Upcoming Marathi film 72 Miles Ek Pravas marks the entry of Bollywood star Akshay Kumar as a producer of Marathi films. The film is among much-anticipated Marathi films of the year and it also gains significance because of its director. Rajeev Patil is known not only for trying unique subjects but also for working with corporate production houses. The director has to his credit some of the remarkable Marathi films like Jogwa, Sawarkhed Ek Gaav, Sanai Chaughadi, Paangira, and Blind Game. Rang Marathi talks to filmmaker Rajeev Patil on his forthcoming film 72 Miles Ek Pravas and his experience of working with Akshay Kumar.
“I had read Ashok Vhatkar’s novel and had liked it. Then one day, during a casual chat with my friend Deepak Rane, I learnt that he had film rights of the novel. Deepak and I then decided to make a film on it and we approached Akshay Kumar and Ashvini Yardi to know if they would produce the film,” Rajeev Patil said.
Based on Ashok Vhatkar’s novel, 72 Miles Ek Pravas shows as what the author, as a 13-year-old boy, had experienced during his unforgettable journey from Satara to Kolhapur. Child artist Chinmay Pant plays the role of 13-year-old Ashok Vhatkar. The film’s cast also includes actors Smita Tambe, Isha Mane, Shravani among others.
The film is less than a month away from its release but its media appearance has started just recently. A lot of suspense was maintained about the film’s cast and other details. “It has been done to create more curiosity among the audiences. It’s our strategy to do major promotion when the film nears its release,” the Rajeev Patil said.
The last couple of years have seen an increase in the interest of Bollywood stars and corporate companies in Marathi films. So what change the Marathi cinema is witnessing with these developments?
“It all had started when Subhash Ghai produced my Marathi film Sanai Chaughadi. Corporate production houses bring in a professional approach towards filmmaking, improved production process and good marketing. All these factors are very important for a film’s success. Viacom18 Motion Pictures recently released Zapatlela 2 and made sure the film gets a wider market. The same company is now releasing 72 Miles Ek Pravas. This will definitely help our film,” Rajeev claimed.
72 Miles Ek Pravas has been produced by Akshay Kumar and Ashvini Yardi’s company Grazing Goat Pictures. “We had a very good experience working with Akshay and Ashvini. When we approached them with the script, within 15 minutes they agreed to do the film. They have been very cooperative and understanding during the entire production process. Even now, when we decided to postpone the film’s release, they backed our decision,” Rajeev said.
The Forbes India magazine recently recognized actor Upendra Limaye’s portrayal of Tayappa, in Rajeev Patil’s National Award-winning film Jogwa; as among the 25 Best Acting Performances in Indian Cinema. When asked to comment on this, Rajeev said, “Upendra is a very fine actor. He had won National Award for Jogwa. I felt very happy that the Forbes India has recognized his acting talent. Upendra surely deserved the recognition.”
The filmmaker has also completed shooting his next Marathi film Vanshvel, starring Ankush Chaudhary, Kishor Kadam, Namrata Gaikwad and Sushant Shelar. The film will release in the next few months.