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Tukaram on screen

Tuesday, March 06, 2012
By A Staff Reporter

The revered saint and philosopher-poet of Maharashtra - Sant Tukaram, is making a comeback to the silver screen, in a manner of speaking. V.Shantaram and the Prabhat Film Company had produced Sant Tukaram way back in 1936 on this venerated personality, which received an overwhelming response from the audiences, and went on to win a host of prestigious awards. Now after a gap of 76 years, Everest Entertainment has produced Tukaram, which will hit the theaters in May, 2012.

Chandrakant Kulkarni is directing the film with Jeetendra Joshi in the role of Tukaram. The cast comprises of Radhika Apte, Veena Jaamkar, Sharad Ponkshe, Prateeksha Lonkar and Yatin Karyekar. For the first time ever the veteran  Ashok Patki and the new age master Avdhoot Gupte have come together to direct its music.

The story features Sant Tukaram (1608-1650) who is possibly the only saint whose importance and popularity has not diminished through the centuries. On the contrary, his relevance keeps growing and his unmatched genius is lauded by both the intellectual and the common man. Tukaram's greatness has been acknowledged by intellectuals and writers of diverse eras from Mahadev Govind Ranade to Dilip Purushottam Chitre and the common man is well versed in his poetry. Thus, it is no surprise that film-makers have been attracted to Tukaram. In the three-quarter century that has passed, many writers have penned works on Sant Tukaram's life.

His ‘abhangs’ and philosophy are the products of his life's experiences and all this has been showcased in the film. In fact, the entire first half is dedicated to understanding how Tukaram developed into a unique human being. During his short life of 42 years Tukaram created a huge literary treasure of 4500 abhangs. His Gaatha meets all the challenges of passing time and changing sensitivities and continues to inspire even today.

Singers include Aniruddha Joshi the Sa Re Ga Ma Pa winner, Dnyaneshwar Meshram and Jhannavee Prabhu Arora and Avdhoot Gupte himself. The story, screenplay and dialogues for the film are by Ajit Dalvi and Prashant Dalvi, cinematography by Rajen Kothari and Editing by Ballu Saluja and the production design by Eknath Kadam with costumes by Poornima Oak.

Making a biopic on Tukaram is a ver ambitious project for Sanjay Chhabria, the producer of the film who earlier has produced major hit films like “Mee Shivajiraje Bhosale Boltoy”, “Shikshanachya Aaicha Gho” & “Haapus”.  A free hand was given to the writers and the director Chandrakant Kulkarni, who provided valuable inputs throughout the scriptwriting process. From technicians to the music directors and all the other crew members, everyone has contributed to the making of an inspiring film.

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