Natsamrat: A Quick Review

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Natsamrat PosterNana Patekar is to ‘Natsamrat’ what Salman is to ‘Dabangg’ and Ajay Devgan to ‘Singham’. What they did with fisticuffs and item numbers, he does it with verbal volleys and unadulterated acting. Moreover, ‘the fit at 65” Nana (Ganpat Belwilkar aka Natsamrat)  along with the unfit yet highly talented’ Vikram Gokhale (Rambhau) wreaks havoc on the hearts of the marathi theatre lovers with their effortless rendition of dialogues from almost every play worth knowing. Their flawless act just before Gokhale’s death reminds one of the famous Amitabh- Rajesh Khanna act in Anand.

‘The world is a stage’- the famous lines by Shakespeare are a perfect fit for this movie where the protagonist removes theatre from his life (by retiring) but can’t keep his life away from theatre! Ganpat’s passion for theatre is like a river navigating him from a flourishing retired actor to a street beggar, alienating all his near and dear ones and pushing him in to the depths of despair. Yet he is never betrayed by the actor in him till his end. The movie revives the forgotten morals of the 20th century India with appropriate visuals and circumstances that have been desecrated after the onslaught of the saas-bahu serials. It also reinstates faith in people who are passionate about their art and live by it.

After KKG, this is another marathi play brought to life on the big screen brilliantly by Mahesh Manjrekar who gets the best out of his actors. We forgive Nana for torturing us in ‘Welcome Back’ and are only reminded of his brilliance in movies like ‘Parinda’ and  ‘Khamoshi’ and more recently Marathi films like ‘Deool’ and ‘Dr. Prakash Baba Amte’. Of course there is a lot of dramatisation, but that is a given in this adaption of theatre originally played by Dr. Shreeram Lagoo. Nana makes you laugh with his histrionics and cry with his monologues and does pure justice to this nearly 3 hour drama.

To Watch it or Not to Watch is never the Question!

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