Fenil and Bollywood

Posts Tagged ‘Marathi

By Subhash K Jha (MUMBAI MIRROR; January 04, 2010)

Nana Patekar, the 58-year-old actor, who is currently shooting for the Kannada film Yaksha, has learnt the language to dub his lines.

However, learning a South Indian language for the Marathi-Hindi speaking actor is not a cakewalk. Nana says, “It is a challenge to learn a new language. But what is life if you don’t create new challenges for yourself? I have always done what I wanted to do in life. When I agreed to do my first South Indian film, I decided I will speak my own lines. Why should I allow some other person to speak for me? I have been working hard, getting the accent right. It’s a complicated process. However, one is never too old or too young to learn something new.”

Although Nana is tight-lipped about his role in the film, according to sources, Nana plays a messiah of the down-trodden, the kind of character that he played in Mehul Kumar’s Krantiveer (1994).

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3 Idiots’ Omi is an established actor in the US, now in Bollywood

By Lekha Menon (MUMBAI MIRROR; December 30, 2009)


His distorted Hindi speech is one of the biggest talking points in the recently released 3 Idiots. In reality, it was an almost similar monologue that fetched Omi Vaidya,  (who prefers to be called Omi) an LA- based actor, the role of Chatur Ramalingam in the Aamir Khan-starrer.

On a trip to Mumbai to check out the Bollywood scene, Omi was asked by a friend to appear for an audition. The first audition went off without a hitch, but at the second he was given a dialogue from Munnabhai… to mouth. “I just rattled it off without exactly understanding the words… almost like the speech scene in the film,” says Omi. The next thing he knew, he was pencilled in for the role of the accented, mark-obsessed NRI geek in the film.

The instructions he received from the makers were clear: Don’t take Hindi classes, stop watching Hindi movies and put on weight.

Omi followed them to the T and now of course, he is revelling in the compliments coming his way for his role in the blockbuster. “I am still flabbergasted by the response. I guess people have liked the character because he is so relatable. In a way, this character’s negativity brought out the essence of the message more forcefully,” says Omi.

Incidentally, he began his acting career at the age of six, performing for Marathi Mandals in the US (also the reason why his Marathi is much better than his Hindi). He pursued a serious acting career in his teens, graduated in film studies from NYU and did roles in  Bones, CSI Las Vegas, The Office and Arrested Development, besides ads.

But being Asian or Indian, it’s still a tough task to break into Hollywood,  says Omi. “It’s difficult for Indians to get into the mainstream. At the most, you might be cast as an IT professional or other stereotypes.”

Omi in 3Idiots

That’s when he thought of exploring Bollywood, though there were other apprehensions. “The Hindi film industry is still not taken that seriously in the West. There are myths that it is unprofessional, and is mainly about songs and dances.”

But all his fears were put to rest once he joined the cast. “Here, there is a personal touch, unlike Hollywood. Even if they don’t pay you by the hour and there is no extra time, there is warmth and care. I basically saw my Bollywood innings as a challenge. A lot of credit also goes to Raju and Abhijat Joshi for the way the character came across on screen.”

Not surprisingly, after the stupendous success and appreciation, he is here for the long haul. Omi, plans to divide his time between the US and India and work in films ‘that don’t necessarily typecast him as an NRI but are dynamic and enjoyable.’

And for the record, he has now started taking Hindi classes as well.

…and Vishal Bharadwaj does exactly that when he plays with cultural and linguistic quirks in Kaminey, without dumbing it down for the audience
By Indu Mirani (MUMBAI MIRROR; July 27, 2009)

Vishal Bharadwaj

Vishal Bharadwaj has an instinct for picking up the gritty nuances of our culture. He played with the quirks of the language brilliantly in Omkara, and is now set to do the same with Kaminey.

So is the milieu of the film Maharashtrian? Vishal says, “Kaminey actually has a lot of languages. We will soon be releasing promos which will have all the languages except Hindi. There are lots of cultures in the film. There are scenes of three minutes where people are talking in Bengali. You don’t understand what they are saying but you definitely get what they want to express through their gestures.Then there is some lengthy dialogue in Marathi. But I haven’t gone around explaining the dialogue either through other characters or voice-overs.”

