Natsamrāt (roughly translated as: The King of Theater or The Actor King) is a 2016 Indian Marathi-language drama film starring Nana Patekar in the leading role. The film depicts the tragic family life of a stage actor who has retired from acting but is unable to forget his fond memories of theatre and the stage.
|Directed by||Mahesh Manjrekar|
|Produced by||Nana Patekar|
|Written by||Kiran Yadnopavit and |
|Screenplay by||Mahesh Manjrekar, Abhijeet Deshpande and Kiran Yadnopavit|
|Story by||V. V. Shirwadkar|
|Based on||Natsamrat (drama)|
by V. V. Shirwadkar
|Music by||Ajit Parab|
|Cinematography||Ajith V. Reddy|
|Edited by||Paresh Manjrekar|
Fincraft Media & Entertainment PVT. LTD.
Great Maratha Entertainment
|Distributed by||Zee Studios|
|Box office||est. ₹50 crore (US$7.2 million) |
It is directed by Mahesh Manjrekar and produced by Nana Patekar and Vishwas Joshi under the banner of Great Maratha Entertainment, Gajanan Chitra and Fincraft Media and Entertainment Pvt. Ltd. The film was officially released in India on 2016 New Year and became the highest-grossing film in Marathi cinema to date, until Sairat occupied that place. The film was remade in Gujarati in 2018 as Natsamrat.
The film is about renowned Shakespearean actor, Ganpat Ramchandra Belwalkar (Nana Patekar), who has retired from the stage with the honorific Natsamrat (King of the Theater). He does not cope with retirement gracefully as his wife, Kaveri Ganpat Belwalkar/Sarkar (Medha Manjrekar), observes "you have brought the theater home". As retirement unfolds with his wife and two married children a son and a daughter, he reminisces about the various roles he has played in the past — among them Hamlet, Othello, Julius Caesar — but he fails to recognize his life deteriorating into a King Lear tragedy right before his eyes.
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The film is a tragedy about a Shakespearean veteran theatre actor Ganpat Ramchandra Belwalkar a.k.a. Appa (Nana Patekar) who has been an acclaimed theatre actor during his days, garnering fame and fortune by acting in plays based on various works, especially of William Shakespeare and he also won the award and the highest title of NAT-SAMRĀT (emperor of acting in theatre).
Subsequently, Appa bequeaths all of his wealth to his children. He never keeps anything to himself and express his views very frankly. He does not mind adding expletives while expressing his views. Only his wife Kaveri (Medha Manjrekar), whom he fondly calls as 'Sarkar' and his close friend Rambhau (Vikram Gokhale) and are able to understand his nature. His daughter-in-law Neha (Neha Pendse) and son Makrand (Ajit Parab) do not seem to appreciate his frank nature, which at times causes embarrassing situations for them when they have guests or when their daughter hurls expletives in school. The high point in their relationship comes when their granddaughter performs a folk dance taught by Appa, which is not appreciated by her mother Neha. An argument follows between them and when they return home Neha slaps her daughter. Next day, Neha proposes to part ways with them by moving out, a ploy in which she anticipates Appa to grant them their space. Appa sees through her plan and decides to move out, while passing on a comment to his son "The whole world is a stage and unfortunately my part is a sad one."
Appa's wife Kaveri is very devoted to him and she does not question his decision. They move to their son-in-law and daughter Vidya's place. Appa continues with his carefree and frank ways, at times laden with few expletives. Their son-in-law, Rahul Barve (Sunil Barve) is a high ranking engineer in his company and is of a caring nature. Vidya (Mrunmayee Deshpande) also confronts similar embarrassing situations as Neha, but her husband Rahul does not seem to mind it. He appreciates Appa's poetry (To be or not to be, that is the question) and his fluent style of recitals. On Vidya's anniversary Appa comes in an inebriated state and embarrasses Rahul's boss. Although next day Appa apologizes, Rahul does not seem to mind it and discards as one off incident.
Meanwhile, Appa remembers about his friend Rambhau and pays a visit to him. Rambhau is devastated after the demise of his wife Kumud. He lashes out at Appa for leaving him alone in his final days. The scene that follows is a heart touching conversation between Karna and Krishna enacted by Rambhau and Appa respectively while Rambhau is lying on his hospital bed. Mesmerized by Rambhau's performance and pitying his condition, Appa grants Rambhau his last wish.
The next day Appa returns to his son in law's house. Kaveri tells Appa that Rambhau had overdosed on sleeping pills and that he is no more to which Appa confesses that he gave the pills to him implying that, it was his last wish.
On another occasion Appa insults Rahul's boss's son when he could not stand his weak adaption of Othello. This irritates Vidya and she confronts her father. She makes their arrangement in her outhouse; however her husband still stands by Appa and regards this as a non-issue. Vidya makes sure that the outhouse is well maintained and they are taken good care.
