I watch quite a few movies in languages i don't understand, because why miss a gem just because of a language barrier. There have been marvelous movies that i was fortunate enough to come across in various languages (of course with subtitles): Telugu, Tamil, Malayalam, Bengali, Korean and Marathi. Recently I watched this Marathi movie called "Sairat" (Meaning Wild / Free spirit).
I will not speak about the movie plot and technicalities in detail as neither this is a review nor do i want to deter you from enjoying a wonderful movie. I'd like to, however, point out the things that i absolutely LOVED about the movie. Sairat is an epic love story between a high caste girl and a low caste boy, ironically made epic by the unfortunate caste system. The first half is funny, fresh and goes by in a breeze specially laced with some beautiful, beautiful music. Reality strikes in second half and the story takes a somewhat serious turn (Welcome to reality, I'm a bitch!).
What i loved about the movie?
The love story. Charming, authentic and at the same time - very engaging.
The writing and direction. How an unoriginal story has been told in such an original way, how the movie is so real yet never bores you, how the characters are ingeniously developed and transformed with the story.
The acting. Lead characters "Archie" and "Prashya" portrayed by two new-comers show such a finesse that's unseen even in greatest of actors. Rinku Rajguru (the actress) won a, well deserved, National Award for this role. Hero's two friends "Pradeep" and "Salya" are adorable and charming and produce many hilarious moments in the first half.
The music. Background score, sound engineering and songs are sublime - i don't understand a word yet i love the songs. Great work by Ajay-Atul (Remember the song Abhi Mujh Mein Kahin?).
The subtleties. The film is extremely earthy and grounded (Similar to another favorite movie of yours truly: Masaan). Then there is the bold heroin of the story ("Archie") who is shown riding a horse, a Royal Enfield Bullet and even a tractor. There's a superb scene where the newly in-lou heroin keeps staring at the hero (one of the many great romantic scenes in the first half) sitting in a class room until the guy is embarrassed - now how many times have you seen that? The same character, transforms greatly in the second half, all kudos to the director and of course the actor Rinku Rajguru.
The message. The movie talks about an inter-caste love story and how deeply the caste-system is rooted in our society. No wonder it's a common story told many a times in many different cultural setups. In one of the interviews, the director mentions, that inspired by the film there are now societies coming up honoring inter-caste marriages and many parents are calling their children back. Cinema can have such a profound impact, i hope it spreads even further.
The last scene. Direction at its best!
I cannot recommend this movie enough. Please go and watch SAIRAT. You can watch it later in your language as well, since the movie will be remade in almost all Indian languages, but would you eat a teekha maharashtrian vada paav with sambhar?
Watch the trailer on YouTube (Subtitles available).
And here are full songs on YouTube.