It’s a refreshing take when the director refuses to dumb down the film to cater to the ‘masses’, even if it means going out on a limb. Vishal agrees, “I have taken a huge risk in this film. There are only two ways I can deal with such situations. Either I take for granted that my audience is dumb and I should come down to their level. Or I can tell my audience that they are intelligent and they need to rise above and show it. Today, 95 percent of films spoon-feed the audience. I want to shake them. I need a lot of attention from my audience as I am challenging them to use their intelligence. They can decode it themselves easily. I think people will be intrigued by this movie as part of it will be easily understood and the other part they will have to decode. But in the end they will understand everything.”

So keeping in mind the different milieus in the film, how difficult was it to do the music? Vishal thinks that composing the pub song was the real challenge. He elaborates, “I am very uncomfortable making this kind of music. Dhan te nan is not my basic nature. My basic nature is the title song of Kaminey or Pani Pani re. But to compete in the market and to remain in competition, these songs are very important. I want to make films my way but with budget constraints, so many things are not possible. For the Dhan te nan song I had to access my hidden quirkiness.

“The most interesting song in Kaminey is the title song because it justifies all the characters in the film. They are all mean; each one has his own agenda except one. He is very noble but the others are mean which I think all of us are. None of us is a saint. That’s what makes us human. So I have tried to underline the mean side of us but in a very naughty way.”

In Bollywood, the music matters a lot. This compels a director like Vishal to push himself out of his comfort zone and attempt what may not come naturally to him. He says, “Unfortunately, with me in films like Omkara and Kaminey, you need an item number. If you want to sell Pani pani re then you need a Chappa chappa and if you want Naina thag lenge to sell, you need a Beedi jalaile. So if you want a song like Thoday bheegey or Kaminey to reach the audiences, then you definitely need a Dhan te nan. At one level, it really hurts and irritates me that we need to do this but then, at another level when the song is buzzing everywhere, on the streets, in the disco, it gives me a lot of pleasure too as I am a music composer.”

Kaminey

msrbb3Wherever there is urbanization, migration is bound to follow. And after some time, the migrants begin to consider the region as their own. Nothing wrong with that but problems arise when the local people living in the urbanized region since years begins to feel threatened with the growing migration. Things turn sour when these people feel victimized about their identity, culture etc. which finally results in feeling shameful. This is the time when things have almost gone out of the hands. ‘Mi Shivaji Raje Bhosale Boltoy!’ tells a similar story of a Marathi person. However, kudos to the writer for not making this film a pro-Marathi.

The story of the movie: Dinkar Bhosale (Sachin Khedekar) is a common Marathi man living in Mumbai. He works as a clerk in a bank and lives in an ancestral bungalow. He is a simple man with simple needs but his life is miserable. His salary is meager and is humiliated everywhere. His daughter, Shashikala (Priya Bapat) is highly talented and she can easily be one of the best actresses of Bollywood. However, in the audition, she is rejected because of her surname ‘Bhosale’ which the production manager considers ‘downmarket’. His son Rahul (Abhijeet Kelkar) wants to pursue engineering from a reputed college but the college asks for a huge ‘donation’ inspite that the college is run by Nandkumar (Ganesh Yadav), who’s a childhood friend of Dinkar. Then there’s a builder, Ghosalya, who is keen to demolish Dinkar’s ancestral property and build a skyscraper in its place. In return, he’s willing to give Dinkar a posh flat in far away Badlapur area and a Santro. Dinkar rejects this offer and his wife Sumitra (Suchitra Bandekar) ridicules him for being impractical. Ghosalya on the other hand wants Dinkar’s property at any cost. He starts harassing the Bhosale family in various ways. Frustrated by all this, Dinkar curses him for being born as a Marathi. He says that his ancestors must have committed a heinous sin because of which he’s born a Marathi. This outburst of Dinkar arouses the spirit of Shivaji Maharaj (Mahesh Manjrekar) who comes face to face to meet Dinkar. He scolds him for his shallow thinking and asks him “Did I fight and establish Swaraj to hear something like this from my people?” He teaches him a lesson and Dinkar realizes that he was indeed wrong. From the next day, Dinkar changes his mindset and decides to fight landsharks, goons, corrupt officials, cops and all those who obstruct his path. Will he be able to emerge victorious?

