The Magic of Four

Four Marathi film directors have come together to direct an anthology.

Written by Screen Correspondent | Mumbai | Published: February 6, 2015 12:44 am
girish Mohite , bioscope, gajendra ahire Four Marathi film directors have come together to direct an anthology, titled Bioscope—based on well-known poems.

Screen 3 of Mangala Theatre wore an unusual look recently. The screening of Bioscope began with the narration in the heavy voice of eminent lyricistpoet Gulzar, leaving the audience listening to each and every word in rapt attention, only to break into endless claps and whistles as the narration ended with his face appearing on the screen. The claps and whistles returned every half an hour, each time one of the four films that formed the anthology ended. Bioscope was showcased as part of the ongoing 13th Pune International Film Festival.

The basic point is that this film is a combination of four short films based on four poems. We never consulted each other while selecting the subjects. It was incidental that the subjects we chose had some common thread — Girish Mohite, Director.

Some time in December 2012, four Marathi film directors met at an event in Thane and decided to do ‘something different’. “Believe it or not, that’s how it began,” recalls Girish Mohite, one of the four directors who have directed four different short films as a part of Bioscope.

“So far, anthologies were made on short stories. We decided to pick our favourite poems and take them as the basis for our short films. It’s for the first time that an anthology is being made that is inspired by poems,” said Gajendra Ahire, whose short film Dil-e-Nadaan, based on Mirza Ghalib’s well-known ghazal of the same name, painted on the 70-mm canvas, is a visual treat.

Ravi Jadhav’s short film Mitraa is based on Sandip Khare’s poem inspired by legendary writer Vijay Tendulkar’s story. It deals with the subject of homosexuality while Viju Mane’s Ek Hota Kau is composed by actor-poet Kishor Kadam and Mohite’s film Baiil is based on a poem of the same name by Loknath Yashwant.

While trying their hands at the novel concept, didn’t the directors ever feel the pressure of competition? “In a way, you could say it was competitive as well as complementary. When four directors work together, something good can come out of it because of the camaraderie and support.

Though we shot all our segments separately, with no interference from each other. And yes, there is some pressure; what if one director’s segment is too strong or connects with the audience? But then, that is the skill of each director and how he holds the audience,” says Ahire, sitting among the audience at Mangala Theatre.

Khare, who will be making his acting debut through this film, says his poem Atasha Nakose Vatate Male He is inspired by Tendulkar’s famous play Mitrachi Goshta written in the ’60s, which he found far ahead of its times. “But the film goes beyond a lesbian relationship.

The story brings forth the insecurities of a girl, who discovers her sexuality and at the same time, has to deal with her childhood friend Vinay’s attraction to her,” says Khare, who plays the character of Vinay, while Mrunmayee Deshpande and Veena Jamkar play the two girls.

Mohite’s segment titled Baiil (Ox), deals with farmers’ suicides but with a twist. “The story is told through the eyes of an ox. The original poem by Yashwant is adapted into a screenplay by me and Abhay Dakane (writer). The film is written to show the frustration of cotton growing farmers in the state,” says Mohite, who has dealt with the subject of farmer suicides in the past also, and says the situation hasn’t changed a bit.

While all four films deal with four different subjects, there is still a common thread that weaves it together. “All four films have pain at their core; the pain of a bleeding heart,” says Khare. Yet the directors say there was never a conscious decision to blend in. “The basic point is that this film is a combination of four short films based on four poems. We never consulted each other while selecting the subjects. It was incidental that the subjects we chose had some common thread,” said Mohite.

So far, anthologies were made on short stories. We decided to pick our favourite poems and take them as the basis for our short films. It’s for the first time that an anthology is being made that is inspired by poems. When four directors work together, something good can come out of it because of the camaraderie and support.— Gajendra Ahire, Director.

Yet the directors say there was never a conscious decision to blend in. “The basic point is that this film is a combination of four short films based on four poems. We never consulted each other while selecting the subjects.
It was incidental that the subjects we chose had some common thread,” said Mohite.

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