Baghtos Kay… Mujra Kar!
Director: Hemant Dhome
Cast: Jitendra Joshi, Aniket Vishwasrao, Akshay Tanksale, Hemant Dhome, Ashwini Kalsekar, Vikram Gokhale
A fort in ruins, a proud village at its foothills and politics over its development -- all under the common emblem of Chhhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj – is at the core of director Hemant Dhome’s debut movie Baghtos Kay Mujra Kar.
Nanasaheb Deshmukh (Jitendra Joshi) comes from the lineage of the Deshmukhs who spilled blood protecting Shivaji’s Swarajya. He is a proud sarpanch of Kharbujewadi, a village in Maharashtra’s Satara district which was the citadel of Shivaji’s Maratha empire. And he has a dream – to resurrect the fort currently in shambles. Tourists’ drinking, dancing and littering all over the fort force Nanasaheb and his team of Pandurang aka Panda Sheth (Aniket Vishwasrao) and Shiva (Akshay Tanksale) to take up the task of conservation.
Sarpanch Deshmukh decides to become an MLA, which he thinks would empower him to restore the fort by planting 6,000 trees, harvesting water and electrifying neighbouring villages with solar panels, all in a meager budget of Rs 6 crore.
But the government has an ambitious Rs 1600 crore project in mind for a new Shivaji Memorial. Politics right from the village-head to the chief ministerial levels spoils Deshmukh’s ambitions. This is where his plans of restoration, as so does the movie, seem to derail from the issue in question.
Every character has been showed from every angle, and the writers and actors have delivered a good movie together. The plot is well established in the first half, but the conclusion is not solid.
Director Hemant Dhome, who also plays the negative lead character of Shamsher Patil, has beautifully captured the essence of Sarpanch Deshmukh’s vision of development of the Pratapgarh Fort through drone shots. He also successfully shows us London in context of the storyline.
Dialogues embellished with phrases like Ganimi Kawa (Shivaji’s warfare techniques), aadhi lagin Kondanyacha (Let’s capture Kondana fort first, the rest can wait) and apt casting make BKMK a great watch. While the title track and the Powada featuring actor Shreyas Talpade are remembered, the songs fail to stay with us after the movie.
The movie could have been shorter and done better at the box office had the makers released it when the debate over Shivaji Memorial in the Arabian Sea off Mumbai was at boiling point.*
While the movie may not give a lasting or realistic solution, Dhome’s attempt to construct a story around the dilapidated legacy of the Maratha empire itself deserves applause. Also appreciated is the stand the makers take over the issue in the movie, conveying a message rather than shying away from the politics of the matter.
It may not be the best of Marathi cinema, but another great experience from the makers of Mi Shivaji Raje Bhonsale Boltoy.
*PS: I was alone in an 89-seat theatre of a first-day-first-show in Delhi-NCR. May be a couple of more guys would have turned up had it been released in December.
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