Over the last few years, Marathi cinema has taken off exceptionally well as far as historical films are concerned. Recent examples include ‘Me Shivajiraje Bhosale Boltoy’, ‘Tukaram’, ‘Rama Madhav’ and many more. They may not be a commercial success, but these films have struck a chord with its audience. ‘Lokmanya – Ek Yug Purush‘ is one such film that depicts the life of Bal Gangadhar Tilak in a different and powerful way. It is a pictorial representation of our history textbooks.
The film begins with a narration by Nana Patekar in present-day Pune. Makarand (Chinmay Mandlekar) is a journalist who works with one of Pune’s leading newspapers. His is an organization that would rather publish irrelevant news than hardcore ones. But once Makarand hears Tilak’s recorded voice at an event, he is fascinated. Enter Makarand’s soon-to-be wife, Sameera (Priya Bapat), whose brother is all set to fly abroad. Makarand’s mind is preoccupied with Tilak’s words. He visits Deccan College, where Tilak once lived, and grabs a book written on him. As he reads on, the story travels to the 1800s, when Lokmanya Tilak (Subodh Bhave) was preparing to fight for ‘Swaraj’. Makarand finds himself absorbed by Tilak and his struggle. He finds it difficult to accept things around him and wants to change them. But can one person bring about a change in society? How will Makarand survive in today’s corrupt and inhuman world with Tilak’s virtues? Will he be successful? Watch as the story unfolds.
Subodh Bhave deserves a round of applause for portraying Tilak’s greatness with such finesse. He has done full justice to his character, and at one point, you start believing in the man and his power for real. All those history lessons that we learned in school reverberate in our ears as the story progresses. The flow of events is smooth, and the film goes back and forth several times for proper correlation. Not only does the film remind us of Tilak’s impact on society, but it also aims to establish its importance in the modern day. While the climax may not be surprising, the effort that director Om Raut has put in is commendable. To be able to take your audience back in time and engross them in the story is not an easy job and he has done just that.
Why should you watch the film?
People who love history and have read about Lokmanya Tilak are bound to be glued to this well-made film. For those who haven’t, it is a wonderful revelation of an inspiring leader.