The first thing I do when I get into office is go through rediff.com and Mid-day.com. It’s my way to know about India from Rediff and about Mumbai from Mid-day.com. The main news today was about Laxmikant Berde, the famous Marathi comedian. He passed away yesterday. He was only 50. It was shocking. Death has always shocked me, even though being a reality.
Laxmikant Berde was known for his comedies. His sense of humor and his ability to make everybody laugh was outstanding. Starting on the Marathi stage, he moved on to do Marathi movies and then to not so successful Hindi movies.
My earlier memories were of his movies shown on the Mumbai Doordarshan channel. Cable TV was not so big then. A Marathi movie on Saturday and a Hindi movie on Sunday was a big treat those days. Marathi movies mostly have a lot of family movies with lots of tears and stuff. Laxmikant Berde’s movies were a welcome change. During vacation, when we use to hire VCRs, the Marathi movies were obviously of Laxmikant Berde. He however did very few serious movies and was appreciated for them.
There some things about Laxmikant Berde’s and Govinda’s movies. They are pure entertainment. Unrealistic, maybe. Stupid, ok maybe. But fulltoo timepass.
Laxmikant Berde’s memorable roles were in Sachin’s and Mahesh Kothare’s movies. “Aashi he Banvabanvi” where he groups up with his friends to pretend to be a woman to get a house to live. “Hamal De dhamal” where he plays a collie who becomes a film hero. “Thartharat” the all time hit directed by Mahesh Kothare. “De Dana Dan” where he gets magical power. Movies which could make you laugh anytime you see them. Remember “Dhumdhadaka” where he did a take-off on Mehmood.
He came when Marathi film industry was under attack from Hindi, English and dubbed English movies. He became, I think the only superstar of Marathi film industry.
His downfall was perhaps due to the repetitive comedy he did. Some director really used him well with good stories and good scripts. But then Laxmikant’s movies had the same jokes and same goof-ups. He came with a good movie once in a while. He also tried his hand in Hindi starting with “Maine Pyar Kiya”, his best role yet. Otherwise his Hindi movies had forgettable characters.
He was still active on the Marathi stage. It was obvious because he started his career in Marathi theatre. He will be remembered for giving the Marathi movies the best comedies.
May his soul rest in peace
Or in true Marathi style.
Deva, tyanchya atmyala shanti labho
Jai Hind! Jai Maharahstra!