The life of Lokmanya Bal Gangadhar Tilak, who was one of the first advocates of self-rule in India and referred to as the ‘father of Indian unrest’, has been recreated on silver screen by debutant filmmaker Om Raut.
‘Lokmanya Ek Yug Purush’, produced and directed by Raut and starring well-known actor Subodh Bhave in the lead, will release on January 2, 2015.
Tilak was an Indian nationalist, teacher, social reformer, journalist, lawyer and independence fighter, who was the first popular leader of the Indian Independence Movement and was conferred with the honorary title of ‘Lokmanya’.
“Tilak has inspired me as even I come from a journalist family. Lokmanya is considered god and idolised in our house. I was mesmerised with his ideology of vision of future of the country,” Raut told PTI in an interview.
The director spent three years in his research and pre-production.
“Lokmanya’s ideology should be imbibed by today’s youth as his thoughts are very relevant. Apart from their own individual growth, youth should also keep national interest foremost in their minds, Tilak stressed. He taught us to function as a unit his ideology applicable in today’s time. My film is a try to create awareness about Tilak’s ideas and thoughts,” Raut said.
The director said the pre-production work for the film went on for three years during which he researched works of historians and scholars on Lokmanya.
“It is not a documentary but a thought process on how he lived and what believed. The film starts with the setting up of new era English school and ends with his release from Mandalay. Some episodes from his life have been picked to highlight the making of the ideology he believed in,” Raut added.
The film has been shot in a ‘real’ way in Mumbai, in places like, Thane, Pune, Kolhapur, Satara, Wai. Raut said filming the movie and living the time of the freedom struggle was a challenging and fantastic process.
“Recreation of the era has been done seamlessly. Attempt to ensure the film has a wider reach has been made as it will be released with sub-titles. Similarly, the film has been widely received at this year’s International Film Festival of India, where it was part of the Indian Panorama,” he said.