A Look Into The Reality of Marathi Cinema

Cinema is an art which uses visual medium to narrate a story and also gives us a glimpse of reality. Introduced in the end of the 19th Century, cinema is world’s most recent form of art. Not only is it recent, but it also is an amalgamation of complexity, collaboration and one of the costliest form of arts.
In India, people are all about Bollywood; Indians pretty much cannot survive without the Mirch-Masala sort of entertainment of the Hindi cinema. But somewhere down the line, the hype which Bollywood has created with its Shahenshas and Badshahs has been mellowing down a bit. The audience today does not only look forward to the entertainment factor of a movie but also to its practicality and how much of reality does it manage to reflect.

A still from Killa
A still from Killa

However, we have Marathi Cinema, which produces some amazing films that make sense and are also closer to reality. For some reason, people don’t always give much preference to the regional cinemas and hence the exposure they receive is the least. But the way Marathi Cinema industry has been booming in the recent years is truly commendable! A major difference between Bollywood and Marathi Cinema is that the latter is not only about highly paid stars and expensive sets but more about showcases of pure talent and trying to film reality at its best. What they give the highest priority to is the content.
If we have a look at the current scenario, Marathi cinema has received an overwhelming response to all its recent releases. Some say it is because of the State Government’s rule on giving prime time slot to Marathi Films in the city theatres. But how can we ignore the meticulous efforts that go into producing each and every movie? Marathi movies definitely have stronger and more appealing content. Additionally, the overall number of releases have increased to a great extent in the recent past, providing this industry with higher profits.
A poster for Lai Bhari
A poster for Lai Bhari

The National Award-winning Marathi film ‘Killa’ got a superb response from the audience! The very first week it collected Rs 3.25 cr in spite of being allotted a mere 225 screens. ‘Killa’, by now, is running in 250 cinema halls, on nearly 4000 screens, which is equivalent to any other regular movie. Similarly, movies like ‘Lai Bhari’, starring Ritesh Deshmukh, ‘Time Pass’, ‘Dr. Prakash Amte’ and ‘Elizabeth’, which are essentially low budget movies incurred amazing profits after their respective releases. ‘Lai Bhari’ had a budget of Rs 8 cr but after it’s release managed to collect a lumpsome amount of Rs 41 cr! That also happens to be the highest revenue any Marathi movie has collected till date. The audience’s growing need for improved and high quality releases has shown their acceptance for newer subjects and a larger variety of genres.
Despite the constant struggle, the fact that Marathi Cinema is regional cinema tends to put other Bollywood or Hollywood movies running around the same time at an upper hand. Aditya Sarpotdar’s film ‘Classmate’ was released in February and receieved a great response, making it run successfully for six continuous weeks. Duniyadaari was first screened in 225 theatres, and eventually went on to to 300 theatres across Maharashtra. But eventually it was taken down to accomodate new Hindi releases. Sarpotdar’s film Mitwa went through something similar.
duniyadaari credit
A poster from Duniyadaari

What is commendable and amazing though is that in spite of such fallbacks, Marathi film-makers do not get demotivated, if anything it encourages them even more to keep contributing to the industry with some great work. This definitely gives them an edge over Hindi or English movies. We hope they continue doing so and flourish by receiving the respect and recognition they are worth.