Success party of Baipan Bhaari Deva matches film’s spirit

The success party of Baipan Bhaari Deva. Director Kedar Shinde is standing fourth from left above. Photo: Rajiv Vijayakar

The sea was far from blue on that rainy night. But yesterday, at the Blue Sea Banquets at Mumbai’s Worli Seaface, the success party of Baipan Bhaari Deva was held. For a change, the success was genuine, and for a change again, the party did not focus only on the stars and filmmaker.

Veteran director of 16 films with many more achievements (13 TV shows and 13 plays!) Kedar Shinde not only called the humblest members of the team, like the poster designers but also the assistants and technicians. The music team was represented as much as the marketing, make-up and costumes in-charges and the production controller. Most of them were made to speak something, and happily for the audience, which included many celebrities and families connected with the cast and crew besides the media, everyone was in the correct mood and spirit and also spoke with feelings as well as good humor.

The American Connection

Kedar himself was in peak form, anchoring the show alongside the official emcee. He humorously commented that this was his first success party in 16 films! The film is written by Vaishali Naik, herself an acclaimed filmmaker as well. Her 19-minute short, Dinosor Entertainment, was screened at the Brooklyn Film Festival 2022, Manchester Film Festival 2022 and New York Indian Film Festival 2022 as well as at the Athens International Film + Video Festival 2022. It has also won Audience Choice Award for Best Short Film at IFFLA (Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles) and was also screened at the London Indian Film Festival.

And in America itself, Baipan Bhaari Deva has already collected Rs. 8.2 million. Made on a very ‘Marathi film’ budget of Rs. 5 crore, the film has minted a stunning Rs. 62 crore in 18 days, and is unstoppable. It is well on the way to outrank December 2022’s Ved, whose collections (Rs. 75 crore) have made it the second-highest grossing Marathi film to date. And the 100 crore magic figure does not seem improbable either—Sairat (2015) is the only film to have crossed that and collected a lifetime Rs. 110 crore.

The Celebrations

Of course, the six true stars of the film—the leading ladies Rohini Hattangady, Vandana Gupte, Suchitra Bandekar, Sukanya Kulkarni Mone, Shilpa Navalkar, and Deepa Parab Chaudhari who portray the six sisters also were called up on stage. A mock award ceremony was conducted about their interactions with each other during the making and promotions of the movie, like who carried the most things that could be needed on shot and who was addicted the most to social media!

Kedar repeatedly attributed this achievement to his actors and the entire team. “I am now following the credo of the film (as mentioned on the poster), “Aata thaambaaycha nai (No stopping now!)” It was great watching all the reactions of the industry, audience and media and he had now become a kind of counselor to women, as he got umpteen messages from them all over the country asking advice on how to solve their personal problems, he added.

Suchitra Bandekar told, “When I signed the film, I obviously knew that it was something good. But the way it has turned out is something I could not have imagined, especially in terms of the response.”

Women rock 24/7 for 365 days was the general spirit of the event, where even the male actors in the film were given their due and asked to speak too. “The film is not just an entertainer but also has become a movement,” an emotional Sharad Ponkshe, who plays a cantankerous and regressive father-in-law, stated. “This was one of the two offers I received while I was suffering from cancer and taking chemotherapy and I shot for it within a month of my illness. So I did not have to do much to look old!”

The DOP of the film, Vasudeo Rane, revealed that when the film was complete, “We (the crew) could not believe it was our film!” Lyricist Valay Mulgund, who has penned the title-track that has become a social anthem, said that the words just flowed from within him, but he now feels that he is being blessed by every woman in the world, based on the feedback he has received.

Writer Vaishali Naik stated that her house-help as well as bhajiwali (the visiting vegetable vendor) have now realized that “Didi kuch to karti hai (Didi does some work at least)!” after this film, though she has been in the field for over a decade!

A Movement, not a Film

Confirming Sharad’s words, there have been stunning insights into the kind of reception the film has received. People are travelling 50 kilometers in buses and jeeps to watch the film. Women are dancing outside theatres. At one old theatre in a small coastal town, men are even carrying the old and infirm women up the steps as there is no lift!

At one show, a seminar was held for two hours after the screening on the problems of menopause (the youngest of the six sisters on screen is facing that!). Varad Chavan, who plays a fitness trainer, admitted that people on the streets now recognized him as “Sandpaper”, his nickname on screen for obvious reasons!

Sachin and Loki, the men who designed the posters, were thrilled when told that the posters of the film had developed their own cult following, A screening with subtitles was done in Kota, Rajasthan, and the distributors insisted on a “standee” (film poster) to be delivered so that women (just like in Maharashtra) could pose for pictures against it in the way the heroines were shown—wearing glares! And Nikhil Sane, Head of Marathi Content at Jio Studios, revealed that the film has already been had over 14,000 shows.

The last word was by Ramakant Dayama, a non-Maharashtrian, who plays a counselor in the film. Though he had a small role lengthwise, he stated, “I realized that in my debut Marathi film, I was doing the job that this movie itself is doing for all the women!”



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