokhale, Neena Kulkarni, Reema Lagoo and others playing important roles. The main theme behind the story is a middle-aged man saving his ailing wife from death. It is sure to touch the hearts of people with its immense stress on humanity and the essentials in a husband-wife relationship.
5.) 72-Miles-Ek Pravas
An adventurous and surprising experience that a child undergoes during his journey of 72 miles, opens his world to an outflow of abundant knowledge where he learns the lessons of life gradually and eventually. Human reactions to different emotions and situations form the base of this movie and make it more and more lucid and appealing. The scintillating performances of Chinmay Sant and Smita Tambe make the movie even more striking.
4.) Taryancha Bait
This story is based on how a son wins the bet with his father, upon which his father promises him to take him to the city of dreams, Mumbai. The financial circumstances of the father and his children are very poor provoke the father to wish that his son lose the bait however, the son continuously tries different ways to win the bet and his endeavours do not meet failure. His unflinching spirit to fulfil his dream of going to the city of dreams has the capacity to enthral the audience and make for an endearing watch.
Directed by Rajeev Patil and based on a more spiritual concept on the life of a group of people who are popularly known as Jogta or Jogtin and forego all the materialistic worldly pleasures to serve God, this movie went on to win the National Award and was deemed as one of the boldest movies in Marathi cinema industry.
After this movie, Marathi cinema had left behind the traditional nomenclatures that decided the genre of a movie and even the controversial ideas of lip-locks were no longer an issue.
2.) Sant Tukaram (1936)
This movie by is a biopic of Sant Tukaram – the great social reformer, poet and saint of India whose valued principles became the base of humanity in India. Considered an all-time classic, the movie showcases the godly figure in a light where he fights against the inequalities and biased judgements of the society. The equality among all humans and their rights to lead lives the way they desire is a motto that the movie brings forth through the character of Sant Tukaram. The film also shows the emergence of the warkari sect in Maharashtra and how Tukya as he was known in his village became Tukaram Maharaj, thus making his antics popular across the world and serving the film industry with the greatest biopic of all times. It won among the top three best films in Venice Film Festival and was the first Indian movie to claim an International recognition.
1.) Raja Harishchandra
Even though people might say that this is a silent movie and hence cannot be deemed as a Marathi movie, Raja Harishchandra (1913) is a classic that can be viewed several times, to learn different things at each watch. We cannot forego mentioning a movie of this quality owing its greatness to none other than the Father of Indian Cinema, the legendary Dada Saheb Phalke.
We are so tempted to mention a few more movies. The list is endless but if you would permit us, we would want to enlist Dombivili Fast, Shwaas that won a National Award, Mee Shivajiraje Bhosale Boltoy, Shikshanachya Aaicha Gho, Duniyadari, Kaaksparsh, Harishchandrachi Factory, The Temple, Ek Hota Vidushak, Sarkarnama, Dhadakebaaz, Shyamchi Aai, Balak Palak and Checkmate. Harishchandrachi Factory, Shwaas and Kaaksparsh are probably a few among these that deserve to win an Oscar apart from the classic movies mentioned above.
We bow to Kavi Kusumagraj, the laureate for his great contributions to Marathi/Indian literature, who is the inspiration behind such great movies. Happy Marathi Bhasha Diwas to all!