THE UNBELIEVABLE SUCCESS STORY OF THE MARATHI FILM “SAIRAT”
What would we have done it we didn’t have path-breakers, game- changers and trend-setters? It is these people that our industry needs now more than at any other time.
It is keeping in mind this acute need of the industry that I was made aware of a Marathi film called “Sairat”. I first heard about it some days ago and last week when I was in Pune, the only common subject in every house, institution, restaurant and club, there was only the talk of a film called “Sairat”. I happened to see the film and spent a long time trying to know the reactions of people to the film. It was a mind-blowing experience. Almost every Marathi speaking person had either seen the film or was planning to see it. I had heard about films creating a sensation in the very first few days of their release, but what I saw and heard about “Sairat” was beyond any explanations or expectations. It was a film that proved how a simple story of two young people in a village could be told with such a strong impact that it literally shook up the hearts and minds of people who saw the film. If there was anything called mouth publicity, it worked best for this Marathi film which no one had even heard of some weeks ago. The film was a collective success of a good story, some extraordinary performances by new actors who had never faced the camera before technical excellence and above all the kind of music I have never heard, in a very long time, in all, “Sairat” is like a renewal of hope in good cinema for me and I am sure it will be for all lovers of good cinema who have been crying their hearts out to find reasons to call a film good cinema.
“Sairat” is like a bright ray of hope in these days when we are only specializing in making films which are bad and rightly deserve to fail week after week because that is the punishment their makers deserve for making films without any sense or sensibility.
“Sairat” is a romantic film made with newcomers Rinku Rajguru and Akash Thosar. It is directed by Nagraj Manjule and produced by Nagraj Manjule, Nitin Keni, and Nikhil Sane under the banner of Aatpat Production, Zee Studios and Essel Vision Productions. The music by Ajay-Atul, was released on 6 April 2016. The film was released in India on April 29, 2016. It was the biggest weekend opener for Marathi films breaking the record held by “Natsamrat” starring Nana Patekar and directed by Mahesh Manjrekar.
The film follows the story of Parshya, a low-caste man, and Archie, a daughter of a rich “upper caste landlord”, who fall in love despite pressures from society that they cannot be together. When their relationship is discovered, the couple is faced with violence and many challenges before they leave for the city.
The songs and background score for the film are composed by composer duo Ajay−Atul, who had earlier worked with director Nagraj Manjule on his debut film “Fandry”. In a first for a Marathi film, the soundtrack includes western classical pieces recorded at Sony Scoring Stage in Hollywood, California, a first for an Indian film. The orchestra of 66 musicians – including a 45-piece string section, 6-piece woodwind section, 13-piece brass section, 6-piece horn section, and 1 harp – was conducted by Mark Graham.
In addition to challenging the caste system in India, “Sairat” casts Archie (the main female character) in a leading role in the action scenes. The director was asked about his decision to cast Rinku Rajguru as the main character, despite her not being “conventionally good looking”; he disputed this and described most film actresses as “bimbettes” compared to the strong character played by Rinku. Ganesh Matkari of “Pune Mirrorr” rated the film with four stars saying, “The word I will use to describe Sairat is ‘significant’.”
The film was selected for the 66th Berlin International Film Festival under its Generation 14 plus section. Rinku Rajguru was awarded a National Film Award – Special Jury Award / Special Mention (Feature Film) at the 63rd National Film Awards in 2015″ for her effective portrayal of a lively girl who defies societal norms but ultimately has to face the wrath of her family”.
The wild wind is blowing and blowing very fast. If this is how a team of young people can work to make an exemplary film which can compete with any of the best films in the world, why can’t we have similar films in other major languages, especially Hindi, films which can change the dull and dismal atmosphere we are trying our best to live in? “Sairat” is a lesson to learn from and give all future filmmakers reasons to think about why they cannot attempt to make a film like “Sairat” which has not only created history but will now always be a part of Indian cinema history.