Last year a lot happened in Mumbai including the terrorist attacks. What also happened was Raj Thakarey’s MNS attacking non-Maharastrians in the state. A lot of debate went to the status of non-Maharahstrians in Mumbai and how Mumbai is a metropolitan city. Raj Thackrey’s violent means unfortunately did an irreversible damage to the focus on the core issue. The core issue was not “Why outsiders should not come to Mumbai?”. The core issue was Maharahstrians becoming second class citizens in their own land.
Mee Shivaji Raaje Bhosale Boltoy (MSRBB) tries to address the very issue facing almost every Maharahstrian. A little cliched, a little over the top, a more feel good movie, it is quite successful in driving home the point. It does not take sides nor does it berates the non-maharahstrians. It does not even tries to make a Maharahstrian hero or the other side villain. It does not even shy away from pointing out the mistakes of Maharahstians. And all this with almost not losing the grip over the pace or the story.
MSRBB is about a common Marathi man, Dinkar Bhosale who works as a clerk in a bank. He is somewhat left out in the growing prospering metropolis called Mumbai. He finds himself being edged out in the rat race and sees people from other region inching to prosperity. He is humiliated by his boss, by shopkeepers and he sees all this as his own failure and failure of his Maharahstrian legacy. His own family also degrades him.
His wife wants to sell off their own house and move to a distant suburb. The builder promises him pittance for his prime property. Dejected, humilated and disappoointed, Dinkar Bhosale finally breaks down and declares that he is ashamed to be a Maharahstrian. Hearing his words, Chatrapathi Shivaji Maharaj rides down from Pratapgad and reprimands Dinkar for his words. He points out his shortcoming and guides him to defeat his problems.
The rest of the movie is how Dinkar Bhosale fights his own inefficiencies and finally stands for his own right in turn making the others aware of their own responsibilities
MSRBB is made up of some hard hitting dialogs co-written by Mahesh Manjarekar and Sanjay Pawar. The dialogs sets the core and pace of the film and with strong performances from the actors they hit the issue right on its head. The screenplay by Mahesh Manjarekar and Abhijit Deshpande is fast paced.
The story incorporates Shivaji and his life stories quite effectively in the narrative. Whenever Dinkar Bhosale has problem, the situation is related to Shivaji’s life and Dinkar gets his solution. The story does try to touch the various aspects and problems faced by Mararahstrian people. Right from job issues, corrupt politicians and the basic apathy of the common man toward politics and basic development of the country.
The story is quite preachy but quite effective. It hammers the message till you get it but it does not loses its commercial aspect. The songs are few and thankfully do not slow down the movie although I do think that inserting an item song just was forceful
To a large extent, the story does have its similarity with “Lage raho Munnabhai” but then except that the hero sees a historic figure from the past, the story is different. The hero in MSRBB is not confused that he really sees Shivaji Maharaj. The story does not really clarify if Shivaji is a figment of Dinkar’s imagination or really Shivaji’s spirit has made an appearance. Sometimes, the logic does not matters that much.
MSRBB has quite an well supported cast. Suchitra Bandekar plays Dinkar’s wife, Abhijit Kelkar plays his son and Priya Bapat plays his daughter. Makrand Anaspure plays Raayba, Shivaji trusted lieutenant. Siddharth Jadhav plays the local goon. All the cast including the builder and politcian characters support the film very well.
However the main hero are played by Sachin Khedekar who plays the common man and Mahesh Manjarekar plays Shivaji Maharaj and both deliver a fiery performance. Sachin Khedekar transforms easily from a oppressed individual to a rebellious leader. Sachin and Mahesh make the film, story and the dialog a worthy watch.
MSRBB is a good movie, handling the issues effectively, without taking sides and without leaving problems after raising them. Although not all solution suggested in the movie can be implemented but some of these solutions just might work. A must-see for every Mumbaikar and Indian, the problems depicted in the movie are faced by every Indians in various ways. However how much the movie really would have impact on the common man is a point of debate. The movie teaches that every Indian is responsible for his own state of affairs and the state of the country. Instead of blaming politicians and everyone possible it is important to understand our own responsibilities and perform them better