Marathi films have a rich culture of producing films that celebrate art and creativity. The following films portray the lives and struggles of artists and creatives and showcase their passion for respective forms of art. From films about painters, musicians, dancers, actors, cooks, and many more, Marathi cinema has explored various art forms which inspire the audience to hold to their cultural roots.
The artistic film Picasso directed by
Abhijeet Mohan Warang
revolves around the bond between father and son, depicting how art can inspire people to heal lives with hopes and dreams, where a young seventh-grade student is selected for a national-level scholarship which requires a certain amount of fees to be paid to move forward. The film also uplifts the culture of the Konkan region showcasing the ancient folklore art form Dashavatar.
and Samay Sanjeev Tambe have done justice to their roles of struggling parents and an innocent child with hope. The film’s cinematography has portrayed artistic significance visually with a vibrant color palette. The film supports all forms of artists who still depends on viewers’ patronage to establish themselves.
2. Harishchandra Factory
Harishchandra Factory is a biographical film about Dadasaheb Phalke, who is known as the Father of Indian Cinema, and is based on the making of the first Indian movie Raja Harishchandra. The film highlights the importance of preserving India’s rich cultural heritage and tribute to the traditions of filmmaking. The film is shot in black and white which gives a vintage appearance adding to the visual attraction. The artistic significance lies in the portrayal of the birth of Indian cinema pinpointing the challenges of filmmaking at the time.
Balgandharva is a biopic film based on the life of Narayan Shripad Rajhans popularly known as
, who has been a legendary Marathi theatre actor and singer in the early 20th century. The film explores the journey of the artist, and his relationships with his co-artistes, mother, wife, and other women. The film showcases his ability to transform himself into various roles. When he decides to start his own theatre company, the Gandharva Natak Mandali, he gained immense success after spending huge bills on lavish sets, costumes, and props. But trusting the wrong people lead him into debt. The film focuses on the work of artists with the involvement of music composer Kaushal Inambar, art director Nitin Chandrakant, costumes, and make-up by
respectively leading to the most expensive Marathi film at the time of its release.
Natarang is a film based on the novel of the same name by Dr. Anand Yadav. It depicts the life of a young artist who overcomes the shackles of society, friends, and family. It highlights the emotions related to gender bias for the love of art. The film revolves around the story of a poor farmer who works as a Tamasha artist to earn a living. Tamasha is a traditional art form of Maharashtra that involves dance, music, and drama. The film portrays the rich cultural heritage and important social themes, which are slowly fading away in this modern era.
Navrang deals with the theme of art and creativity, especially dance and music. It revolves around the story of a struggling writer who is unable to provide for his family, one day he discovers a magical paintbrush that transports him to a world of imagination, where he falls in love with a beautiful dancer. The film captures innovative forms of music, dance, and colors that show the creative spirit of human beings. The cinematography uses vibrant colors to show the imaginary world. Navrang also touches on the theme of patriarchy, where the dancer struggles to balance her passion for dance with her duties as a wife and mother.
Pinjara is a tragic love story that deals with a young artist who falls in love with a Devdasi, someone who is not allowed to marry, according to society. The film brings out the harsh reality of society and the struggle faced by the individuals of the Devdasi system, which is a form of religious prostitution. The film also explores the life of an artist and the challenges faced in this field. The protagonist is a talented artist, who struggles with financial instability to make a living from his art.
7. Katyar Kaljat Ghusali
Katyar Kaljat Ghusali is a musical film and an adaptation of a Marathi musical play by the playwright
. The film retains the artistic essence of the original play. The composer of the music in this film is Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy, which received critical acclaim. The cinematography light, sound, and color have been exceptional in capturing viewers’ interest. The complex characters have been portrayed with great sensitivity, where two legendary classical singers, Pandit Bhanushankar Shastri, and Khansaheb Aftab Hussain Bareliwale are music rivals. The film explores the value of tradition and the importance of mentorship upholding the true meaning of music.
The film Nude revolves around the life of a single mother who Is professionally a nude model for fine arts students in order to make ends meet. It challenges the societal norms related to sexuality. The film holds an artistic significance of the human body as a piece of art. It highlights the struggles of a single mother, who must flow against society in order to provide for her family. The film questions the perspective of the viewers, of either art or sexual objectification, encouraging critical thinking.
Gulabjaam captures the essence of Maharashtra’s culinary traditions and food that connect people. The film showcases the artistic delicacies of the state and explores a deeper emotional connection between the characters, where the young woman takes a break from her job in Mumbai and returns to her hometown Pune to learn traditional Marathi cooking from her grandmother. The film encourages traditional cooking techniques, ingredients, and simple homemade foods strengthening the cultural roots.
Bioscope is an anthology film consisting of four short stories, Mitraa, Dil-E-Nadaan, Bail, and Ek Hota Kau, directed by four different directors. Overall, it revolves around the ambitions of accomplished musicians, the insecurities of a shy man who is in love, the frustration of an educated farmer, and a young woman’s sexuality. Each of these stories deals with the theme of dreams and the hardship to achieve them. Bioscope signifies the power of storytelling and the artistic ability of cinema to transport the viewers to a different experience.