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IFFI 2021: Even non-Marathis could relate to Mee Vasantrao, says Nipun Dharmadhikari


The biopic of the renowned classical singer Vasantrao Deshpande was screened at the festival yesterday.

Nipun Dharmadhikari (File photo)

Our Correspondent

Nipun Dharmadhikari’s Marathi movie Mee Vasantrao was screened at the 52nd International Film Festival of India (IFFI) in Goa yesterday. The film is a biopic of the late classical singer Vasantrao Deshpande.

The film sees Vasantrao’s grandson, classical singer Rahul Deshpande, playing the title role. “Rahul Deshpande and I have worked and revived sangeet nataks [musical plays] together," Dharmadhikari said after the screening. "Despite not being an actor by profession, he played the role diligently.”

The filmmaker was happy with the response his work got at IFFI. “When the movie was screened yesterday, even non-Marathi viewers came to us and said they could relate to the characters in the film,” he said. “They said they would like to watch the movie dubbed in their languages. I am not sure whether this will happen, but OTT has expanded access. I believe cinema eventually reaches its audience. It is a timeless art. Hence, I am hopeful.”

He added, “While the story is personal to Vasantrao Deshpande, it also has universal appeal for anyone trying to be an artiste.”

Mee Vasantrao chronicles the important events in Deshpande’s life which eventually shaped his music. Dharmadhikari said it took him two years to complete the script as it wasn’t an easy subject. “I wanted to know why he made his life choices," he said. "It was probably events in his early life that made Vasantrao decide not to pursue his singing passion early in life, though he was known to be one of the best singers of his time. He was also not very good at networking; we have shown that fact honestly in the film.”

Deshpande was also part of the classic Marathi musical play Katyar Kalzat Ghusli. The drama was adapted into a film of the same name in 2015 by Subodh Bhave.

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