When Sairat hit the theaters on 29th April, 2016, within 3 days, the movie crossed 10 crores mark in the box office creating a record in Marathi film industry. Well that’s not it, even after six weeks from the release date, there are some theaters playing shows that are housefull and as well some shows at uncertain time like 3 am, making the box office collection to cross 80 crores mark. This clearly reveals the craze of fans for the movie.
Was it the musical score that propelled the audience, to take a glimpse of this movie?
Or, was it the acting of these bunch of newcomers, who didn’t even dreamt of working in a film?
Oh wait, is it the bollywood style love-story, which drove non-marathi cinema lovers to watch this movie? Or, the magic of Nagraj Manjule’s society based epic dramas that leaves the public stunned, in the end?
There might be many factors for Sairat becoming a superhit movie and also, a super favorite for the young generation. But what matters is, the effect it has created in the minds of many that they cannot forget the moments materialized in the movie.
Let’s discuss the driving factors of Sairat that lead the movie create huge success.
National Award winning Director Nagraj Manjule’s intuitive script
After a huge success of the National Award Winning movie, Fandry in 2013, Nagraj Manjule stole the hearts of every audience who watched the movie. So, people were keenly waiting for his next movie because they knew, Magician Nagraj tries every bit to keep the movie natural, realistic and magical. Also, in the latest BBC interview Nagraj revealed that he worked on 50 drafts of the screenplay before “intuition took over as the muse” and he finally completed the script in 2014.
May be, Fandry’s art and his dedication to sustain the originality of the movie could be the factor, which excited people to watch the first day, first show of Sairat.
Ajay-Atul pumped the movie with their melodious songs
From the symphony of Yad Lagla to the beats of Zhingaat, audience enjoyed each and every song, be it the background music or the theme track.
Ajay-Atul, who sung all the songs of the movie, played a significant role in movie’s success because their songs were heart-touching and it was the first of its kind. The background music of Yad lagla song was recorded by the Symphony orchestra in Hollywood, Los Angeles and it was exclusively recorded for Sairat movie, which became the first Indian movie to have a song with western classic symphonical background.
Take a glimpse of moment with Ajay-Atul and the symphony orchestra, making live music for Yad Lagla, and of course it’s a Proud Moment, not just for Ajay-Atul or Sairat team but for Bollywood.
Archi and Parshya had no experience in acting before this movie
It takes guts for non-actors to act in a movie, which would hit the box-office with such a blast, and also for the director who knew that they are unfamiliar with acting. But, his will and interest to get them into movie and train them to act naturally as they are in reality, this is what shows the skills of a director.
Rinku Rajguru (Aarchi in Sairat), playing the female lead is just 15 years old and will give her 10th boards exam this year. Sairat is her debut film and she performed an outstanding brave role of a girl, who belonged to a high caste and beating all the hypes followed by the society. She was also awarded a ‘National Film Award – Special Jury Award / Special Mention (Feature Film)’ for her intrepid role in Sairat.
Whereas, Akash Thosar, a 23 year old cricket fanatic, who dreamt of being a Police Officer had hardly ever thought that he would be known as an actor. Well, he was obliged to Nagraj’s brother who found him in a railway station and sent his photo to the director on Whatsapp and that’s how his acting journey began. Now, the fate has something more for Akash, let’s see where does it takes him.
Alice Sebold, a novelist, who once said, “Sometimes the dreams that come true are the dreams you never even knew you had”, this is what exactly happened with Rinku, Akash and the other cast of the team, which includes Tanaji Galgunde (Langdya), Arbaz Shaikh (Salim Shaikh), Anuja Mulay (Annie), the localites of Jeur village and the nearby town, who performed really well in this love-story classic.
So, the cast was new and no familiar faces, but they have managed to keep the theme of Sairat, which has two sides, wild and zeal or passionate
The typical Bollywood love-story plot, but with a different angle
Bollywood lovers have seen multiple love stories, which comes with a similar plot and happy endings, which is not just boring sometimes but also losing the gaps of new innovation in the genre. If it’s the same movie with similar plot and similar happy ending, but the actors are top notch players like Salman, Shahrukh, the movie will hit the box-office with applause.