Although the film has lots of dialoguebaazi, it doesn’t become preachy at any place. What really works is its excellent screenplay and direction. At places, the film just shakes you. Take for instance, the scene where Dinkar is criticizing the biggest Maratha leaders of the past-it stirs up your conscience. And the scene that follows, the entry of Shivaji Maharaj in the narrative creates a far more impact. The war theme in the background and the audience’s whistles and claps made for a fantastic experience! And from here, the film becomes brilliant!

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The film becomes little slow in the 2nd half but again picks up in the last 20 minutes. The other flaw was in the story itself. Why wasn’t any attempt made to politicize Dinkar’s cause by any party? And the way he suddenly became very famous was hard to digest. However, the film makes up for its flaws completely in various departments and emerges victorious!

Along with its unique storyline, the film also earns brownie points since it doesn’t preach hatred towards other communities. Dinkar is shown to have rented a part of his bungalow to North Indian and Muslim family and is supportive to both of them. In return, they provide complete help to Dinkar in his struggle. Then there’s a scene where Dinkar says that we never raise our hand on the enemy’s wife/sister/mother or children. These were also the teachings of Shivaji, which is in today’s times forgotten especially after the cause of the Marathi people is politicized.

Coming to the performances, Sachin Khedekar deserves the highest praise for his mind blowing performance. In the film ‘Bose-The Forgotten Hero’ he wonderfully essayed the role of Bose which I feel was much better than Amitabh’s performance in Black! After ‘Bose’, this must be one of the best performances of his career. There was not a single flaw in his acting anywhere. Watch out for the scene when he comes home drunk and where he criticizes for being a Marathi-simply incredible!

Mahesh Manjrekar shines as Shivaji! His entry takes the breath away and his dialogue-delivery was powerful and strong. But what really worked was his appearance-he looked like Shivaji completely! Although audiences may be disappointed since he doesn’t have much role in the film, he leaves a mark and creates a long lasting impact!

Makarand Anaspure as Raayba was hilarious and provided lots of laughs in the film. Suchitra Bandekar was perfect. Siddharth Jadhav as the goon Usman Pakar was terrific and was quite funny in the final scene. Priya Bapat and Abhijeet Kelkar as Dinkar’s children play their part perfectly. Ganesh Yadav was natural. Others were good.

Out of the 4 songs of the film, the song ‘O Raje’ rocked! Sung wonderfully by Sukhwinder Singh, the song was the theme of the film and was played in all important scenes. Then there’s ‘Maharajanchi Kirti Befaam’ which describes Shivaji defeating the mighty Afzal Khan. It was a unique song with fantastic lyrics.

Sanjay Pawar and Mahesh Manjrekar’s dialogues were sharp. In fact, the film succeeds due to its mighty dialogues. The film also has some great one-liners, esp the ones mouthed by Makarand Anaspure which were quite funny! Shailesh Awasthi’s cinematography was flawless. Visual effects were breathtaking and the film is technically brilliant!

Mahesh Manjrekar has written the story of the film which was very novel. Screenplay by Manjrekar and Abhijeet Deshpande was great and did total justice to the story. Santosh Manjrekar emerges as a ‘hero’ for such a wonderful direction!

Some of the best scenes of the film:
1.   Ghoshalya and Dinkar meeting for the 1st time
2.   Shashikala’s audition
3.   BMC officials inspecting pipelines in Dinkar’s bungalow
4.   Dinkar criticizing great Maratha leaders (powerful scene!)
5.   Shivaji scolding Dinkar
6.   Dinkar scolding Gidwani for rejecting his daughter (best scene of the film!)
7.   All scenes of Usman
8.   The song ‘Maharajanchi Kirti Befaam’
9.   The final 20 minutes

On the whole, ‘Mi Shivaji Raje Bhosale Boltoy!’ is surely one of the most powerful films to have come out of Marathi cinema. It teaches the great teachings of Shivaji, which we have forgotten thanks to the ‘sons of the soil’ campaign by political parties. All those staying in Maharashtra-go for it! Satisfaction is guaranteed!

My rating-**** out of 5!

This post first appeared on MouthShut.com: http://www.mouthshut.com/review/Me_Shivajiraje_Bhosale_Boltoy-165321-1.html

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VCDS AND DVDS OF ‘MI SHIVAJI RAJE BHOSALE BOLTOY!’ LAUNCHED: https://fenilandbollywood.wordpress.com/2009/08/01/mi-shivaji-raje-bhosale-boltoy-vcdsdvds-launched/


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