Ayodhyecha Raja, literally "The King of Ayodhya", was the first Marathi talkie, released in 1932, directed by Shantaram Rajaram Vankudre (V. Shantaram). It is based on the mythological story of Raja Harishchandra of Ayodhya and his test by sage Vishwamitra, as recounted in Valmiki's epic, Ramayana.
|Directed by||Shantaram Rajaram Vankudre (V. Shantaram)|
|Produced by||Prabhat Film Company|
|Written by||N.V. Kulkarni (story and screenplay)|
|Music by||Govindrao Tembe|
|Edited by||Rajaram Vankudre Shantaram|
|23 January 1932|
The film was also made as a double-version, Ayodhya Ka Raja (1932) in Hindi, making it the first double version talkie of Indian cinema, wherein Munshi Ismail Farooque wrote the Hindi dialogue, while screenwriter N.V. Kulkarni also did Marathi dialogue. India's first full-length feature film, Raja Harishchandra (1913), was also made on the same storyline.
The film was not just Prabhat Film Company's first talkie film, but also for its director, V. Shantaram. In its time, it was a leap not just in sound, song and dialogue quality and became a hit. Eventually, it turned out to be a social leap as well for the film industry, as the entry of Durga Khote, who belonged to an upper class and elite Brahmin family into Marathi cinema, paved way for other women from upper classes to enter cinema. V. Shantaram made another version film, Duniya Na Mane (Kunku in Marathi) in 1937.
Ayodhyecha Raja has music by Govindrao Tembe:
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