Sangtye Aika (1959)

 ●  Marathi ● 2 hrs 37 mins

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Mane’s major hit is a Wadkar classic, later providing the title for her controversial autobiography (1970). Marathi cinema’s best- known Tamasha musical (with Shantaram’s Lokshahir Ramjoshi, 1947) is an epic saga narrating a conflict over two generations between the evil Mahadev Patil of Rajuri (Dada Salvi) and folk Tamasha dancer Chima (Wadkar). The good Sakharam (Chandrakant) and his wife (Sulochana) move into the village where he defeats Patil in a bullock-cart race (one of the film’s most spectacular sequences). Patil has Sakharam killed and his home burnt down. He then rapes Sakharam’s wife, who dies while giving birth to her child. The infant girl is raised by Chima. In the second half, the young dancer (Gadkar), now apprenticed to Chima, faces the amorous attentions of Patil’s son (Suryakant). The remarkable finale has Chima reveal the truth on stage through song: the young dancer is in fact Patil’s own daughter. Sakharam’s naivety (cf. the song Jhali bhali pahaat) is contrasted with the cynical real politik of the villain, while Wadkar’s extraordinary performance holds the story together as well as commenting on the village’s history. In a performance recalling Brecht’s dramaturgy, she integrates the Tamasha and the Lavni idioms into the melodramatic plot, combining Madgulkar’s stereotypes of authenticity with the mythic aspects of the ruralist ‘gramin chitrapat’ genre. Wadkar’s successor in the Tamasha and saint film idioms, Gadkar, here has one of her first major roles.

Cast: Chandrakant Mandhare, Hansa Wadkar, Jayshree Gadkar

Crew: Anant Mane (Director), Vasant Pawar (Music Director)

Rating: U (India)

Genres: Drama

Release Dates: 01 Jan 1959 (India)

Marathi Name: सांगत्ये ऐका

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