In a scene from the movie, one of the character tries to understand where exactly he is working because film making is not a established recognized profession. The main protagonist gives a simple solution. Tell everybody you work in a factory, cinema factory and even better “Harishchandra’s factory”.
Hence the name!
“Harishchandrachi Factory” is about the sometimes funny, sometimes amusing story of the making of the first motion picture of India, “Raja Harishchandra”
Based on the span of 2 years when Dhundiraj Govind Phalke made his first movie, its a journey and the people he met in that journey. Running at a little over 2 hours, HF takes through the journey of a man and his wife and two children who wanted to create the first moving picture of India. It describes the struggle and the determination of D G Phadke as he goes about creating something which he is fascinated with.
Laced with humor and a feel-good feeling, HF is entertaining to watch.
The movie starts with black and white shots of Mumbai and you know you are on for a treat. Recreating the time, the sets and the story of 1911 is quite appealing. Did they really create the tram servicesThe story is gripping and the script tight, never slacking a bit.
The story highlights the small events in these two years with smallest details. Phalke’s career as a magician to accidently stumbling into cinema. His passion to understand cinema and using all his resources to finance his dream of making movies.
HF captures the India of 1911 and the movie depicts the problems like finding the funds to make the movie, finding a woman to play the roles in the movie, and convincing others that he sane. It also deals with the stigma attached to people working in the film industry.
In one scene, a man comes and takes a prostitute away who wants to work in cinema and accuses Phalke of corrupting the woman. The film shows the determination of Phalke as he refuses to bow down to problems and pressure.
Devoid of any song, it compensates for a great background score. This is Paresh Mokashi’s first movie but he is already a veteran of Marathi theatre. He does a wonderful job of it
Then there are the supporting cast, carefully chosen from theatre and television industry just like DG Phalke had chosen his cast in 1911.
The family of DG Phadke are perfect in their role including Saraswati played by Vibhavari Deshpande and children played by Mohit Gokhale and Atharva Karve. Infact the chemistry between Vibhavari Deshpande and Phalke played by Nandu Madhav is too good.
That takes me to Nandu Madhav who plays DG Plalke and the man becomes D G Plalke living the role with humor and great acting.
I enjoyed HF more because it takes me to that era and let me experience the passion of creating something new. A simple story well told and an almost flawless film