Among the compliments Marathi film-maker Sachin Baliram Nagargoje has received since the release of his directorial debut Taptapadi, he regards the one from Vikram Mehrotra as the best. After seeing the film, Mehrotra, who produced Kabhi Haan Kabhi Naa in 1994, called Nagargoje and said, “You’ve done complete justice to Tagore’s work.”
Based on Rabindranath Tagore’s Drushtidaan, Taptapadi released recently and has been receiving rave reviews for its treatment of the original story, power-packed star cast, well-timed dialogues and its overall look and feel. Director Nagargoje, who is also the co-producer of the film, says, “It’s a dream come true. I have been wanting to make a mark in the Marathi film industry for a long time. With Taptapadi, I feel, I have managed to realise my wish to a certain extent.”
And when Nagargoje says that he waited for a “long time”, he means it quite literally. It was five years ago that he read Tagore’s Drushtidaan and since then the thought of making a film on the story never left him. It so happened that after his degree in mass communication from Pune University, Nagargoje, who hails from Beed district, shifted to Mumbai in 2005 to find work in the television industry. Fortunately, meeting the right people at the right time materialised into good assignments. He got to direct serials that included Jhonny Ala Re, Ada, Sa Re Ga Ma, Cinemascope and many more. “However, after working for four years, I wanted a break and returned to my village, Ambejogai, in Beed. During the eight months I stayed there, I read a lot. Drushtidaan was one of them. I felt that the subject, when converted to a film, would appeal to the Marathi audience,” says Nagargoje, adding that after coming back to Mumbai he contacted several producers regarding his project but most were apprehensive about its commercial potential. “The story’s setting demanded huge costs and they were worried if the film would be able to recover it,” says Nagargoje. That’s when his friend Hemant Bhavkar came to his rescue. The duo decided to co-produce Taptapadi.
So what did he find appealing about Drushtidaan? “I always wanted to make a period drama and create that aura and ambience. Drushtidaan had everything I was looking for. Besides, the story portrays complexities of relationships in a subtle manner,” says Nagargoje.
Taptapadi is the story of Meera, who gets married to her cousin Madhav. Though the couple are madly in love with each other, problems begin surfacing after Meera suffers a miscarriage and starts developing problems with her vision. Madhav, who feels Meera has an eye infection, tries various self-prepared medicines on her. Meera loses her eyesight completely and the couple’s relationship gets complicated. The complexities increase when a young woman named Sunanda enters their life and Madhav’s aunt Durgabai asks him to marry Sunanda. “I have tried my best to stick to the original story. But I have also taken some creative liberty in the climax where Meera tries to grab her husband’s attention to win him back,” explains Nagargoje.
Starring Veena Jamkar (Meera), Kashyap Parulekar (Madhav), Shruti Marathe (Sunanda) and Neena Kulkarni (Durgabai), the film was shot over a span of 35 days in September 2012 in five districts of Maharashtra — Pune, Beed, Satara, Latur and Parbhani. However, the post-production work extended till May 2013.
What strikes the most about Taptapadi is that the film is technically sound with the right costumes, flawless sound effects, beautiful locales, backdrops and great sets. “The budget of two crore was too big for a regional film but I didn’t want to compromise on quality. I’m happy that the decision and efforts didn’t go in vain,” concludes the film-maker.
Dhamak to release on April 25
Aniket Vishwasrao, one of the top heroes of Marathi cinema is playing the lead in C.S. Films’ Dhamak. Girija Joshi is the role of his heroine. Produced by Suvarna Bandivadekar and directed by Rajendra Bandivadekar, the film is to release all over Maharashtra on April 25. It has an item number by Meghna Naidu and a lavni number by Mumait Khan. The film also stars Mohan Joshi, Viju Khote, Sunil Shinde and Ashok Samarth. Nirmal Kumar has composed the music for the love story set in Kundapur while Umesh Jadhav is the choreographer.
Shaji N Karun gets IFFI Prize
Eminent Malayalam film-maker Shaji N Karun has been selected for this year’s International Film Festival of Innsbruck (IFFI) prize. The award is being given to commemorate 100 years of Indian Cinema. Karun, known for his globally-acclaimed movies like Swaham, Vanaprastham and Kuttysrank, will receive the honour at a function in Innsbruck on June 2. He will also present his latest movie Swapaanam (The Voiding Soul), a film about drums and dance, in the International Competition European premiere of the festival.