Seventy-six years after its original release, a remake of Sant Tukaram, a Marathi film on the saintly poet Tukaram, will release on June 8. The remake will depict the 17th century reformist poet’s life from his birth in 1608 to his mysterious disappearance in 1650.
In 1936, Prabhat Film Company, a prominent film production company in the early days of Indian cinema, made the original Sant Tukaram movie, which is said to have run in theatres for several weeks.
“While the first movie looked at his life as a saint and the ordeals he faced while spreading different social messages, our film also depicts the making of this great saint,” said director Chandrakant Kulkarni.
For more than three years, Prashant and Ajit Dalvi worked on the script and researched 4,500 of his abhangs (devotional and spiritual poetry sung for Lord Vithhal) and other texts written about the poet.
“We also had to research and recreate the 17th century, hunt for unexplored locations and create elaborate sets,” said Kulkarni. The remake, made on a budget of Rs 5 crore, was shot extensively in the Satara district.
Jeetendra Joshi, the actor who has plays the role of Tukaram, said his family’s involvement in the annual traditional pilgrimage to Pandharpur, called ‘wari’, helped him understand Tukaram better.
“For this biopic I depended only on the director and writer for my portrayal of Tukaram instead of going back to the original film,” he added.