Known for his ingenious speeches Late Balasaheb Thackeray had inspired maximum number of Marathi people, to follow his ideology. He pulled mammoth crowds, wherever he delivered his speeches. Today, Balasaheb Thackeray is no more; but his ideology is still practiced by many people in Maharashtra. His staunch followers, are still spread across Maharashtra.
Latest released Marathi film ‘Balkadu’ is a tribute to Balasaheb. It is not a biography of Shiv Sena founder, but is a present time story of young school teacher Balkrishna Patil (Umesh Kamat) , who gets hallucination of Balasaheb, talking to him and directing him to fight against injustice. So, we find Balkrishna taking on adamant passengers in local trains, arrogant auto rickshaw drivers, who refuse to carry passengers to certain spots and those school trustees, who are keen on shutting down his school.
He shares his experience with his childhood friend Sai Bavdekar (Neha Pendse) who engages him for dubbing the history based programmes in Marathi. But, when her channel decides to stop dubbing the programmes in Marathi, he enters into debate with the channel head and other politicians. Looking at the fight opened by Balakrishna, he finds many followers on social networking sites, who come in support of her openly. The chief minister, who orders his arrest, finally orders his release, due to rising support to Balakrishna from the Marathi media.
Director Atul kale has skilfully used the voice of Balasaheb in this film, for every such occasion, to inspire the hero of this film. The film throws light on certain important issues of local people, who are forced to leave the city, with lucrative offers. It also justifies the agitations of the supporters of Balasaheb and his party people. The film also takes up the issue of flats being sold at exorbitant prices, with huge concessions offered by builders to those paying cash payment in black.
Through the character of Balkrishna, director Atul Kale has presented the agony of the local people, fighting for their rights. The film, turns more into a lecture form, towards the end of the film. However, the pre interval session has been presented well. Almost a 150 minute long film, the film needed editing at certain scenes, which have been extended in the post interval session. Instead of the move of the politicians to show shutting down an English medium school, it would have been better if they had shown a Marathi medium school, to create an impact. The important debate scene at History channel studio, fails to impress. But, overall film surely inspires the followers of Balasaheb. Even for others, the film helps in explaining his viewpoint.
In the role of Balkrishna, Umesh Kamat clearly displays the angst of a young Maharashtrian, who shows the way to others. Umesh has performed this role, through his heart. Good support comes from Neha Pendse, who looks like a perfect executive producer of a news channel. In the role of Balkrishna’s mother Supriya Pathare has done a good job. Tiku Talsania has brought some humour, through his character of a Principal. Anand Ingale, Pushkar Shrotri, Sharad Ponkshe and others have done well, through their limited roles. Music by Ajit Sameer is just fine; but the Powada (folk song) has been cleverly used to teach history. Good photography, background music and sound recording are the plus points of this film.
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