Actor Irrfan Khan is a great admirer of the kind of films coming out of the Marathi film industry what with Sairat turning out to be commercial hit as well. But Irrfan thinks the one actor who ought to have got the National Award this year is Nana Patekar for his role in the Marathi film Natsamrat. “It was an outstanding film. It (film) should have won National Award for Nana ji (Nana Patekar), but I was not there in the jury,” the actor said.
The Mahesh Manjrekar-directed film featuring Nana in the lead role depicted the life of an actor, who has retired from acting but is unable to forget his fond memories of theatre and the stage. Released in India in January 2016, it was the highest grossing film in Marathi cinema at that time.
Watch the trailer of Natsamrat here:
The Maqbool star started watching Marathi films after noted director Umesh Kulkarni made movies like Vihir and Deool. Irrfan was speaking on the sidelines of the screening of hit Marathi film Sairat.
In three weeks, Sairat has reportedly earned Rs 65 crore. The 49-year-old actor had arranged for a special screening of the film Tuesday evening. “Marathi film industry is hitting six every year and it’s a great sign for Indian film industry. The need is to make universal films so that it reaches out to all,” he said.
“This film (Sairat) is an identity of the new cinema that the young generation of filmmakers will bring in. These are the kind of films that encourage us to compete with Hollywood,” he said. Sairat, directed by Nagraj Manjule, talks about a young couple and the challenges faced by them amid caste barriers.
According to the Life of Pi actor, the story of Sairat clicked well with the audience. On what makes Sairat a masterpiece, he says, “The connection, the subject, the way people are connecting to the story. The way the director has connected the story is amazing.”
Irrfan is open to the idea of venturing into regional cinema as an actor or producer. “Regional cinema is creating new kind of films. Marathi cinema is also getting popular as much as Hollywood and Hindi film industry, as every year Marathi cinema comes up with a great film,” he said.
According to Irrfan, the audience today demands good stories. “The more the cinema gets diverse the better for the audience and it is good for the growth of the industry. Our audience is demanding more and our industry is not able to cope up and so Hollywood films are earning more money. If this kind of cinema does well it encourages everyone,” he added.