One fine day Vidya misplaces money given to her by her husband and in a turn of events, she blames her parents for stealing it. This creates a rift between them. Vidya realizes her mistake later when she finds the money. She apologizes to her parents but it is too late as Appa and Kaveri have already decided to move out. Vidya's husband Rahul is still sympathetic with her parents but cannot change their hearts. In that night, they escape from the outhouse for their ancestral village where they have an old house in a dilapidated state. On the way they halt at a village, where Kaveri dies of fever. Appa is destroyed by this loss. He is supported by a boot polishwala named Raja. Raja is extremely poor and a homeless person who lives with his family under a bridge. Appa is at times in delusional state and suffers from the fact that the grandeur with which he had lived through as an actor is now making his pain unbearable in his state of loneliness and poverty. Appa serves tea at a tea stall where he enthralls his customers with his poetry recitals and dialogue from his plays. A man named Siddharth, who has a respect and great fondness for acting, continuously follows Appa, since, for Siddharth, he is a noble actor and an idol. Appa hides his real identity from Siddharth and refuses to acknowledge that he is 'Natsamrat'. Siddarth, however continues with his conviction regarding Appa being the great actor.
One day, Appa reads in the papers that his favorite theatre had burnt down in a fire. He goes there immediately and is completely shattered to see the theatre reduced to ashes. Siddharth also arrives there as he was following Appa. Here Appa starts reliving his old memories and also accepts Siddharth's clain that he is the real Natsamrat Ganpatrao when Siddharth reveals that he knew all about him and his past. His family and Raja also come there to find him. They request him to come home with him and to live with them but he refuses. The film ends magnificently albeit it has a tragic end. Appa is in a delusional state and shuffles between reality and the great personalities he had once portrayed as an actor on the very same stage. He gives his last performance on the theatre stage for Siddharth and says that, "Do you understand, dear Siddarth, this is what theatre acting is all about? To fulfill one's longing" He unexpectedly screams by placing a hand on his throat and collapses. Immediately everyone runs to hold him, but they find that he has already departed.
- Nana Patekar as Ganpat Ramchandra Belwalkar/ Natsamrat/ Appa (alias)/Baba
- Medha Manjrekar as Kaveri Ganpat Belwalkar/Sarkar
- Vikram Gokhale as Rambhau
- Mrunmayee Deshpande as Vidya Ganpat Belwalkar/Vidya Rahul Barve, Ganpat's daughter
- Ajit Parab as Makrand Ganpat Belwalkar, Ganpat's son
- Neha Pendse as Neha Makrand Belwalkar
- Sunil Barve as Rahul Barve / Vidya's husband
- Sarang Sathaye as Siddharth
- Pranjal Parab
- Sarita Malpekar
- Vidya Patwardhan
- Jaywant Wadkar
- Nilesh Divekar
- Sandeep Pathak
Also featuring in guest appearances are Jitendra Joshi, Aniket Vishwasrao, Pooja Sawant and Neha Mahajan
The film is the screen adaptation of noted Marathi playwright Kusumagraj’s iconic Marathi play "Natsamrat" which was first staged in 1970. Dr. Shriram Lagoo has acted in the Marathi play in the role of Natsamrat for a very long time. The film also features Vikram Gokhale, Medha Manjrekar, Mrunmayee Deshpande, Sunil Barve, Neha Pendse and Ajit Parab in supporting roles.
Music for this film is composed by Ajit Parab. Lyrics are by V.V. Shirwadkar a.k.a. Kusumagraj and Guru Thakur.
|1.||"Mituni Lochane"||Vijay Prakash||04:07|
|2.||"Natyaasa Naav Apulya"||Vibhavari Apte-Joshi||04:32|
The film was released on 1 January 2016, which is also the birthday of Nana Patekar. Apart from Maharashtra, Natsamrat released in Gujarat, Goa, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, Delhi, Telangana and West Bengal with nearly 1,600 shows across more than 400 screens in the country daily. It also had special screenings in countries like UK, Singapore, Canada, USA till March 2016. Even in its 6th week it was running successfully in 174 theaters with 2,225 daily shows all over Maharashtra.
The film received praise for its portrayal of the angst of an aged veteran theater actor. Film critics praised the movie for acting skills, direction, cinematography and script. The film received overwhelming response at the box office,and ran for more than 50 days across Maharashtra.
Natsamrat collected ₹10.25 crore (US$1.5 million) in first weekend  and ₹16.50 crore (US$2.4 million) in 1st week. It collected ₹22 crore (US$3.2 million) in 10 days, ₹35.10 crore (US$5.1 million) till 3rd weekend  and became the highest-grossing film in Marathi, by collecting over ₹39 crore (US$5.6 million) at the box office. Later Sairat broke Natsamrat's record and became the highest-grossing film in Marathi.
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