Written by Khanak Sachdeva
A huge upsurge that was once seen in Marathi cinema not more than a couple of years ago, thanks to a slew of films winning prominent national awards and high grossing films like Sairat, making regional cinema give a tough competition even to Bollywood in theatre halls, is now on the wane. This year is yet to see any big Marathi movies turn talk of the town and draw crowds to cinema halls.
“Even I’m confused a little because of the response which affects the theatrical release of Marathi films. I figured that there are so many good films which came out, in this year particularly, so many award-winning films and good content films. But I don’t know why people won’t go to the theatre and watch Marathi films. Yes, there are some good hits this year but not exceptional successes so far,” said Subodh Bhave, one of the seniormost actors from Marathi cinema.
Ahead of the release of his film, Aani..Dr Kashinath Ghanekar, in which he plays the titular character of Dr Ghanekar, the late doyen of Marathi theatre and films, Bhave hopes that this film would prove to be an “ice-breaker”.
The actor says that playing the character has created a kind of fear in him as the personalities of the reel character and the real Bhave are as different as chalk and cheese. Bhave, who is often teased as the ‘biopic king’ in Marathi cinema, says it is the difference in personalities, which makes this biopic standout from the others.
“I am a simple person as compared to Dr Ghanekar, who was extremely complicated. To digest his personality, his thought process and focus inside me, is a very difficult task. Playing a complete contrast, shooting everyday for many scenes, was the most difficult part of my life. Ghanekar’s psyche is difficult to comprehend. For example, he wouldn’t utter his next line unless he heard the audience clap. I, on the other hand, believe one should recite their lines quickly and go ahead, and not wait for the applause,” he says.
On the difference in portraying a real life character as opposed to a fictitious one, Bhave says that it’s comparatively easier to portray fictitious characters, as one can make it their own. “Playing real characters, especially a living legend is very difficult because their image is carried in the minds of thousands of people who are quick to judge,” he adds.
Asked about the ongoing #MeToo revelations coming out in the film and TV industry, Bhave says he is glad it happened, for it is necessary for women to speak for themselves. “There are too many problems and taboos for Indian women. There are social problems, personal problems, family problems, and so many other taboos. But at least this campaign would help women to come out and speak. I think it will help women working in the industry a lot. Now nobody will dare to do such things thereafter,” he says.