Balkadu a film showcasing the political ideals of Shiv Sena founder Bal Thackeray will hit the theaters on Friday on the occasion of his birth anniversary. The commercial entertainer will see Thackeray playing a major role in the form of a voice-over espousing the Marathi Manoos cause.
The title of the movie “Balkadu” is a homonym which in Marathi means the medicine given to infants to ensure their good health. In the context of the movie it means the bitter medicine given by Bal Thackeray for the well being of the Marathi Manoos.
Shiv Sena MP and Saamana editor Sanjay Raut is the driving force his name appears as the presenter of the movie in the titles. The movie is produced by “Royal Maratha Entertainment Company” and directed by Atul Kale. It will have one of the biggest screenings that a Marathi film has got till date and will open in over 500 screens across the state.
“People should know about the icons of the country and Balasaheb was one of the biggest icons that the country has produced,” Raut said The movie is an attempt to show case Thackeray’s views and ideals through an independent story.
The film explores the journey of a Maharashtrian youth played by Umesh Kamat who is disturbed by the gradual erosion of the Maharashtrian identity in Mumbai. A character in the film laments the fact that the Marathi population in the city has declined to 22 per cent. Kamat seeks inspiration from Thackeray to hit back at those out to destroy Maharashtra’s culture in Mumbai.
Thackeray is not depicted on screen. But his imagery has been used along with a voice over which dominates his presence in the film. The filmmakers have patched the various speeches that Thackeray gave in his lifetime to formulate the dialogues that are delivered by the voice-over.
Raut said that he was not looking at making an autobiography of Thackeray. “Balasaheb during his lifetime had stated that he would never write his autobiography. How can we make a autobiographical film on him. We wanted his ideas to be propagated to the maximum people but did not want to make a drab documentary. The best option was to make a commercial film which showcased Balasaheb’s ideals,” Raut said.
The movie was premiered on Thursday in front of the entire Thackeray clan. The Shiv Sena meanwhile has launched a slew of programmes to celebrate Thackeray’s birth anniversary after it has come to power. Sena President Uddhav Thackeray is expected to address party workers on Friday.
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