Poet-author turned film director Nagraj Manjule has put Marathi cinema on the mental map of even those people who don’t speak the language fluently. The grand success of his directorial venture Sairat, and the encomiums showered upon it, has enthused people to throng theatres running even subtitled versions of this through-the-roof Marathi blockbuster.
While Manjule has earlier made critically acclaimed films like Pistulya and National Award winning Fandry, he sought a wider audience with Sairat with its imagination-capturing love story set against the thought-provoking theme about caste differences. Sairat elegantly captures the romantic exuberance of a teenage love story in rural Maharashtra and is well served by hummable songs, stunning cinematography and a perfectly cast Rinku Rajguru and Akash Thosar, who throb with the vitality of youth.
Manjule seamlessly blended commercial elements with a shot of stark realism when the protagonists elope and land up in a big-city slum. Sairat means wild; and the film took in the cost and collateral damages of a frenzied passion. Finally, the couple’s idealism withstood their own doubts and inner struggles but not the brute strength of inimical outside forces.
Manjule’s world view is not rose-tinted, yet his film celebrated the extraordinary power of love. His next film is eagerly awaited.