Nach Ga Ghuma underscores what Hindi filmmakers must learn from Marathi counterparts

Namrata Awate Sambherao, Mukta Barve and Sarang Sathaye in Nach Ga Ghuma, the new Marathi film. Photo: Trailer Video Grab

After watching several Marathi films like Baipan Bhaari Deva, Jhimma 2, Ole Aale and older ones like Jhimma and the Mumbai Pune Mumbai franchise in the light genre and Mee Vasantrao among others, I think seriously that Hindi filmmakers must be made to learn from them the mantra of original, homespun, (of all kinds) audience-friendly entertainment. Most Hindi films, I know, recover money and even make profits through extra-theatrical business, which is what makes such filmmakers keep on unleashing weird / horrendous / dull movies in such dollops on viewers. But someone (read distributors and even OTT platforms) is losing money on them, and interest in theatrical cinema viewing is diminishing. Shouldn’t that matter too?

Nach (pronounced as Naach) Ga Ghuma (Do dance, Ghuma) is the latest Marathi film off the griddle. Its concept is daisy-fresh: the chemistry—and fireworks!—between an employer and her maid. The little friction, bouts of mutual affection and displays of emotions, with the household help being of vital importance for a working hausfrau, create this wonderful world that is quite real.

In this relatable milieu, mothers and wives do not overburden their spouses or neglect their kids (as we saw in the pseudo Sharmajee Ki Beti a few days back), but struggle to find that ideal ‘soul-mate’ (!) among maids who can ensure that their homes run like the proverbial clockwork in their absence. Maids are thus a heated topic of discussion also with colleagues during office lunch-breaks, and we have entreaties for help in this matter from colleagues, housing society watchmen and other maids.

And this picture is also not one-sided. Maids, burdened by their own personal lives’ issues, also need ‘satisfactory’ employers, who will care for them besides giving them apt wages. To create humor within this world and also leave a subterranean message to all is the feat that director and writer Paresh Mokashi (whose awesome resume includes the Oscar-nominated Harishchandraachi Factory and the outstanding Elizabeth Ekadashi, Chi Va Chi Sau Ka and Vaalvi) achieves effortlessly. Madhugandha Kulkarni, his co-writer in all except the first film, gives Mokashi brilliant company, also doubling as heroine Rani (Mukta Barve)’s colleague.

Rani and her trusted (with limitations!) housemaid, Ashatai (Namrata Awate Sambherao) are at centerstage here. Rani is irritated by Asha’s perpetual late-coming that puts all her daily work schedules out of gear, even once leading to an outburst at her long-suffering boss (Sunil Abhyankar).

Her school-going daughter, Sayali (Myra Vaikul) and loving husband, Anand (Sarang Sathaye) have to bear the brunt of Ashatai’s lack of punctuality. In a burst of pique, Rani throws Ashatai out when she lands late again on a crucial day. Ashatai is shocked beyond limits. But she has no option other than searching for another job, which of course she needs badly to support her son and a useless husband.

Having acted on impulse, Rani hunts desperately for a suitable replacement, the operative word being ‘suitable’! A colleague suggests humoring Ashatai and weaning her back. But shortly afterwards, Rani has ‘reason’ to fire her again, this time by pushing her out of her home physically! So what happens now? And yes, before I forget, Rani is also being harangued by her temporarily ‘resident’ mother (Sukanya Kulkarni) and mother-in-law (Supriya Pathare) who are visiting the couple for their own reasons and have joined forces in taunting the already-hyper Rani!

The climax of the film (in which Marathi film celebs like co-producer Swapnil Joshi, Kavita Lad and Lalit Prabhakar do cameos as themselves) maybe emotionally heartwarming, but comes across as the only ‘filmi’ touch in the movie. But that hardly detracts from the superb entertainment and small messages that the film offers seamlessly. Among the individual scenes that stand out are the ‘Jaanewalon zaraa’ song (from the Hindi 1964 film Dosti, in which Mokashi himself does a cameo) and the sequence where Rani goes to visit Ashatai at home for the first time. Yet another has Ashatai silently passing Rani after taking her daughter safely home. The office outburst by Rani too is really amusing.

Namrata Awate Sambherao towers as Ashatai, the lovable bai who has her own limitations and knows that her employer cannot be really faulted. Mukta Barve as the no-nonsense Rani is in her element. A special mention must be made of the magnificent underplaying by Sarang Sathaye: as Rani’s husband Anand, he is plain fantastic. The two mothers and little Myra Vaikul are adorable and the supporting cast impressive.

The songs are used very unusually and seem initially to be distractions but are pithily worded by Mokashi himself and add to the narrative flow.

Do not miss this film, which is streaming on Prime Video. A valid point: the OTT platform seems to be partisan as many a time, Marathi movies that stream on it do not have the “X-Ray” on demand: a feature where the actor and the character he or she is playing are mentioned below the screen. Why this discrimination when Marathi (like South Indian) movies are looming tall vis-à-vis Hindi cinema?

Rating: ****

Hiranyagarbha Manoranjan present Nach Ga Ghuma (Streaming on Amazon Prime Video) Produced by: Paresh Mokashi, Madhugandha Kulkarni, Swapnil Joshi, Sharmishtha Raut, Tejas Desai & Trupti Patil  Directed by: Paresh Mokashi Written by: Paresh Mokashi & Madhugandha Kulkarni Music: Tanmay Bhide Starring: Mukta Barve, Namrata Awate Sambherao, Sarang Sathaye, Myra Vaikul, Sukanya Kulkarni, Supriya Pathare, Sunil Abhyankar, Sharmishtha Raut, Asha Dnyate, Madhugandha Kulkarni & others  Sp. App.: Swapnil Joshi, Kavita Lad & Lalit Prabhakar










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