Marathi film Dhag, which bagged the National Award for Best Direction for Shivaji Lotan Patil and Best Actress for Usha Jadhav, is the story of a poor family, whose only income source is a crematorium, where their generations have worked and helped cremate the departed ones. The story is about a young boy named Krishna and his fight to do away with his family’s tradition of cremating people and instead do something else that will raise their social status. Dhag is not only about the fire of pyre; it’s about the spark to claim social justice and equality.
After Fandry, this is another film, which is rooted in rural India and which tells story of the people, whom we conveniently ignore to recognize as part of our society. It’s also a good example of how thought-provoking films can be made of the stories around us. Though, Dhag lacks the finishing that Fandry had on the technical front.
Director Shivaji Lotan Patil has handled the subject with good maturity. He has added touching emotions to make it an impactful film. Nitin Dixit’s screenplay and dialogues are balanced and concise. Nagraj’s excellent camerawork and Nilesh Gavand’s remarkable editing play very important roles in this praiseworthy film.
The best acting performance in Dhag comes from Upendra Limaye, who has lived his character so perfectly that it appears very authentic. This film has underlined the fact that Upendra Limaye is one of most under-rated actors in Marathi films.
Usha Jadhav and Hansraj Jagtap have bigger roles to show their acting skills and therefore they deservingly got appreciation at the National Awards. Nagesh Bhosle and Suhasini Deshpande have effortlessly played their respective characters. The small girl, who played Hansraj’s younger sister, is also impressive.
The Marathi audience is privileged to have so many good films being made in their language. Dhag is also a must watch for them.