A somber scene is in progress. The hospital set,erected at Bhartiya Vidyapeeth Medical College,is a dark,gloomy one. The sound of ‘cut’ sends the team for a break. Actor Sunil Barve makes his way to the vanity van. The extras line up near the canteen for lunch. There is a buzz about the film – Prem Mhanje,Prem Mhanje Prem Aaste – because it has well-known Marathi actress Mrunal Kulkarni playing a new role – that of director. She’s enjoying her behind-the-camera task. The story has been my dream child. I had written the basic synopsis almost four years back, says the debut director.
An actor for 18 years now,Kulkarni says that she was always intrigued by a director’s work. There was something very challenging about being a director. Now that I am one,I feel like a school girl who is going to give a very tough exam. There’s a sense of nervous excitement about me, she smiles.
The Marathi film details the lives of two couples and their relationships. Kulkarni also acts in the film . The ensemble cast includes Barve,Sachin Khedekar,Pallavi Joshi,Vikram Gokhale,Smita Talwalkar and Suhas Joshi in key roles. The definitions of love and marriage are fast changing. In today’s world,everyone is familiar with gay marriages,extra-marital affairs,and divorces. The film deals with some of these thoughts, Kulkarni says. “These are issues and questions being asked by the middle class,” she adds. In the film,she is paired opposite Barve,while Khedekar and Joshi play the other couple.
Pallavi (Joshi) chooses to leave Sachin (Khedekar) for the sake of her career as an astrophysicist. On the other hand,Sunil (Barve) has a back story to his life. He has an extra-marital affair and our marriage fails. Eventually,both Sachin and I meet and we fall in love,” she says of the basic plot.
The film shoot started in Pune on March 15. It will be completed in Pune and Mumbai over the next month. Produced by Sachin Porkar,Prem Mhanje,Prem Mhanje Prem Aaste will be released in August. Singers Milind Ingle and Bela Shende have lent their voices for the four songs in the film. “The script has been written by Manisha Korde,while the title comes from poet Mangesh Padgaonkar’s poem of the same name,” Kulkarni says. The plot of the film reminds one of Karan Johar’s Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna which dealt with marriage breakdowns and extra-marital affairs. There is no similarity. The way the film evolves,its treatment and approach is very different. Eventually,the way it ends is also different,” Kulkarni asserts.