Fenil and Bollywood

Jhenda delayed after Rane Jr’s objection

Posted on: January 9, 2010

Ambarish Mishra | TNN (THE TIMES OF INDIA; January 8, 2010)

Mumbai: Jhenda (Flag), a Marathi film by Avadhut Gupte, has stirred a hornet’s nest in political circles. Now, Congress minister Narayan Rane’s son, Nitesh Rane has objected to the plot of the film, which reportedly portrays the Raj -Uddhav Thackeray feud.

Swabhimaan, a socio-cultural outfit floated by Nitesh, has taken exception to a character in the film. Nitesh has alleged that the character closely resembles his father. Gupte has denied the charge, but has promised to make the necessary changes.

Jhenda, which was slated for release on Friday, has been postponed by a week. The Shiv Sena, however, has backed the film, which they said shows Uddhav in “a good light”. The Maharashtra Navnirman Sena, headed by Raj, has also agreed to okay Jhenda, though party activists have “certain misgivings” about the flick.

Gupte has maintained that his debutante venture is not so much a filmi take on the Uddhav-Raj spat as a tale of how politics affects the GenNext. The Sena-MNS activists are unanimous that Jhenda delineates the long-drawn war between the estranged Thackeray cousins.

“The film is a story of dynastic politics. Two young politicians, depicted as Uddhav-Raj clones, are the film’s protagonists,” pointed out a senior Sena functionary on Thursday, adding, “However, Jhenda has a pro-Uddhav tilt.”

Gupte organised a special screening for Bal Thackeray at Matoshree recently and the 80-plus Sena patriarch okayed the flick, much to the director’s relief, it is learnt.

A show was organised for MNS functionaries too at a suburban mall on Wednesday. Raj Thackeray has instructed his followers not to obstruct the film’s release as it is produced and directed by Gupte, a Marathi manoos. “But, we have certain misgivings about Jhenda,” said an MNS functionary. He added, “Gupte had set to tune a signature song for the Sena during the 2007 BMC election campaign. He is a good friend of Uddhav’s. That makes us suspicious about the film.”

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