Saint Tukaram's life story returns on the big screen

7 years ago

Seventy-six years after Prabhat studio's hit film "Sant Tukaram", the life-story of Tukaram, the great philosopher-poets of Maharashtra, is being retold by Marathi filmmaker Chandrakant Kulkarni.

V Shantaram and the Prabhat produced "Sant Tukaram" way back in 1936, when it received an overwhelming response from the audience and the critics.

And now Kulkarni has taken the task of revisiting the life of the saint-poet, who quit his profession of a money lender and instead opted for a simple life.

Kulkarni says the earlier film depicted Tukaram when he became great but in his film, he focuses on the journey of a common man to sainthood.

"The film produced by Prabhat dealt with Tukaram's story after he became a saint but I was more interested in the metamorphosis of a common man into one of the most beloved poet-philosophers. His writing is about 400 years old but it remains contemporary even today. The way he turned his life around is a great motivational story for any generation," Kulkarni told PTI in an interview.

"Tukaram was a money lender by profession, it was his family business. But he left it when he saw people dying in famine."

The new Marathi film, being produced by Everest Entertainment, will hit the theaters in May this year.

Jeetendra Joshi is playing the lead role of Tukaram. The film also stars Radhika Apte, Veena Jaamkar, Sharad Ponkshe, Prateeksha Lonkar & Yatin Karyekar. Veteran Ashok Patki and young music director master Avdhoot Gupte have come together to direct the film's music. Tukaram wrote some 4500 'abhangs' in his life time and most of them remain alive in the public memory. For Kulkarni, the toughest part was to separate facts from the legend in the great saint's life.

"The saints usually live in the public consciousness. But it is very important to maintain authenticity. My writer friends Ajit and Prashant Dalvi researched about Tukaram's life for about five years. They went to reference books and poems to get a picture of his life," Kulkarni said.

The director, best known to Hindi audience for his films "Meera Bai Not Out" and "Carry On Pandu", has great hopes for the film. He is currently busy with the post production work.

"We plan to capture the international market. Tukaram is not only known in Maharashtra, he is the part of our heritage. We will try to get non-Marathi audience by dubbing and subtitling the film." PTI


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