- Written by Nagraj Manjule
- Directed by Nagraj Manjule
Sairat - Movie Highlights
It can easily be called the Gadar of Marathi Cinema. Shows at morning 3am, 6am were unheard of, for this Industry. Marathi film industry seems to be evolving with each passing day. And a pure example of its growing limits is how Sairat has broken all previous records to become the highest grossing Marathi film of all times. It has not only shattered previous box office records of any Marathi movie, but also broken many stereotypes. The most interesting aspect about 'Sairat' is that it has achieved this feat without any A-list star, a franchise, or a holiday release date. The Film was selected for 66th Berlin International Film Festival and young Rinku Rajguru (a good 15 year old girl), won a special mention at the 63rd National Awards for her spirited performance. If you look at the film as a whole it turns out to be the oldest story in the book - that of a star crossed lovers, a la Romeo and Juliet. This has been interpreted several times on screen and in almost all the languages, the most famous being Mansoor Khan's Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak. Parts of it may even remind the viewers of Ishaqzaade, Kadhal and Nuvvu Nenu. But Sairat (Wild) is different, really different; as different as cheese and chalk. So what sets it apart is the biggest question lingering in the minds of all the film fraternity but the audience has lapped it up, as if it's their own.
Set in a small village in Karmala (Solapur district), Maharashtra - a young boy from a lower-caste family, falls madly, hopelessly in love with a privileged, upper-caste girl. Parshya (Aakash Thosar), a smart boy from the lower social strata and Archana 'Archie' (Rinku Rajguru), a rich upper class girl happen to study in the same college. After few initial hiccups, she reciprocates and they fall in love. Salya (Salim) and Langdya (Pradeep Bansode), his friends help him out when needed and are happy for him. The problem is that Aarchi is not just from the upper class, her father (Vishwakarma) is a powerful politician, and her brother Prince (Pawar) is following in on his footsteps. As love starts to bloom, the upper - lower social status and the caste issue crops up and her family comes to know of the love affair. They trash the boys; his family is jailed, but bailed out when she argues that it is her fault also. But her brother Prince and his gang don't leave at this; they again trash the boys very badly. Seeing this she interferes and they happen to run with the help of his friends. They reach Hyderabad where their struggle for everyday life starts. They get help from a feisty woman, who runs a roadside eatery. They struggle and even their love falls apart when she is unable to cope up with the harsh realities of low life. But eventually love wins and they happen to settle in life. And after few years when everything seems to be good in life, the story takes a grave turn which has to be watched to feel it and understand the real face of the society which looks good from outside but deep inside it has another dark secret because of our own blood relation is unreliable.
This is his second feature film after the National Award winning Fandry. Manjule tells a heartbreaking real love story set against the backdrop of caste differences. In Sairat, he uses fresh faced debutants to convey those aspirations. If Fandry had art house aesthetics, Sairat is certainly more commercial, and with more impact. It is a mainstream film with a difference. The execution of the story is mind blowing. It holds your attention throughout the movie. It is a love story with the backdrop of a contemporary issue. It is not just a film. It's a movement. While the film itself opens up a very disturbing debate on the perils of inter-caste marriages in our society and mirrors the real life to the core. It is one of those films that either charms you or doesn't. If the first half is the elaborate love story with number of playful moments, songs, laughs and romance, the second half is realistic, gritty and heartbreaking. Admittedly, there is nothing startlingly novel about the poor-boy-rich-girl love story and stars two completely unknown faces in the lead, avoiding all the known and acknowledged trappings of Indian commercial cinema and yet succeeds in creating a rippling effect in the audience. A director's creation is best evaluated by the crowd exiting from the movie hall. In case of Sairat, they are all silent and awestruck with the emotions. A 170 minutes, the film for today's times is certainly very long but it holds your attention all throughout. Either the love story, or the reality or the ending, something is definite to stay with you for a long time. Music by Ajay-Atul is fantastic with songs like 'Yad Lagala' and 'Sairat Zala', being romantic and soothing and with peppy dance number 'Zing Zing Zingat' it reaches its peak. Right now it is on every party's list.
Again it is the performances that are the biggest strength of the movie. Characterization is unique yet so realistic. This makes movie all time fresh. Aakash is good looking and has carried off the somewhat sober Parshya's character with a lot of honesty. Pradeep Bansode (Langdya) is a surprise package who stands by his friend and adds a lot of the comic relief throughout the first half. Salim (Salya) is Parshya's neighbor and equally supportive role. Others are equally well cast. But it is Rinku Rajguru who steals the show with her outstanding performance and is the soul of the film. Archie is a fairly complex role and she effortlessly brings about all the varied emotions - right from arrogance to despair - that her character goes through.
Many after seeing the film have reconciled with their family members whom they had forgotten, stayed away from them, have now understood the reality, that love is more important to lead a life rather than the so called rules, caste, creed, social status etc. And when such films make people to think and act, the purpose of filmmaking gets its true award and appreciation.
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