wiki:Shyamchi Aai

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Shyamchi Aai

1953 152’ b&w Marathi d/p/sc/co-lyr P.K. Atre pc Atre Pics st Sane Guruji’s novel co-lyr Vasant Bapat, Rajkavi Yeshwant c R.M. Rele m Vasant Desai lp Vanamala, Madhav Vaze, Umesh, Baburao Pendharkar, Sumati Gupte, Saraswati Bodas, Vasant Bapat, Prabodhankar Thakre, Damuanna Joshi, Nagesh Joshi, Bapurao Mane, Pandurang Joshi, Vimal Ghaisas

Major Marathi melodrama based on one of the most influential 20th C. Marathi novels (1935), a fictionalised account of the childhood years of Sane Guruji (1899-1950). A nationalist influenced by Vinoba Bhave and esp. Gandhi, he was imprisoned repeatedly for his work among the peasantry and participation in the Quit India agitations. His book Shyamchi Aai, written in jail, has 45 episodes in which Shyam, a youth living in poverty in Konkan, recalls the teachings of his mother. The film incorporates the heavy nationalist symbolism associated with the mother (Vanamala), a devoutly religious person with an earthy philosophy, as well as the sentimental depiction of her relationship with her son (Vaze). Despite its emphasis on a ruralist realism, the characters remain exemplary and (surprisingly for Atre) humourless stereotypes. The film, like the book, relies on flashbacks as Sane Guruji (D. Joshi) tells the stories in homage to a person to whom he owes everything. Episodes showing the young Shyam’s maturation culminate in the mother’s death. The hit film has remained a generic landmark in Marathi melodrama, esp. for Vanamala’s maternal prototype. The book has been analysed by Shanta Gokhale (1990).