Saturday, January 2, 2016

Natsamrat



Today marked my foray into Marathi movies! Sure, I've watched some at home, but this was my first Marathi movie in a theater and it didn't disappoint. The movie was Natsamrat, based on an iconic 1970 play of the same name. The play was written by eminent Marathi writer V.V Shirwadkar (Kusumagraj). Nana Patekar plays the role of Ganpat Belwalkar 'Natsamrat', originally essayed by Dr. Shriram Lagoo.

Natsamrat is the story of a Shakespearian theatre actor who's tasted success and fame. His scathing wit, unabashed humor and sensitive nature which charmed everyone end up costing his family and sanity, ironically so. Yes, the premise is grim: the downfall of a successful theatre veteran. The trajectory of our 'Natsamrat' is predictable. But what made this movie interesting were the gems of dialogues strewn in every scene and the stellar performances of the actors.

I wish I could pause the movie and replay every line narrated by Nana Patekar so that I could recite them like verses of one's favorite poem. I was dabbing at my tears now and then, watching the plight of the protagonist. One of my favorite parts was the scene where Nana arrives drunk at his daughter's wedding anniversary party. He rants about the pleasures of intoxication and behaves inappropriately with his son in law's boss. Yet the next day he is told that everyone was thoroughly entertained by his performance and were asking for a copy of the 'poem' he recited last night. Such was his charm!

As for the performances, it goes without saying that Nana Patekar reprised the protagonist's role with aplomb. Medha Manjrekar played the role of the loving wife; Vikram Gokhale, Mrunmayee Deshpande, Sunil Barve and Ajit Parab essayed the roles of his children and in-laws.

Natsamrat is a wonderful concoction of great acting and dialogues which leaves you intoxicated. Do stay in your seats while the credits are rolling to watch the spell binding monologue delivered by the Natsamrat. I shall be watching it again, and try to memorize the exquisite poetry that was this movie.

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