The Top 10 Marathi Movies of the 21st Century: Films in Marathi have come a long way since they were the first films shown to an Indian audience. Dr. Dadasaheb Phalke, one of the first pioneers of Marathi cinema, premiered the first Indian silent film, Raja Harishchandra, in 1913. Shree Pundalik, directed by Dadasaheb Torne and released on May 18, 1912, was the first feature film in Indian cinema.
Marathi cinema went into decline following the 1970s. Marathi cinema seemed to decline in size as Mumbai became the primary center for Hindi cinema’s more successful and vast cannon. A new wave of interest in regional cinema has emerged in the last five years, and Marathi films are reclaiming the pedestal they previously held so stoutly. We’ve put up a list of the top contemporary Marathi films.
10. NUDE (2019)
Nude by Ravi Jadhav examines the politics of art and the freedom of speech in India. Her husband is abusive and she had to flee her little town and small-town life. With her son in tow, she heads to Mumbai to be with her aunt. With the help of her aunt, she enrolls at the JJ School of Arts in Mumbai and works as a nude model there. Aspiring artists can pose for her. In the beginning, she was disgusted and reluctant, but she soon found her stride in front of the camera.
In the end, the task she began to earn her bread and educate her son, becomes her coming-of-age path. Ravi and Sachin’s poetry cleverly traverses the terrible truth of poverty in India and its lack of appreciation for art, which is often labeled insulting behind the veil of superficiality and lust.
9. HARISHCHANDRACHI FACTORY (2009)
Rather than a portrait of Dadasaheb Phalke, the man who introduced India to the concept of moving pictures with Raja Harishchandra, the first Indian feature film, Paresh Mokashi’s debut film Harishchandrachi Factory is more of a celebration of Phalke’s legacy. It works better as a heartfelt tribute to the art of telling stories. ” Charlie Chaplin-esque Dadasaheb Dhundiraj Phalke is a Charlie Chaplin-esque Indian filmmaker here. When he’s at his best and at his worst, he’s loved and mocked. Because of that, he’s a clever and credible character.
In the end, it was as if I had just witnessed my friend’s breakthrough story on the big screen. Nandu Madhav, who plays Phalke in the film, does it in a way that is both faithful to the script and evocative of love and affection.
With the utmost care, lightness and comedy have been included into the design. It’s not a film that focuses on re-creating a period that has passed. To celebrate a legend, a tale that drew us closer to the craft that we enjoy the most, is all it wants to do. One item we’ve been waiting for a long time has finally arrived. And it’s a welcome change of pace. It’s up there with the best Marathi movies of the new millennium, for sure.
8. JOGWA (2009)
Cultural alienation in Jogwa is examined by director Rajiv Patil. People in rural Maharashtra wear saris as a symbol of devotion to a local goddess, Yelluaai, who is said by locals to be sexually liberated and accessible to everyone in the community. Jogwa tells the story of a Jogta and a Jogtin, both members of the same troupe, as they grow up and come to terms with their sexuality.
It conveys the serious issue at its foundation a sense of depth and refinement through its choice of narratives. While the video provides viewers with a well-researched look into these individuals’ lives, it also strives to sexualize their stories. These rural communities and their esoteric rites sometimes conceal a community’s sexuality beneath a thick layer of obscurity.
Upendra Limaye gives an outstanding performance as the film’s protagonist. Forcibly transformed into a Jogta because he bled while urinating, this man’s intensity is palpable. One can’t see anyone else playing the character other than him because of his arrogance. In my opinion, this is the best example of a man dressed as a woman in Indian film. He was named Best Actor at the 56th National Film Awards, which were held in Los Angeles. Because of the over-the-top tone, Jogwa has aged over the years. Because of this, though, it has remained popular because of its heartfelt storytelling and exemplary depiction of a difficult subject matter.
7. DEOOL (2011)
Devil is Umesh Vinayak Kulkarni’s rural tale of society’s demise. Small town Mangrul is home to a humble guy named Kesha, who claims to have seen the Hindu divinity Gurudev Dutta (who has three heads) behind a tree. At first, his assertions are laughed at. However, after several strange events with Kesha and his family, the villagers begin to believe Dutta’s ancestry.
The rest of the film is a savage parody on how the politics of temples, while providing economic opportunities to the local people, actually hinder the growth of the political system in the long term.. The film’s sense of comedy is never lost. Dialogue composed by Girish Kulkarni (who also portrays Kesha, the heroine) is always amusing.
6. SAIRAT (2016)
Sairat, Nagraj Manjule’s second feature film, was undeniably mainstream and approachable. It was stunning enough, however, to see how strongly casteism persists in rural India and how serious an issue honour killing remains. Prashant Kale was reared in a fisherman household by a lower-caste family. Little house outside Bittergaon village is home to him. While Archana Patil comes from a lower-caste family, her father is a wealthy politician. Her home is a sprawling estate in the middle of town. As fate would have it, they fall in love and decide to elope in a major metropolis where it’s impossible to tell one person from another. Although it’s horrifying, what follows is dark and brutal in its honesty.
