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Book Your Film

A number of films based on Marathi literature is set to hit the big screen in the coming months

Written by Rushil Dutta | Published: July 27, 2013 2:34:16 am

Director Sanjay Jadhave had read Suhas Shiwalkar’s Duniyadari when he was in college in 1986. Such was his fixation with the book,he claims to have read it “over 5,000 times”. Jadhav had no plans of being in the film industry when he first read the book,but always thought it had great potential of being converted into a film. When he finally stepped into the industry as a cinematographer,he was itching to do something with Duniyadaari. Today Duniyadaari is a film that has been running successfully since July 19.

Jadhav is not the only director diving into Marathi literature’s bounties. Filmmakers Rajeev Patil and Samit Kakkad’s upcoming projects also draw from the vast and deep ocean of thoughts and ideas set afloat by authors.

“In an act of desperation,I wanted to adapt the book to a TV serial but couldn’t get the rights to do so,” says Jadhav,“I made another serial celebrating friendship and relationship in college,a theme which underlines Duniyadaari,too.” Years later,opportunity knocked for Jadhav when Shiwalkar approached him for a movie adaptation. “Shiwalkar and I would have worked on the script together. He had asked me to meet him after three days; but he passed away in the interim,” laments Jadhav.

Jadhav was then faced with the challenge of writing the screenplay by himself. After 12 failed drafts,he got together with Chinmay Mandlekar and the thirteenth draft worked out. “The audience expects you to replicate the book in the cinema. That is not possible. This weighs script writers down often,” says Jadhav. On the same subject,director of 72 Miles – Ek Pravas,Patil says,“I try to capture the emotions and thoughts of the author. Once his soul has been captured,it can be presented from the scriptwriter’s point of view,since literary experience is subjective.”

72 Miles – Ek Pravas,releasing on August 9,is an adaptation of Ashok Vhatkar’s book by the same name. In this book,Vhatkar tells the tale of,presumably,his own escape from a boarding school in Satara at the age of 13 and his escapades during his 72 mile-walk to Kolhapur over the next three days. Set in the ’60s,the story was written in 1975. “The challenge of taking the audience back in time lay ahead of us,but our technicians did a wonderful job,” says Patil,“We recreated a bus stop of Satara of the ’60s,referring to old photographs. We bought a bus and worked on it to look like an old bus from that era,we did the same to a truck. Costumes played a huge role too.”

Filmmaker Kakkad,whose adaptation of Lakshaman Gaikwad’s book Uchalya is set to release in October,says the setting and the look of an epoch is easier to achieve these days since many period films are being made and the industry is blessed with exceptional technicians.

“The biggest challenge lies in telling a story which the audience has read and hence will be very critical of,” says Kakkad. He adds “The Marathi audience is well read,since literature is so intertwined with our culture. Most have imagined the visuals in their heads while reading the books and compare their subjective visions to ours on celluloid,” says Kakkad.

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