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Livermore, Pune United States of America
Marathi Cinema Redefined
Mar 09, 2010 12:19 PM 8660 Views
(Updated Mar 09, 2010 12:51 PM)





Till some years ago, Marathi cinema typically consisted of slapstick comedies with known faces churning out films which identified mostly with the dress circle crowds. Shwaas, however changed things for the better. Not only have people started going to the theaters to watch a Marathi film, but the quality of filmaking has radically improved. Marathi cinema is undergoing an overhaul of sorts. Leading this revival is Natrang.

The Plot:

Natrang, based on a book of the same name, is the story of Guna, a farmer having an acute liking for performing arts. Set in rural Maharashtra some decades ago, the film follows Guna and his friends as they get an opportunity to start their own Tamasha company. Tamasha companies typically consisted of the lead female dancer, fellow dancers, the musicians, and the "Nachya", a character resembling a female played by a male. Having done everything right, Guna doesnt manage to find a Nachya for his company. The film portrays how Guna the "Shaahir" (playwright) takes up the job of Nachya to fill the void.

The Cast:

Atul Kulkarni: This should be one of the best performances of his career. The transformation from the thickly built Guna the farmer to the wafer thin, lady like, Guna the Nachya is astounding. He has become Marathi cinema's very own Ghajini. This role may well earn him a national award if not anything less.

Sonali: Not only is she gorgeous, her performance is simply put, scintillating. A brilliant dancer and great actor. She is a big find for the industry.

The supporting cast mainly Kishore Kadam as Pandoba, Priya Berde as Yamunabai, Vibhawari Deshpande as Dwarka give a fitting response to the main leads.

The Music:

This is a standout album by the superhit duo Ajay-Atul. They have captured the rhythm of Lavani music brilliantly. This album redefines Lavani music and will definitely help get the crowds back to this dying art form. Khel Mandala is one of the best songs of the year. Also making it to the top of the charts is the foot tapping number, Vajle Ki Bara.

The Critic In Me:

Although Natrang tries to be perfect in many ways, it really doesnt fulfill the demands of a better script. The ending seems to have been wrapped up in a hurry. That Guna is also a father of a son is not explored much by the director. Some loose ends could have done with a bit of trimming.

Final Verdict:

Natrang is a really important film. It portrays an artist's struggle with the society he lives in. The ignorant society which refuses to accept Guna as a Nachya. The unfortunate events that lead to it. The way he overcomes everything for the love of his art. The film has been instrumental in re-popularising Lavani music. It is interesting to note the fact that this is a debut for director Ravi Jadhav.

Natrang is a definite watch. Atul Kulkarni fans have no reason to miss it. Most importantly, if you crave for Lavani music Natrang is the show you should be getting your tickets to.

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