Though Santosh Manjrekar’s movie was aimed for the Marathi manoos, the social message is relevant for everyone, irrespective of region. And though it may resemble Lage Raho Munnabhai, the matchless Marathi wit and humor, and dramatic story make Mi Shivaji Raje… stand on its own.
Dinkar Bhosale (Sachin Khedekar) has been looked down upon all his life and his problems seem endless- a shrewd builder tries to get him ousted from his residence at any cost and deport the family to Badlapur, his daughter wants to legally change her “downmarket” name, his son cannot get into engineering college- and they all somehow connect to the fact that he is born a Marathi. Frustrated at the lack of respect and empathy he comes to these conclusions 1) being born a Marathi is like paying for past sins, 2) there’s no meaning in speaking the language or even speaking to fellow-Marathis, 3) all Marathis should marry non-Marathis or legally change their names.
Somewhere inside his fort Shivaji Raje hears this insolence and sets out to teach Bhosale a lesson.
Mi Shivaji Raje… is dramatised to the hilt. Shivaji’s entry into an urban setting, Bhosale fighting the baddies with a sword, etc. make you wonder if this is really a 21st century movie. Moreover Bhosale’s quest for justice appears more like a quest for common sense. In short, the premise of the movie is more likely for a fourth-grader than mature adults. So why should this movie be watched? Simply because the message is not just for a wronged Marathi man, it is for everyone who turns a blind eye to corruption, and who doesn’t vote for better governance. Jaage Vha!