Sairat has become the biggest hit of all time in the history of Marathi cinema. The movie talks about caste. While there has been lot of praise for the movie, there has been backlash too. Today’s needull looks at the backlash and tries to look at the reason for it.
But to attribute the backlash over Sairat’s success primarily to Manjule’s style is misleading. What truly makes the film singular is that it is a stinging indictment of caste made by a Dalit—a very rare combination in Marathi cinema, as in other Indian film industries. The writer told me that the backlash against the film was really down to this combination, and that most of the criticism was a “caste thing, where a lot of industry insiders feel threatened—that is, how can an outsider come and be so successful? That anger is there in Marathas, too, because they see it is as an anti-Maratha film.” And if people claim that their criticism “is not about caste, but simply because it is a commercial film, then isn’t that a contradiction? … There are so many successful commercial films out there—they don’t rub you the wrong way. Then how is it that one filmmaker, one film, creates such a furore?”