When I saw the trailer of Nana Patekar’s ‘Natasamrat – asa nat hone nahi’, I knew this is THE movie that has the potential to exploit Nana’s acting prowess. But the way he said one word, also scared me that the acting MAY push the boundaries into the ‘over’ side of the skill (Remember ‘Ghar deta ka, GHAR‘ from the trailer?). But boy was I wrong. Yet, I am so damn thankful that I was.
I highly doubt the mainstream Bollywood producers (and viewers) will ever have the will to produce, watch, digest or understand a movie of this calibre. The Marathi film industry has lately been churning out masterpiece after masterpiece, breaking the stereotype that regional cinema delivers substandard experiences – all thanks to people like Mahesh Manjrekar, who are bringing back the high production value into the industry.
Natsamrat is a movie adoption of Kusumagraj’s Marathi play from 1970 of the same name. I had heard about the play, but had never seen it though. Now, I wish I had. The movie has some minor but welcome changes to the play, but overall the plot remains pretty much the same.
The trailer gave us the impression that Natsamrat is the story of the downfall of a great actor due to arrogance and ego. But turns out, it is the tale of humility and blind love of a father, the unflinching dedication of an actor towards all the characters he brings life to on the stage right up to his very last breath. It is the story of the unsung friendships that last throughout life, and beyond – the friendships that forgive & forget unquestionably. Nana Patekar plays the role of Ganpat Belwalkar a.ka. Natsamrat (King of Actors), he is a retired stage artist with his glorious days behind him, looks forward to spending time with his family. The role of his wife Kaveri Belwalkar a.k.a Sarkar is played by Medha Manjrekar. Vikram Gokhale plays the role of Rambhau, Ganpat’s friend and mentor.
The whole movie is woven excellently with alternative mild moments complemented with breathtaking acting pieces by Nana, Vikram Gokhale and Medha Manjrekar. One scene that stood out especially for me was between Nana Patekar & Vikram Gokhale where they portray Krishna and Karna on the Kurukshetra. You can almost feel that you are standing on the battlefield as those words are spoken which fall on your ears only to touch your souls as they saunter through. This is the reason you NEED to watch this movie in a theatre and not wait for it to come on TV. The grandiose dialogue delivery of Nana can only be justified by a Dolby Digital theatre on a 70mm screen. The rest of the crew is also filled with seasoned actors giving full justice to their characters. I especially loved Medha Manjrekar; the range of her facial expressions and the way the look in her eyes changes in split seconds goes to show what real acting is (No, stuttering hopelessly does NOT count as “Acting”).
The success of a performed art is in it making you re-think on your perspective of the fundamental understanding of the things we otherwise take for granted. Natsamrat does exactly that, and a little more. It will make you re-think about life, friendships, loving your spouse, loving your children, loving your profession and being one with it. The appreciation soars even higher when the movie shows two different Ganpat Balwalkars – One is a retired grandfather, and the other a fiery actor playing the strongest of characters. But towards the end, these parallels converge at a point where the fate of the Natsamrat reflects that of the very characters he has played. The Othello and Julius Caesar references simply add another dimension to the narrative. The ending would not have been as iconic without the final words of Caesar – “You to Brutus?” (Et tu, Brute?)
I would not be surprised to see Nana win a National Award for his role. Heck, I hope he wins it (*crosses fingers*). The movie is obviously a must see.
NAME: Natsamrat – Asa nat hone nahi.
RELEASE DATE: 1 January 2016
ACTORS: Nana Patekar, Medha Manjrekar, Vikram Gokhale, Mrunmayee Deshpande, Sunil Barve, Ajit Parab
DIRECTOR: Mahesh Manjrekar
SCREENPLAY: Mahesh Manjrekar, Abhijeet Deshpande and Kiran Yadnopavit
MY RATING: ★★★★★ (4.5/5)
Images: Source, Source.
Kshitij runs The Patil Post and Zetabyte Solutions Pvt. Ltd. - a web development company focussed on E-Commerce implementations. Loves to eat, sell, write and talk. He is an avid reader, an enthusiastic traveller and trekker at heart.
Ausome marathi movie
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