Marathi film hits the big money jackpot

Neeta Kolhatkar

Saade, Maade, Teen is one of the biggest Marathi hits, as the box office collection in three weeks has created a record of sorts

MUMBAI: Marathi cinema is a poor cousin of its Hindi counterpart and films in the regional language rarely make it big at the box office. But a new Marathi film is giving Bollywood’s best a run for their money and is scoring big at the turnstiles.

Saade, Maade, Teen a Marathi film loosely based on Chalti ka Naam Gaadi was released last month and has become a huge hit. Such has been its success that many theatres that had booked screens for Aaja Nach Le, the comeback vehicle of Madhuri Dikshit switched to Saade, Maade, Teen.

“In the first week we had kept Saade, Maade, Teen in the 200 seat auditorium as we had reserved three shows for Aaja Nach Le, in the 526 seat auditorium. However even Madhuri’s magic did not work on the audience so we ended up swapping the two,” said Arvind Chaphalkar, director City Pride Multiplex in Kothrud, Pune.

Many reasons have been given for the Marathi film’s success. The producers, Zee Talkies, spared no effort to give it a gloss normally associated with big budget Hindi blockbusters. But behind the scenes too, it was professionalism all the way. International stock of positives was used for the first time in Marathi films for the first time and every cast member was given a hardbound script witch each frame sketched in it. “The entire film was shot in 24 days in Lonavala,” said Ajay Bhalwankar, executive producer.

The cast of the film helped too. The three lead actors are Ashok Saraf, Bharat Jadhav and Makran Anajpure, the first time so many big names have come together. “We were all in sync with each other and at no point of time was there any confusion,” said Sachit Patil, the director.

But it is the story that has proved to be a big hit. The film is about strong family relationships and Indian traditions, which has clicked with audiences. So overwhelming has been the response that it broke all records. Trade figures show that the film earned over one and a half crores in the first three weeks.

“All our 21 shows in the first week were houseful and in the second week 19 house full. From the third week despite the fact that the film was shown in other theatres we have been doing well,” said Vivek Damle, one of the directors Prabhat Theatre, Pune.

But what really tilted the balance in its favour is the younger Maharashtrians as well as non-Maharashtrians have been attracted by the film. Rakesh Sippy, of Chitra cinema happily says that the new young Maharashtrian filmgoer also spends more money in cafeterias, unlike his older counterpart.

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