Shivaji Raje Bhosale Leaves an Impression

The last film I saw was an English one about Parsis. Now, I dared myself to go and watch a Marathi film about ‘Marathi Manoos’ and it was a struggle (in a good way). Plaza cinema: house full, Chitra: house full, Fame Nakshatra: house full.

“Go to a non-Marathi area!” Mom suggested. So off I went to Cinemax Sion and managed to grab the tickets. The ticket vendor actually spoke to me in marathi! Odd, because everywhere me and the brother insist speaking in Marathi, we are met with a ‘samajh mein nahi ayaa’!

With bestest friend and best friend in tow, I entered the theatre to watch a Marathi film after almost a year! (The last one I watched was an impressive ‘Checkmate’, but that’s for later)

The film starts with a sorry tale of a common man. A marathi man working as a bank clerk, who dreams of buying a nice shirt and longingly eyes the pomfret in the fish market, but gets shooed away. He cringes and accepts insults and shuts his eyes in shame when someone calls him ‘ghati’. That’s Dinkar Bhosale (Sachin Khedekar) for you. His life is depressing. He lives in a run down mansion with a nagging wife, a struggling daughter who can’t break into the industry because of her downmarket surname and a son whose career is one the line because of his CET result. Enter a builder who’s trying to acquire Bhosale’s palace, and then there’s trouble in (not-such-a) paradise.

His daughter wants to change her surname to Chopra because she’s denied a role absed on her surname, the son is upset because he has to give up his engineering dream for the lack of money for the donation.

Bhosale shuns his Marathipana, curses ‘Para-prantiyas’ and in a very impactful scene, shuns the founders of Maharashtra and its culture. This scene stood out to me because the statues of Ambedkar, Phule, Tilak glare helplessly from their statued busts at Bhosale as he rants on being Maharashtrian, ghati and being denied the right to live a peaceful life.

What follows is a bit vague. Shivaji maharaj (Mahesh Manjrekar) takes it upon himself to free Bhosale of his meek attitude. Bhosale being from the Bhosale family that Shivaji Maharaj himself belongs to, is given the baton to awaken the Marathi Manoos. Bhosale completely changes, goes around threatening ‘Muskatat Marin’ (I will slap your face) and convinces people that he is not suppressible. He takes on corrupt BMC officials, policemen, politicians, builders and transforms a Don, even!

In his small victories, the audience rejoices. Claps and whistles were just raining throughout the film. When a distraught Shivaji Mharaj says, “Thank God you don’t pray that Shivaji should be born but in another state!” many members of the audience stand up and clap hard! This is the film’s victory. It captivates the audience, holds them close and expresses an emotion that resonates with them.

Many people assume this an anti-Non-Maharasthtrian movie. It’s not. The movie solely tells the marathi manoos to get up and be pro active. It doesn’t slander any Non-Maharashtrian. Considering its context, it would have been easy for the director to get carried away. But he stays with the concept and plot. Of course, the preachy bit toward the end was a little cheesy, but that’s ok.

Makarand Anajpure as Raiba is priceless! Bharat Dabholkar as Afzal Khan is convincing. Watch out for many other cameos and guest apperances by celebrated Marathi artistes like Reema Lagoo as Jijau, Ajit Bhure as the Chief Minister, Kishor Pradhan as the band manager etc.

All in all, it’s a good film. It captivates, it entertains and it leaves an impact. Not bad Mr. Manjrekar, Marathi Paul Padate Pudhe!

Title: Me Shivajiraje Bhosale Boltoy

Dir: Santosh Manjrekar

Cast: Sachin Khedekar, Mahesh Manjrekar, Makarand Anajpure, Sucheta Bandekar

My verdict: Worth a watch, but make sure you watch it in a theatre where you can enjoy the audience. Watch out for dialogues written to induce an applause!

Rating: 3.5 /5!

10 comments for “Shivaji Raje Bhosale Leaves an Impression

  1. April 11, 2009 at 5:19 am

    the movie has real good cast and has to be a good performance… wanna watch it but lets see when…

  2. April 12, 2009 at 3:50 am

    Sounds like a nice movie. But given the times we are living in with the amount of hatred and distrust. I always am skeptical about the movies with a regional/cast/community/religion angle.

    These problems are becoming pan India, regions are getting polarised, not the best thing to happen for the people because at the end of the day its for the smaller political parties their vote banks.

    Watch Gulal, its again a similar kind of moive depicitng a similar kind of scenario in Rajasthan and Rajputs.

  3. April 12, 2009 at 6:08 am

    @prats yepp agreed. Gulal was an excellent movie. It was made in a diff way and good script. but the shocking thing in that movie was the concept of separate rajashtan being asked by rajputs!!

    i have never heard of any such real demands of rajputs nor i have heard in news or anywhere what so ever. so i m still unable to figure out the reason for such concept of the movie gulal. that too being released in a time very close to the upcoming national elections.

  4. April 12, 2009 at 4:33 pm

    I saw the crowd at the theatre and wondered what the fuss was about. And then I heard it’s the rage of late. Well, I think I should go and see it, specially so after your review!

  5. April 13, 2009 at 6:06 am

    does it have subtitles?

  6. Ratnesh
    April 13, 2009 at 8:39 am

    @Vishesh unni raghunathan…

    Yes it does….but not in all theratres/multiplexes…only in nariman pt i think..check marathi newspaper…

  7. April 15, 2009 at 12:25 pm

    I have not seen the movie…..

    as per the story line….every Indian regional (take it as Marathi, Bengali, Gujarati, assamese etc )middle class dilemma are same…….

  8. April 15, 2009 at 3:17 pm

    Awesome movie….
    Mee Shivaji Raje Bhosale… Rokzzzzzzzzzzzz…
    Every Indian should watch this movie…
    This movie is not against the outsiders.
    Thanks to Mahesh Manjrekar for giving the confidence for Marathi people…
    Movie is not related to any political party.
    All theater is house full in Maharashtra.

    I saw some people giving Mujra (Salutation) once they saw their King on screen – an amazing thing to see in a cenima hall for a King who still rules the hearts of many.

  9. Abhijit
    April 18, 2009 at 5:51 am

    One of the best movie seen recently it has not only motivated the marati crowd but others also. Greattttttttttttttttttt Job Mahesh.

  10. megha
    April 27, 2009 at 1:05 pm

    Great job done by all cast and crew of “SHIVAJI RAJE BHOSALE BOLTOY” ….dialogues,acting ,direction everything is fabulous…..ITS IS NOT FOR ONLY MAHARASHTRIANS BUT WORTH WATCHING FOR ALL INDIANS[[[who think there indians are keeping aside thoughts of caste and religion]]].Movie is against humanity and not against any caste or religion

Leave a Reply