Director: Baburao Painter, V. Shantaram; Writer: G.D. Madgulkar; Producer: V. Shantaram; Cinematographer: G. Balkrishna; Editor: V. Shantaram; Cast: Jayaram Shiledar, Hansa Wadkar, Shakuntala Paranjpye, Parashuram, G.D. Madgulkar, Sudha Apte, Samant, Gundopant Walavalkar, Jayaram Desai, Kanase, Sawalaram, Vaidya, Vivek Abhyankar, Aren
Duration: 01:55:32; Aspect Ratio: 1.335:1; Hue: 272.655; Saturation: 0.010; Lightness: 0.088; Volume: 0.378; Cuts per Minute: 11.277
Summary: Classic Marathi Tamasha musical telling the life story of Ramjoshi (1758-1812) (Shiledar), a poet, keertan and lavani performer who later became extraordinarily popular notably with the lavani and the militant powada forms. The film narrates the poet’s history, his descent into alcoholism and his eventual rise to greatness. The main dramatic pivot is his love for the Tamasha dancer Baya (Wadkar). Several scenes extensively illustrate Shantaram’s symbol-laden expressionism, e.g. the scene where he drops the liquor jug to the floor, it hooks on to his clothing and thus does not ‘let go of him’. These are combined with the scenes for which the film is famous, e.g. the sawal-jawab (musical question and answer contest) sequence, and numerous other lavani song- picturisations featuring Madgulkar’s lyrics in his script debut. Shantaram had originally commissioned his mentor, Painter, to direct the film, but later sacked him and completed it himself. The film went on to become the biggest post-war success in the Marathi cinema, inaugurating the Tamasha genre in Marathi (followed by D.S. Ambapkar’s Jai Malhar the same year, and Mane’s Sangtye Aika, 1959). All three films, and indeed the genre itself, remained indelibly linked to Madgulkar’s songwriting. A sequence from the movie is reconstructed in the opening of Benegal’s Wadkar biographical Bhumika (1976).