Feature films are a wonderful medium of creating awareness. Today, Marathi films are inviting attention at the national and international level; for their presentation of new subjects. Some of the biopics have also become successful in Marathi, as the choice of artistes was perfect. 'Tukaram' and 'Mee Sindhutai Sakpal' are recent examples. Now, film maker Samruddhi Porey has presented a biopic on the lives of Dr.Prakash Baba Amte and Dr.Mandakini Amte, through a feature film suitably titled 'Dr.Prakash Baba Amte- The Real Hero'.
To make a film on the life of ‘Magsaysay award’ winner doctor from Maharashtra, who sacrificed his life serving the poor 'aadivasi' people in a remote village of Maharashtra, certainly deserves all the attention. Therefore, film maker Samruddhi Porey should be thanked for showing the guts to make a film on this noble doctor couple which can be called as an authentic tribute to Amte family.
The film begins with a visit of a team of foreign journalists to Hemalkasa, to interview the Magsaysay award winning Doctor Amte. Then we find a shift, where Dr.Amte and his wife are denied US Visa only because his monthly income was shown as Rs.1500/-per month. But, the same Embassy people were shown apologising to him later. The actual story of the film begins through a flashback, when a young doctor comes to meet Dr.Amte at his hotel during his US visit on an invitation from Maharashtra Mandal over there. Puru Pongate originally from Hemalkasa, could become a surgeon, only because of the efforts taken by Dr.Amte, who sent him to Anandvan so that he could study there.
In the progressing screenplay of the film, we witness the incidences that prompted Prakash Amte to carry forward the social work of his father Baba Amte; but, choosing another remote area for his medical practice after becoming a doctor. His college friend Mandakini, who after marriage, also joins him in his mission for a social cause. As their journey with few helping hands begin at the new place, we notice the courage of the doctor to oppose the blind faith and superstitions practiced in that region. Very effectively, the director has shown the atrocities by local police on poor 'aadivasi' people, for their inability to track down the people behind naxal movement.
All these incidences make you feel as if they were happening in front of your eyes. The impact of the scenes is so immense because of the natural performances of the artistes and clever cinematography by Mahesh Aney. When you watch Nana Patekar in this role, you realize that only he could have done true justice to the role. He is so natural! In the role of Dr.Mandakini, excellent support comes from versatile actress Sonali Kulkarni. We have already seen their chemistry working well in the film ‘Deool’ and hence, it was a pleasure watching them once again, with a perfect understanding between them. In one scene, Nana is giving a speech in the U.S and he recalls the contribution made by his wife and this scene touches you deep within with all the emotions portrayed by both of these tremendously talented artistes.
Popular TV actress Tejashree Pradhan has played the role of young Mandakini with ease and she looks beautiful, as required by the script. Dr.Mohan Agashe has limited role of senior Baba Amte; but, he does make his presence felt through every scene in his share. Others in the supporting roles look very natural characters in their costumes which are suited to that village environment. Excellent background music by Rahul Ranade and Aniruddha Wankar has helped to create the perfect rural atmosphere very well. Dialogues are well written, especially those uttered by Nana Patekar, which has helped to create humour in this otherwise thought provoking, sensible film. 'Dr.Prakash Baba Amte - The Real Hero' is certainly a mind blowing film which should make every one think about the great sacrifice by Amte family. A must watch for all.