Sunday, June 5, 2011


Since 2010, Marathi cinema is on a different high altogether! After movies like ‘Natarang’ and ‘Harishchandrachi Factory’, Marathi cinema has crossed another milestone with Balgandharva.
Balgandharva- a film by Ravindra Jadhav. The film, as the title suggests, is the biography of the great theater legend Narayan Shripad Rajhans- ‘Balgandharva’. Balgandharva was the lead actor of Marathi plays at a time when women were allowed neither on stage nor in the audience. He brought to life some of the most important female characters of Indian literature like Shakuntala and Draupadi.
Along with depicting the ups and downs of Gandharva’s life, which is by itself a Herculean task, the film perfectly represents the social scenario of the late 19th and early 20th century. The art, the people, Indian independence, all the themes have been skillfully weaved into the fabric of the film.
The casting for the film is perfect! Subodh Bhave has surpassed all the expectations of the audience and has been able to maintain the difficult balance between manly gait and womanly grace. The secondary actors are equally good in whatever roles they do; although Abhijeet Kelkar and Kishor Kadam call for a special mention. While Kelkar always had the potential, director Rabindra Jadhav has harnessed it to the fullest. The audience might find Vibhavari Deshpande a little repetitive after similar roles in Natarang and Harishchandrachi Factory.
It is a challenge to give music to such a film where classical music is in the foreground rather than being just filler. Although the music is flows well with the film, there is nothing that lingers on your mind for too long; except for the voice of Gandharva. It really makes you feel that this must be the voice that got Gandharva his title.
The film is rich in its appearance, just like Gandharva’s plays. Camera work is just outstanding, with beautiful angles and just the right amount of close ups n lovely broad shots. Makeup artists deserve a pat on the back for Bhave’s different avatars from a young 20-something to his old age and from a beautiful woman to a simple man.
All in all, the movie is “nayanramya”, “karnapriya”, and thought provoking. It is not merely a film but an experience that is just not to be missed. If you still haven’t, bookyourshow now!!

Monday, April 11, 2011


At a time when Gujarati theatre is flooded with cheap comedy and meaningless screenplays, and the audience left only with memories of good plays, WZ promises to satisfy all your emotional and aesthetic needs. Written and directed by Saumya Joshi, this play will soon be announcing its 200th show!
Three characters: Arun Ganatra (Saumya Joshi), an irrational, dominating yet caring father, Vivek (Abhinay Banker), an obedient son seeking growth in rebellion, and Bhanu (Jignya Vyas), the mother, tired of being the “bridge” who now takes on the role of the sutradhar to break out of the family crisis. The storyline is as simple as the hitch of communication between the father and the son.
The play begins with a brilliant depiction of the “6.20 local” Mumbai lifestyle and from there the play finds its way to the audience’s heart through a series of images from your own lives. Beautifully written dialogues do not let you leave the play even for a second. Themes like Mumbai trains and Mumbai rains bring out well the problem of communication in our hasty lives. But the play actually becomes universal with the innate love-hate relationship between any father-son couple. The actors leave no stones unturned to convince you of the authenticity of their characters. Hats off to all the three actors for perfect timing and immaculate dialogue delivery!
After watching several Hindi and Marathi plays and wondering, “Why can’t Gujaratis put up something equally good?”, WZ makes me think, “Can they remake this play in Hindi to reach a larger audience?”
Thank you, Saumya Joshi and company. Looking forward to more plays of this stature.