Sairat’s success is largely due to the fact that it focuses on real-world issues and presents them in a way that’s unexpectedly mainstream. The two stars, Rinku Rajguru and Akash Thosar, have a fantastic connection, and both performers are able to shine in their own right. There is a horrible representation of the caste system that is heightened, and the class battle is presented with such strong efficiency that the story feels like it is your own. All of this culminates in a climax that completely depletes you.
5. KILLA (2015)
Killa, Avinash Arun’s debut feature film, is a masterclass in coming-of-age storytelling. This is a story about an eleven-year-old child attempting to make sense of the world around him and the circumstances that arise from it. Despite this, the film turns out to be an insightful examination of sorrow, loneliness, and letting go.
Arun, as a cameraman, does a fantastic job in capturing the rain and life in this small town on the Konkan coastlines near Pune, where Chinmay and his mother have settled. It’s endearing to watch Avinash capture the semi-autobiographical journey of a young boy who, after first showing no interest in what was going on around him, eventually begins to fit in with his peers and discovers his own poetic voice in the fluidity of nature.
4. STHALPURAN (2020)
While society progresses and degenerates, childhood remains a time in which one comes of age and marvels at the world around him. Dighu is an example of a child in this situation. The youngster, his mother, and his older sister Durga recently relocated from Pune to their hamlet on the Konkan coast. He misses the city because of the changes he’s seen in transportation. Also, he misses his father, who went missing without a trace. He was missing for a long time. The options are virtually limitless. Akshay Indikar’s first feature-length film, Sthalpuran, explores a child’s psyche with poetic existentialism and weaves a truly touching chronicle of space and time through the eyes of a little boy.
The Dighu’s coming-of-age process is deliberately disassociated from the audience in Indikar’s film. You are transported to an idyllic seaside village by his incisive world-building, which he rejects. Using Dighu’s notebook as a medium for expressing his thoughts and feelings is a profound decision. The film establishes Dighu’s bond with the people he interacts with through small moments of alone and brief chats. When it comes to visual narrative, the budgetary limits don’t really come up.
3. FANDRY (2013)
The level of rage shown in Nagraj Manjule’s critique of India’s horrifying caste system is astonishingly accurate. To understand why this is so important is to understand that when he tackles the realities of Dalit life in his films, his approach is both personal and political. As a member of the Dalit community, Nagraj is well aware of the social and economic depravity he avoided. It’s a triumph that he’s mastered his craft and managed to incorporate it into such a disturbing message. His first feature film,Fandry, is the best example of this.
It tells the story of Jambuwant, a young Dalit boy who lives in rural Maharashtra and works as a pig hunter for his family’s income. A wealthy, high-class girl in his village falls in love with Jabya. It’s not truly a relationship, but more a one-sided obsession, like Archi and Parsha in Sairat. Even the thought of one strikes me as implausible, coming from a family where a profession considered inferior and unclean is practiced.
2. COURT (2014)
Chaitanya Tamhane’sCourt is one of the most honest films I’ve seen in a while. Indian filmmaking has never been more brutal than in Court, which was the country’s official submission to the Oscars in 2016. Activist Dalit singer Narayan Kamble is in poor health. By urging a manhole worker to commit suicide by drowning in the gutter, he has been charged. It’s a great achievement in filmmaking since it deliberately mimics the snail’s pace of the Indian legal system. Even in the most unlikely of locations, the writing is so precise and forceful that it pierces even the hardest of hearts.
The visual storytelling is unrelenting and perfectly devoted to the spiky terrains that the narrative has a steady hold of. A dramatic play that is seditious is a clarion call against the marginalization of a community. However, a comedy that closes with the message of bracing majoritarianism is inoffensive and beyond of the reach of the administrative muddle.
1. THE DISCIPLE
The Disciple is surprisingly mature and introspective for a sophomore feature film. Students of Indian classical music are the focus of this film. He doesn’t aware that he’s a mediocre musician, which is the thing he loves the most. Despite the fact that the film ends with Sharad on a new road, the film does not portray this story as one of hope. It’s tragic that the things he loves don’t love him back, so director Tamhane concentrates on that. In the depths of despair, the mediocrity is rooted. The Disciple is a character-driven drama with exceptional technical skills. Sharad (and his music) lacks energy because of Tamhane’s careful use of space and time.
Sharad’s existence is depicted through the metaphor of a sensation of emptiness. A well-deserved round of congratulations goes out to his decision to craft a socially conscious backstory for his relationship with his music and baba. This is because it gives the story its own self-awareness. When it comes to Vinayak Modak’s portrayal of the film’s main character, Sharad, it’s hard to argue with the film’s transparency. The film is also a great coming-of-age story since the realizations here don’t exist just because they ought to. They seem as eerie reminders of the emptiness of everyday life.