दूर व्हा सगळ्यांनी…
जो आपल्या जागा ठामपणे उभा आहे तो मी आहे
ज्युलियस सीझर…मी आहे प्रताप राव…मी आहे आॅथेलो…
सुधाकर आणि हॅमलेट आणि
मी आहे गणपत रामचंद्र बेलवरकर…नटसम्राट!!!!
Go away all, go away all of you . The one who is standing firm on his ground with his head held high I am that Julius Caesar! I am Prataprao!I am Othello! Sudhakar and Hamlet and I am Ganpat Ramchandra Belvalkar…NATSAMRAT!!!
My typical Saturday is not watching a marathi movie! Yesterday when my neighbour Deepa came over and asked me to watch a movie after hearing it’s Natsamrat I said yes because I have always been a fan of Nanaji! Also I knew that Natsamrat is loosely based on Shakespeare’s King Lear and I wouldn’t pass an opportunity to watch a Shakespearean adaptation even on my death bed as to a budding writer and a lover of arts it’s like porn to a teenage boy!!
The story of the movie is a typical modern day tale we can relate to where children after growing up become so absorbed in their life that they make their parents live in evil boulevard. There is a major split from the regular arc here wherein even the daughter is not so great with her parents. The director deviates from the stereotype of just showing the son and daughter-in-law as baddies but also incorporates the trust issues which even daughters have with their parents after they grow up and start their own family.
Ganpatrao is not a King like King Lear but he is the King of Theatre and after devoting a certain part of his life to the beloved art he decides to retire and spend his remaining time with his wife Kaveri whom he fondly refers to as Sarkar and his family. In a typical middle class fatherly fashion he splits his property between his son and daughter thereby not keeping anything for himself except the undying trust that his children will look after him if any tragedy befalls.
For a while it’s all rosy. Ganpatrao is a doting grandfather who takes really good care of his granddaughter and spends a lot of time with her by doing simple daily activities like dropping her off to school etc. Their bond is so strong that the little one even sleeps in the nights with her grandparents as she loves the stories her grandfather narrates to her. Two simple incidents shock the foundation of the house or at least the daughter in law feels that there is a rip in the bond they share and that they should start living separately. Poor Ganpatrao takes this blow heavily to his heart but doesn’t get angry on his son instead he applauds him for speaking like a man for once in his life and reminds them that the house is theirs and if anyone has to leave it’ll be Ganpatrao and his wife. The daughter in law smiles like the vixen she is for the first time as her ploy to throw her in laws and keep the house to herself works flawlessly. When Ganpatrao is leaving his granddaughter runs after the taxi to stop her grandfather from leaving but the mother pulls her away without thinking about their emotions for even one second. The look on Ganpatrao’s face when his grandchild is taken away is the pain which we will experience if a piece of our heart is cut and the remaining portion is left without any healing potion!
Ganpatrao shifts the next era of his life to his daughter’s house where all works well for while.
In midst of all this he loses touch with his best friend who has lost his wife and doesn’t know how to live without her. One fine day Ganpatrao remembers him and pays a visit and the encounter is just like how a best friend would react if left out or alone for too long with a tight slap and a reminder that I have always been there for you. But friendship is weird one hug erases all the anger and rekindles the light of love again. But despite being in the company of his friend Rambhau misses his wife terribly and has lost all will to live and he is dying, in the midst of all this both friends start reciting a dialogue between Karna and Krishna and in that scene you realise why Nanaji and Vikramji are the two finest actors in the industry. I wished this scene could have gone on and on but I wouldn’t get bored because the dialogue delivery and the expressions would give the finest broadway actors a run for their money. Each expression right from the raising of the eyebrows to the twitching of the lips is so good tht even the word perfect wouldn’t do justice to the brilliance and beauty of it! But we lose Rambhau and the story moves on!
Happiness is short-lived what faces Ganpatrao is cruelty to the last point of humanity! After seeing a wad of cash in her father’s trunk on the pretext of finding her sewing needles after losing some cash from her house the daughter blatantly blames them for stealing the money. Whatever part of Ganpatrao’s bleeding heart was left the daughter takes it and chops it into little-little pieces and throws it in the trash can not even thinking once that this was the same man who mended the irreparable pieces of her favourite broken doll in the childhood just to put that smile back on her face!
Hurt more than angered at the daughter’s accusations the couple leave the house in the middle of the night despite the doors being locked they stage their escape from the windows which is a pretty bad ass move which he sights as THE GREAT ESCAPE!!
