Cast Sandeep Kulkarni, Ankush Choudhary, Amruta Khanvilkar, Tejaswini Pandit
Director Satish Rajwade
Rating TBA

Forsaking a few extra hours of sleep on a Friday morning, a crowd of over 1,200 people recently waited patiently in the lobby of the Grand Cineplex in Dubai to watch the movie. The excitement was palpable.

At 10am, the organisers Mohana Prakash, Vivek Kolhatkar and Dr Sunil Manjrekar from A2Zee events walked in with the film's lead actors Sandeep Kulkarni, Ankush Choudhary, Amruta Khanvilkar and Tejaswini Pandit. The director Satish Rajwade, as well as the producers were also present.

The all-Marathi audience went into a frenzy at the sight of their stars. After the customary handshakes, the audience was asked to take their seats in three adjacent halls. Once the stars, sponsors and organisers finished speaking, the lights went off and the show began.


The movie

Directed by Satish Rajwade, Gaiir is an interesting and intriguing crime thriller with just the right mix of ingredients. Showing shades of old Hindi classics Woh Kaun Thi and Jewel Thief, this well-made mystery keeps the audience guessing until the end.

With many of its characters walking a fine line between good and evil, the on-screen conflict becomes an intriguing cat-and-mouse game. The clever build-up, interesting twist in the tale, crisp direction, good performances (especially by Sandeep Kulkarni) and lavish production values make Gaiir an all-round fine entertainment package.


The response

After the movie, the milling crowd once again mobbed the stars, congratulating them and asking for their autographs and pictures. The public seemed very satisfied with the polished Marathi thriller, which could compete with many of Bollywood's films.

As usual, there were some cynics who expressed their concerns about the lack of logic and message. Some spoke of ‘style over content,' while others complained about the long song-and-dance sequences.


Changing perception

Director Satish Rajwade wanted to change the perception of Marathi cinema with this film and he has succeeded to some extent.

"For long, Marathi cinema was playing the poor cousin of Hindi cinema. With Gaiir, we wanted to show that lavishly mounted movies can also be made in Marathi. I am happy that our efforts have been appreciated. It is even more pleasing to see the overwhelming response in Dubai," he told the enthusiastic crowd.

Actor Sandeep Kulkarni plays the central character of a man with a dual personality.

"We worked hard on the look and the styles to differentiate the two characters. The audience's tastes are changing and they want to experience different genres of films in Marathi," he said.


Final impression

Gaiir may not be a perfect film, but it would be a mistake to criticise it for not having a message. In fact, the message it sends out is loud and clear: Marathi cinema is changing for the better with new talents and new themes.

With two Oscar entries - Shwaas and Harishchandrachi Factory - in recent years, it has already proved its creative flight and with big budget blockbusters like Me Shivaji Raje Bhosale Boltoy and Gaiir, it is also proving its increasing commercial appeal.