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Feb 23, 2010 12:22 PM 10638 Views
(Updated Feb 23, 2010 12:40 PM)





Natrang is a beautiful ‘masterpiece’ drawn by an artist (Debut Director) Ravindra Jadhav (alumini of of arts) on a celluloid screen. ‘Geet wohi tum gao, jisse is ‘mitti’ki khusboo aaye’, do you remember this song from Pardes? Yes. Truly ‘Natrang’ is a song by ‘Marathmoli maati’ (Maharashtra’s soil). It reminds us that the glorious days of ‘Marathi cinema’ are back.

Natrang is ‘Lavani’ ( a folk dance form), a journey (an artist’s lifestory), a passion (passion about work and culture) , entrepreneurship ( Gunawant Kagalkar and Naina tamasha company), and above all a social science ( society’s behavioral pattern, political factors, acceptability and resistance to ‘change’) and so many other factors.

At first glance, you remember ‘Ganpat patil’ who used to play ‘panzy character’ in Marathi Cinemas in 70’s- 80’s. But it’s actually based on Anand Yadav’s novel ‘Natrang’. Gunwantrao aka Gunya (Atul Kulkarni) is a daily wage earner who works on farms for a high caste landlord. He has a passion for ‘Lavani and tamasha’. He has inherent passion for acting and he has a great ‘leadership’ quality. Gunya decides to convert his hobby , passion into a business. He decides to start his own ‘Natak company’ when he loses his job(fetching water from well) due to ‘machine’ (water pump). People become pro-active when they see one farmer doing it, and decides to follow ‘Gunya’ just because they feel they should look for an ‘alternative’ work to earn their bread.

‘Gunya’ and other farmlabors starts ‘Natak company’ by the support of Pandba ( Kishore) who has good insight of ‘Tamasha business’. Pandba knows the dedication and passion of Gunya and he also trusts his capabilities as an actor and his leadership qualities. At the same time Pandba knows that Gunya is an innocent hearted person and does not understand business, so he decides to support him whole heartedly. Gunya goes against his family wish and starts a ‘Tamasha’ company in which he performs different jobs of writer, director, poet, and actor a King. Being a macho man and ‘marzi ka malak’ he suits the role of King. But situation demands something else from him.

Tamasha’ without ‘Girls’ can never be success and Naina (Sonali Kulkarni) who agrees to play a part in his troupe puts a condition that she will work with them only if they introduce a ‘panzy character’ (Nachya) in the play. Being an experienced woman in Tamasha Naina’s mother (Priya) convinces them that public needs innovation and ‘nachya’ is more preferred over ‘songadya’ (comedy character) by audiences. In small village, people do not get ready to play this character, as it could lead to lot of humiliation in public and may cause ‘public shame’ on their manhood. And there starts a series of sacrifices by Gunya. Padba convinces Gunya to performe ‘panzy character’. Naina guides him and Gunya becomes and excellent panzy performer. Within few shows their ‘Gunwantrao Kagalgaonkar and Naina; tamasha’ troupe becomes famous in neighborhoods. They starts getting lot of work from different villages and the success story of ‘Tamasha’ company continues with the more and more ‘sacrifices’ and personal problems of Gunya. Gunya has to adopt his ‘panzy character’ in his life too, to achieve ‘Supari’ (contract) to perform from political netas. I think rest of the part should not be disclosed here because there lies the ‘excellence’ of ‘cinema’, watch it to gain the emotional roller coaster of movie experience.

Atul Kulkarni has really done a superb job entire movie. This movie will definitely become a ‘stepping stone’ of his career. His performance is excellent which brings him in the row of ‘Aamir Khan’ and ‘ Nasiruddin Shah’ like legends. No doubt it’s difficult to play a ‘panzy character’ on silver screen too. But Atul Kulkarni has given a justice to it. The bodybuilder in first part and the fragile nachya in second half, the transformation has been portrayed by him outstandingly. Padba’s character played by Kishor is second best character in the movie. In facts in many scenes the level of this character goes much above the lead role. There are many shades to this character too and you sometimes love this Pandba and sometimes hates him. Excellent performance.

Third best performance is of Vibhavari who played a wife of Gunwantrao in the movie. Her struggle against poverty, her tolerance level, her disturbed mind, anger on society and finally on his husband (who doesn’t turn to her for longer time when she alone fights with society ) everything touches your heart. It sometimes brings tears in your eyes.

The music of the film is good. Few songs like ‘jau dya na ghari, apsara etc are very good. The ‘Dholaki’ played in entire movie and at the end of movie is mind blowing. You feel like dancing on the beats and speed of dholaki. One more feather on the hats of Ajay- Atul. Director has done excellent work in his debut itself. He has handled this sensitive subject very intelligently.

Finally, I am sure you have already read all the reviews on ‘Natrang’. But ‘Go and watch’ then only you will realize whether the movie is worth appreciating or not. Because I mean it again. This movie is for classes and not for masses J. You will not ‘love’ it, but I hope you will at least ‘like it’.

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