Harishchandrachi Factory

This Marathi movie and India's entry to the Oscars in 2009 has been on my watchlist for a while now. I saw it last week and was blown away. 

This is the directorial debut of Paresh Mokashi and stars Nandu Mahadev as Dadasaheb Phalke, Vibhavari Deshpande as his wife Saraswati Phalke and Atharva Karve as his son Mahadev Phalke.

Dadasaheb had split up with his partner in a printing firm and becomes fascinated with the movies. In those days, silent movies were played for the Britishers on the life of Christ and other topics. Dadasaheb decides to make a movie of his own and travels to England to learn more about it. He was not someone rich and has to sell off his furniture at home and leave his pregnant wife alone. Once back, it is quite a task to convince people that the camera will not suck their soul and movies are just moving pictures. He also cannot get even a prostitute to act in the film since it was looked down upon. The movie is called Raja Harishchandra and was the first Indian film ever made. He gets the offer of making movies in England but turns it down to establish the Indian film industry. 

What is commendable is that the movie is not sad or depressing. It is funny and does not linger upon the tragic parts. It is not serious and yet you can feel the kind of hardships Dadasaheb would have gone through. 

I loved the movie. It is a must, must watch. And I watched it with English subtitles because I don't understand Marathi.


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