After that they decide to trace back their roots by returning to their village and a start a happy and busy life there. Amidst the what to do discussion Ganpatrao tells his wife that he has not told her something in ages and there in the back of the truck in a stormy night he confesses to her that he loves her a lot, that moment made my heart beat ten times faster than it’s normal pace and I felt like that is a man who even after been evicted from his own house and starting a life with nothing tells his wife he loves her! Bonus points to Nanaji who despite being depicted as old delivered the lines with the emotion and love like a boy asking out the love of his life to stay with him forever!
Just when we thought Ganpatrao and his Sarkar will start their new chapter happily, Sarkar is wrenched out his arms by the angel of death whilst they had stopped for a nap before catching a bus for their beloved village. I had mixed emotions when Kaveri Belvalkar died I was sad that she died and left Ganpatrao alone as she was the only confidante and loved one he had but I was happy because she died peacefully after her husband sang for her the previous night and they shared a blanket and slept peacefully after months on the bank of a river. That one night even if on the road was a heaven to Sarkar as she was carefree and there were no walls of claustrophobia around her, she was out in the open world but she felt safest because her safety net Ganpatrao was with her. Kaveri’s role in her husband’s life is the most important of all. The solidarity and the loyalty with which she stands with Ganpatrao is literally his spine as after her death he collapses in a never ending abyss. He just lives on because his body is still there but his soul Kaveri took it away with her the day she died.
The part which follows doesn’t have as many great dialogues by Nanaji as THE KUNI GHAR DETA KA GHAR! but even when just sitting as a man on the road doing his daily work interacting with others who stay near him show us the class and brilliance which sets Nanaji apart from the rest!
The last sequence of the movie is the most heart wrenching and it sums up the paragraph which I wrote at the start of the blog. All people who surround Ganpatrao whilst he is narrating his life story to a theatre loving disciple Siddhartha whom we met whilst living on the street are the ones who are responsible for killing him piece by piece. His family surrounds him asking for his forgiveness but he has eyes only for Raja the Shoe Polish guy who took care of him just because he wanted to take care of him and not expecting anything in return.
How did they family ask for his forgiveness? How could he forgive them?
Often the people we love the most are the ones who rip us apart limb to limb and even when we are a writhing mass of blood and flesh they still expect us to do something for them!Guess they make us live the phrase we will even give our life to our loved one!
I am not saying that parents should not give anything to their children or children should always listen to what their parents say. A family is like a clock the hands are not same but for it to work smoothly we should work in synchronization.
All we need to know is that our views will always be different from the generation before and after us but for your ego please don’t let the love in a relation die. Change is essential but not at the cost of eliminating your loved ones!
Yes we have seen movies like Avtaar,Baghban etc before which traced the issue of parental abandonment but Natsamrat blows us into a million pieces, puts us back and cleanses our soul!!!
I was on the edge of my seat with moist eyes, a swelled heart and a bleeding soul when the movie got over but I knew that this movie has made a mark in my heart which will be engraved in it FOREVER! I thank Mr Mahesh Manjrekar for making this brilliant masterpiece and re-instating my faith in cinema, making me believe that movies can be made by emotions and dreams and not just by stealing and getting influenced by Hollywood rip-offs!
Nanaji my vocabulary is not extensive enough to do justice to your acting skills but all I would like to say is that the on point dialogue delivery, the poise, the voice command and the soliloquies were enough to make me feel all emotions humanly possible in a mere span of 2hrs and 38 mins! I don’t know if this movie will be nominated for Oscars or no but trust me as GANPATRAO BELVALKAR you have won the Oscars from each and every person’s heart and soul who saw this movie. I wouldn’t call the movie but I would certainly call you a ‘MASTERPIECE’!!!
When I left the theatre, I forgot a piece of my heart in the movie but I dint feel empty as Nanaji’s performance is now in place of that missing piece and trust me my heart works better than before!
A sweater is woven by many threads each contributing to the beauty of it. It protects us in many winters but also sometimes the cold is much more than the warmth it offers us! Be grateful to the threads that protected us, thank the threads that weren’t enough to offer us warmth as they made us tough to face any situation. But the most important thing to remember is that your life wasn’t what it was because of the Sweater but because of the person wearing it. Honour yourself and love yourself no matter what because in the end your best chance is YOU!!