'Natarang' makes me feel proud of the fact that I understand Marathi, the language of laavani, the language with enchanting maadhurya ('Sweetness' does not have the 'maadhurya' which its Marathi synonym 'maadhurya' does). The movie sweeps you off your feet as it takes you along on a journey of a mad artist.
'Natarang' belongs to Atul Kulkarni throughout. You see him as the passionate farm-help.. and just then you seethe transformation in the body language of the character; then you see him helpless, happy. I simply cannot stop applauding for him!
Other actors like Kishor Kadam, Sonalee and the actress who plays Guna's wife play characters that are different layers of this story... or perhaps different sides. The music of the film wows you with some amazing numbers - 'Khel mandala' is a beautiful slow track while 'Vaajle ki baara' and 'Apsara aali' are some amazingly picturized and sounding laavanis.
The story is an amazingly entertaining ride. However, the climax looks abrupt and feels like a forceful happy ending. The snapshots of lavani artistes as the end credits roll are superb - their eyes look empty, almost hungry.
The movie is a must-watch. The DVD/VCD will surely be a collector's delight.
With his eyebrows neatly shaped, Guna sits wearing a white kurta and pyjama with a notebook in his hand. He is writing the script of his new play, a play where he will, yet again, portray the lead dancer's effeminate sidekick, the naachya. Guna says, "Pratyek manasaat ek baai aste. Ani pratyek baait ek maanus." (There is a man in every woman and a woman in every man.) He goes silent. But then, through his eyes, you hear him screaming. Screaming with helplessness. He is a man in every sense. A man who stuck on to his passion for tamasha (A Maharashtrian folk art), a man who was man enough to play a naachya. You see the man who sits with pride in the slender feminine body. You see the grit in his eyes - the determination to do everything that his passion demands.
Even if it means ripping his self-respect off.
You hear him scream at the thought.
And then you wonder if it was him. Or if it was you yourself who screamed... Almost horror-struck to see the strength that passion generates in a person...