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Upperstall Review



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Me Shivajiraje Bhosale Boltoy


Marathi, Drama, 2009, Color

Dinkar Maruti Bhosale represents thousands of 'Marathis' who feel they have lost their identity in cosmopolitan Mumbai. Dinkar feels Mumbai is in Maharashtra but there is no Maharashtra left in Mumbai. He always complains about the lack of respect a Marathi receives in Mumbai, feels he is victimized everywhere because he is a Marathi, little realizing that he himself has brought this situation upon himself. Matters go from bad to worse and in a state of sheer frustration Dinkar gets up one day cursing himself for being born a Marathi. He feels his 500 ancestors must here committed a heinous crime for him to be born a Marathi.This outbust of Dinkar reaches Pratapgad and the spirit of Shivaji Maharaj is aroused. Dinkar has to now face a seething Shivaji Maharaj, who is furious at him. Shivaji Maharaj fires Dinkar for his shallow thinking. Tells him he has to command respect, and not demand it. He blames his thinking for the sorry state of Marathi's. "Before blaming other communities for your short comings, look within and see if you have done anything to keep the Marathi pride intact," he roars. Dinkar realizes his mistake but do Shivaji Maharaj's thoughts arouse him to rectify his mistakes?

Me Shivajiraje Bhosale Boltoy tackles relevant issues no doubt - pride in one's identity, respect for one's own culture, working oneself towards solving one's problems and thus turning ones life around, being a Maharashtrian in Mumbai where most businesses are controlled by other communities among other things. However, the loud and preachy treatment in awakening one's pride in being a Maharashtrian is played too obviously for the gallery to get maximum claps and whistles and this begins to get to you. And the film meanders on and on for 16 reels lacking a tight, cohesive narrative that ultimately lets it down. Sad, because you can feel the intent, the effort and the money spent - it seems to be a bigger budget Marathi film and in the final analysis, had the scope to be a good film but falls short. Let's just say a Marathi Munna Bhai this ain't.

The film takes too long in showing us Bhosale's drugery and these scenes get high repititive. Admittedly there is the humorous touch to them but they fail to hold after a while. Also, once he comes into contact with Shivaji the narrative should have picked up with the interval point being him deciding to turn his life around but the film goes on and on even after this as he starts to do so and so a complication has to be added to give us that dramatic interval point. The complications too are solved rather simplictically and shall one say idealistically. One speech on Maharashtrian pride is enough to change the corruptest of people from BMC officials to cops. C'mon! The film also goes all over the place instead of sticking straight to its story. The item number of the actress daughter was embarrasingly tacky, for instance and removing it would have made no difference to the film whatsoever. The scene with Bhosale and his family captured and tied up in the godown is another no-no. The loose flow not only makes the film lose its focus but also plod on to its 'happy ending.'

That said, there are sequences where the film has tried to be innovative even if they don't work as well as they could. The scene with Bhosale amidst busts of Maharashtrain leaders like Ambedkar and Tilak was an interesting experiment and maybe the film's treatment needed more such moments. And the central performances are adequate enough. Sachin Khedekar holds the film together by and large though his performance oscillates - at times loud and over the top like the rest of the film but yet capturing the right emotion in the key moments of the film. He gives the film its strength while Mahesh Manjrekar seems to enjoy himself playing Shivaji. The supporting cast acquits itself reasonably ok.

Technicalities are above average for a regional film though highly obvious in their treatment and style, again.

All in all, just about average in its best moments and not so good otherwise.

Upperstall review by: Karan Bali aka TheThirdMan





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