Aani.. Dr. Kashinath Ghanekar – Movie Review

Language: Marathi (with English Subtitles)

Genre: Biopic

Cast: Subodh Bhave, Sonali Kulkarni, Sumeet Raghavan, Mohan Joshi, Prasad Oak

Rating – 4/5

Every movie I choose to watch is a special one for me and I always have my set of takeaways from each of them. Every detail in the movie making process has interested me so much since my childhood that language never became a barrier for me in appreciating this art. My real love as a child has always been towards the big screen cinema but the course of time has made me realize that theatre is where the magic lies!

This week I chose to watch a movie by the name “Aani.. Dr. Kashinath Ghanekar”. A movie based on the legacy of Dr. Kashinath Ghanekar who was a dentist by profession but later was known for his great contributions to the Marathi Theatre during 1960’ to 1980’s. The movie is greatly inspired by the details mentioned in the book “Nath Ha Maza”, or This Is My Lord, by Kashinath Ghanekar’s second wife Kanchan. I never read or was aware of this man until today! If the movie made me as an audience more curious about him, his work and start appreciating a lost soul’s legacy, then for me, this movie truly deserves an applaud. Wasn’t this the sole reason of having plays and movies to begin with? To pass on a message, a story or even as small as an emotion…of joy or pain or even loss?

I choose to write about my takeaways first this time and I feel really happy to have seen a movie that addressed a lot of things.

  • We all have a professional degree in hand yet there is this hidden passion in our soul which craves to be addressed amidst all the responsibilities and burdens of life!
  • Is it easy to have a disapproving parent? The urge to see this parent stand by you chasing your dreams sometimes simply goes unfulfilled.
  • We all have had infatuations, over someone of our age or older. Sometimes really older. Is it the charisma or the nature we never know? Its pure attraction and how! What if the older one here reciprocates and the frequency matches and there begins a relationship which might be so wrong in someone else’s eye!
  • Handling fame isn’t everybody’s cup of tea so is facing competition but does that mean you will ever give up?
  • We see how crazy the fan-star relationship could be these days and how it means for both the parties to have each other at some point of time in their life!
  • Does your reel life passion blind you from your responsibilities in your real life?
  • Does “spotless reputation” truly exist?
  • Can people’s love, their applause, their appreciation give you so much high that it truly breaks you when you don’t get any of it?
  • Do theatre artists have the same enthusiasm when they perform on a movie set? Is one more fulfilling than the other?
  • No field is devoid politics. Something’s are inevitable and has to be taken with a pinch of salt. True for every domain, isn’t it?
  • Can highs and lows in your life show you who really cares and who don’t?

The movie doesn’t address any one of this issue but all of it. Dr. Kashinath’s life has given us many firsts in the world of Marathi theatre. I never knew it was his play that witnessed the audience whistling for the first time and break a Marathi theatre decorum. It was on his entry that people gave a thunderous applause and most importantly it was he who chose to announce his name in the end of the opening credits, especially after the Marathi pausing conjunction “aani” to feel that high of the mad crowd cheering for him!

I can’t believe this is a directorial debut of Abhijeet Shirish Deshpande. It takes so much guts to recreate an entire era and somebody’s life of that stature. Handling a legends personal life is no small task but he has handled it in a subtle manner. Although the movie celebrates Dr. Kashinath’s carefree, passionate, arrogant nature, it also highlights the victories in his life. No wonder this director is here to stay and chase his dreams.

Subodh Bhave with his back to back biopics is truly a master at his craft. He truly knows how it’s done and how! Although he was in every scene, he never overdid an expression nor did he made anything look repetitive. Going further his name will be tagged along with the legend. That is for sure! What an amazing cast! Sumeet Raghavan, Mohan Joshi, Sonali Kulkarni, Prasad Oak in their roles of Dr. Shriram Lagoo (of Natsamrat fame!), Bhaji Pendharkar, Sulochana and Prabhakar Panshikar have played their role to perfection and presented their top performances. The role of Vasant Kanetkar was also depicted so well and his play “Ashroonchi Zhali Phule” and it’s success was given due credits in this movie. I later got to know that the hindi movie “Aasoon Ban Gaye Phool” starring late actors Ashok Kumar & Nirupa Roy, was the adaptation of the same play. Finally a great salute to all the scriptwriters, art directors, lyricists, costume designers and every single soul who gave their best to make this possible for us to cherish.

Good or bad, he was one of us and like they say everyone has to leave one day. Dr. Kashinath Ghanekar passed away in 1986 due to a massive heart attack with his audience yearning to listen their Laalya say “EKDUMMM… KEDAK”!

                  The real Dr. Kashinath Ghanekar.



Image credits: Google

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