None of it comes up in the marathi movies, where art is more important than the budget and earnings of the movie. Although, Sairat gives the nostalgia of the plot of other bollywood stories like that of Ishaqzaade, Qayamat se Qayamat tak and the masterpiece, Fandry, but it has something more to offer. It is a Common kind of story but with New presentation, or new performance and a twist in forte.
The movie gives a glimpse about societal issue, which is caste-based discrimination, still occurring in India due to which many youngster and already married people are facing criticisms and this is the uniqueness offered by Sairat in the mainstream cinema. This village story, where a young couple faces suppression and violence, just because they belong to different castes, depicts how important casteism is, as a subject of discussion. Also, one scene where Parshya’s father explains the village group that their family has now discarded their son, as he ran away, and no longer belongs to the family. This is very common phenomenon in the general community that needs to be changed.
Well, the crucial phase of the movie is the end, where Nagraj Manjule, with his intuitive mind decided to give a unpredicted and shocking end to the movie that blowed away hearts of audience, giving thunderbolts for 100 seconds. This was mainly because we are bound to see the frustration of characters reflecting in the movie, but not of the filmmaker. But Nagraj, who, being a Dalit, himself struggled in his life for caste based issues, took every effort to reveal that frustration against caste system, in the ending shot of the movie, leaving the entire audience gasped.
Natural Locations and Beautiful landscapes of the village, made it awesome
When 21st century movies are impossible without VFX, Nagraj Manjule defied the trend and like his previous film, Fandry, he once again decided to shoot the movie in his local village and it was another reason for the success. Because the storyline of the movie and characters truly matched the spots chosen by director.
The first half was shot in Jeur, hometown of Nagraj Manjule, which had a lot to off
er other than just farms. A beautiful landscape view of the lake, well, sugarcane farms and other locations of the village added to the scenic locations of the movie. Also, some part of it was shot in Karmala, a neighboring town to Jeur.
The second half, was shot in different places, the beginning of the second half was shot in Hyderabad streets and the slum area shown in the movie was shot in the hill-side slum of Pune, but it gave the realistic feeling of the movie being shot in Hyderabad, which has its slum along the hill-side too.
Crowd from Jeur were on cloud nine, after the movie release and no doubt they have seen the movie more than twice.
From Berlin International Festival to Bollywood, Sairat got Standing applause
The first half of the movie was full of entertainment, fun, romance, dreams and predictable; whereas, the second half was totally opposite and it reflected the reality of society. The second half took the Limelight of the movie.
The end, as discussed above, was the captivating moment of the movie, where the director made people to think about current situation of the caste oriented and discriminated society. Even Aamir Khan took time to recover the shock from the last scene of the movie. Praising the movie, this is what Mr. Perfectionist tweeted, after watching Sairat,
Just saw Sairat. I’m heartbroken, still recovering from the shock of the end. (1/3)
— Aamir Khan (@aamir_khan) May 9, 2016
Congratulations to Nagraj, Ajay-Atul, Rinku Rajguru, Akash Thosar, Tanaji Galgunde, Arbaaz Shaikh, the entire cast and crew & to Zee. (2/3)
— Aamir Khan (@aamir_khan) May 9, 2016
Please watch it if you haven’t already. (3/3)
— Aamir Khan (@aamir_khan) May 9, 2016
Not only Aamir but Irrfan Khan, amused by the performance, hosted a special screening for Sairat and gave all-praise to the movie.
But, the real journey of success for Sairat began when the movie was announced, India’s entry to Berlin International Film Festival and the best moment was when Nagraj Manjule and team Sairat got Standing Ovation for such a beautiful classical love-story, a saga.
All the above discussed factors has given the movie a remarkable thrust, which made it to be at the level where all records are broken and the credit goes to Team Sairat for their continuous efforts in promotion and outreach, as well as the audience to keep that Sairat effect moving.
In the end, Nagraj Manjule has succeeded in giving message not only to the society, but also to the film-makers that movies with a common plot, if kept natural, realistic, crisp and up to the cause, can also become masterpiece.
FYI: Sairat movie is not any coincidental movie in marathi industry, but the consistency of producing such great films like Court, Natsamrat is very well maintained by the filmmakers in the past decade.