Overcoming the audience apathy that has affected its fortunes for many years, the Marathi film industry has of late showed a resilience with the productions which have become box office hits without the tag of masala movies.
After Shwaas and Saat chya aat gharat, which caught the imagination of even the non-Marathi audience frequenting multiplexes because of their unusual themes, now it is Tingya, which has become a runaway success since its release on April 11.
The movie, a partial biopic of the 25-year-old director-script writer Mangesh Hadawale portraying a tender bond between a young village boy and an ox belonging to the family is being screened in Italy, Japan and Germany under cultural exchange programme besides drawing full houses in 21 cinema halls in Mumbai and Pune currently.
What makes Tingya a remarkable production is the depiction of the hard realities of the agro-based rural life that presents an instance of a debt-ridden farmer compelled to sell the ox after it falls sick and rendered useless.
Tingya, the protagonist is the young boy who had grown up with the ox, is unable to accept the worldly wisdom of his father that the animal had become a burden on the family and needed to be sold off.
The movie, which has won the best film award at Mami International Film Festival apart from the one at the Indian panorama held in Goa recently, revolves around the emotional churning of the young boy who had not learned to distinguish between man and animal when it comes to a love bond.
Mangesh Hadawane, the young man hailing from a farmer family in Junnar taluka of Pune district was shown door by as many as 41 producers when he pleaded with them to make film of the story and script he was carrying with him.
His pillar to post desperate journey ended when Mumbai based Ravi Rai gave him the nod and Tingya inched forward.
The selection of Sharad Goyekar for the main role of Tingya was made after over 1000 auditions. This boy is from a shepherds family and vibes well with the rustic atmosphere in which the movie is set, Hadawane said in a chat with PTI.
He said the movie was proving to be a remarkable success notwithstanding the fact that it has no star value. All artistes in the film are first timers and it has no spicy contents in the form of glitz and glamour that are thought to be necessary for commercial success of films.
"We had a meager budget of Rs 48 lakh to make the movie. I am glad in just three weeks we have recovered four times the production cost. A heartening aspect is the repeat audience the movie is attracting from all age groups, says a buoyed Hadavane who is now busy with his second film venture Package India and this time there is no dearth of takers.