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Marathi cinema carving a space for itself

August 19, 2010 04:23:44 PM IST
Enkayaar, Bollywood Trade News Network
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While there may be an undercurrent of resentment against arm twisting tactics adopted by the workers of Maharashtra Navnirman Sena to force cinema hall and multiplex owners to show Marathi films as well, it seems that the Marathi film makers have taken it upon themselves to come out with some amazing films which would force the hall owners to display them, notwithstanding the forced attempt by MNS. It all started with HAPUS, which underlined the importance of adaption of new techniques by the farmers to augment their incomes and it has become a super hit film.

How many of the fans of cinema are aware about the fact the SHYAMCHI AAYEE won the first Swarnkamal in 1954 and has a fan following on Facebook of more than 2.5 lakh fans that would be envy for any filmmaker. If one were to discern the real fault line that gave a new lease of life to Marathi cinema, it was SHWAS around six years ago, and it went on to compete at the Oscars as well. It was followed by MEE SHIVAJI RAO BOLTO HAI, NATRANG, LALBAUG TO PAREL etc. that have given a shot in the arm to business of film making in Marathi.

So in a way the cinema is evolving in Marathi. It is however seriously impaired by known faces which brings audiences in cinema halls, as it is in other regional centres like Tamil, Telugu or Kannada where there are stars in their own rights who command huge fan following. Such kind of star power is not present in the cinema of Marathi and it becomes a stumbling block for the cinema hall owners and distributors to market the film and bring in the audience.

Being in the vicinity of Hindi cinema, the Marathi actor who has made his mark aspires to switch over to Hindi films. However, being a competitive arena, the expected success is not in the same quantum, but as the money is good in Hindi cinema, the struggle to gain foothold continues.

Maybe, what is required to give a new lease of life to Marathi cinema is infusion of capital in a big way, i.e. increasing the budget to increase the spectacle. Besides, there also needs to be a change in attitude of the average Marathi cine-goer which may encourage the film makers to experiment with bold themes. The content still operates within a defined parameter, rarely trying to experiment, but when it does it gets international acclaim, as JHING CHAK JHING got. It was appreciated even by Prince Charles and Michelle Obama.

So the canvas has been spread out, need is for search of new pencils and new colors, and Marathi cinema could indeed evolve in its own.

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