The online streaming platform is gradually but steadily building up its regional library of content. Last week, we put together a list of the best Tamil movies on Netflix. This week, we’ve plucked out the best Marathi movies on Netflix for you to stream and watch (in reverse chronological order). For the complete list of Bollywood movies on Netflix, visit here.
1) The Disciple
After playing at renowned film festivals across the globe, Chaitanya Tamhane’s second feature film has now arrived on Netflix. The Disciple narrates the tale of Sharad, a talented vocalist, and his battle to make it big in the world of Hindustani music. You don’t have to know the nuances of classical film to appreciate what Chaitanya has done here. You’re able to instantly connect with the struggles of being a true artist in an era where our interests are dictated by an algorithm. Aditya Modak in his debut performance transforms into Sharad right in front of your eyes. It should come as no surprise that The Disciple bagged the Best Screenplay award at the Venice Film Festival.
Varun Narvekar’s latest offering is a sweet, comical take on modern relationships. The humor here isn’t over the top but comes from the interactions between the characters who’re separated by a generation’s worth of change in ideologies. Amey feels right at home playing a boy next door who’s afraid of stepping out of his little bubble. Mithila Palkar impresses despite her limited screentime. Sachin Khedekar and Chinmayee Sumeet who play the older couple are a treat to watch. Watch Muramba for its superlative performances and beautiful music.
3. Sairat (2016)
Love stories are a celluloid staple for their popular, emotionally engaging appeal. Their trite portrayal may have stripped the genre of its inventive potential but once in a while comes along a filmmaker, resuscitating our fading hope. Nagraj Manjule takes an oft-seen premise of teenage love (an upper-caste, political leader’s daughter Archie and a fisherman’s son Parshya). The story trails the beginnings of first love, the escape, the hurdles, parental, societal pressures. But it’s the treatment where Sairat stands apart from the usual crop of romantic films. It steers the romantic flights of fancy into a real, relatable terrain, that our films seldom explore. A progressive, realistically anchored film, Sairat thrives on its minimalist storytelling and raw, natural performances.
Winsome performances abound but Rinku Rajguru (Archie) and Akash Thosar (Parshya) are the heartbeat of the film. Sairat earnestly captures the innocence of first love through the chemistry between its protagonists. And Ajay-Atul’s sublime score, with a character of its own, aids the chemistry.
4. Natsamrat (2016)
Remakes are tricky and remake of a legendary Marathi play is quicksand. Shreeram Lagoo’s portrayal of a tragic stage actor can never be replicated. The only way Nana Patekar could have stood the test would be by giving it a unique voice. Dr. Lagoo’s Ganpat Belwalkar was a revered patriarch who was a victim of circumstances. Nana’s rendition is more of a flawed father who does not understand the new rules of the world.
Nana played to his strength and the anger of a dejected father was palpable and heart-wrenching. Medha Manjrekar’s restrained performance beautifully complimented this anger. In a no-holds-barred Nana show, Medha provided the much needed stability of a loyal, loving wife.
VV Shirwadkar’s play’s iconic moments come to life in Natsamrat. Belwalkar’s loneliness through his soliloquys — from asking for a roof on his head, contemplating to be or not to be, to the breaking point where he gets lost in the characters he played on stage — is all brilliantly mounted.
The audience resonated with the love and passion of the writers and director’s attempt to recreate the magic of Natsamrat on celluloid. Very few risks in the film business have paid off this well.
5. Killa (2015)
Killa trails an 11-year old Chinmay (Archit Deodhar) who adapts to a new life, a new world after his father’s death. This nostalgic trip back to childhood is a delicate, refreshing and beautiful piece of cinema. Cinematographer Avinash Arun succeeds at telling a simple story with profundity in an astounding directorial debut. Few films stay with you long after you’ve finished watching them. This is one of them. Don’t miss it! | Related: 9 Memorable Indian Films Led By Child Artists)
6. Harishchandrachi Factory (2009)
This film captures the journey of the making of the first Indian film (by Dadasaheb Phalke) in the early 20th century.
Dadasaheb Phalke is an eccentric but highly enterprising Marathi gentleman who falls in love with the art of moviemaking when he first sees moving pictures. In British-ruled India, where poverty was rampant, Dadasaheb, with meager wage, ventures with a dream to create an Indian film Raja Harishchandra.
The ridiculousness of the dream of a common Indian man is dealt with equal lack of seriousness. Absurd supporting characters abound, it deals with themes like superstition, societal pressure, inequality, regressive mindset about women in a way that never feels like a moral science lecture. The 1913 India is portrayed as it was — regressive, naïve, poor but human nonetheless.
The art and cinematography is commendable, given that it pulled off the period aspect on a shoestring budget.
What did we miss? Do share your recommendations in the comments below or write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. For the uninitiated, we’ll leave you with the best Marathi movies/classics for beginners.
(Additional writing by Shreyas D.S.)