Noted music composer-singer Shankar Mahadevan, who has made his acting debut with ‘Katyar Kaljat Ghusali’, also composed music for some of the songs in the movie. Taking about the film he said that he had never had a totally unbelievable, enriching, and empowering experience as the one he experienced during his association with the Marathi film.
‘Katyar Kaljat Ghusali’, based on the iconic Marathi stage musical of the same name dating back to the 1960s, revolves around the competition between two schools of music – gharanas – represented by Khansaheb Aaftab Husain Bareliwale, played by Sachin Pilgaonkar, and Pandit Bhanushankar Shastri, played by Mahadevan.
Mahadevan said that the role of Pandit Bhanushankar suited him to the T, as both he and the character share attributes of honesty and compassion. He also said that the film was perhaps a full-fledged Indian movie dedicated to Indian classical music produced after a long time, after Telugu film ‘Sankarabharanam’ in 1979, and is drawing crowds aged from 8 years to 80 years.
Director of the film and popular actor Subodh Bhave, who plays the character of a young singer in the movie, said that the subject of the film, he felt, was closer to screen than theatre. “The play had certain limitations, which we have tried to do away with in the film,” said the first time director, while informing that ‘Katyar Kaljat Ghusali’ the film is running successfully in Maharashtra with the young generation thronging to theatres, and in Pune, even attending shows of the original stage play.
Sachin, speaking about his role – that of the Muslim vocalist – said that he has been learning various aspects of filmmaking since he made his debut in a Marathi film at a tender age, and that all this learning was perhaps meant for enacting the very powerful role of Khansaheb. “I am still reeling under the effect of that role, and feel that it would take a lot of time for me to come out of the trance,” he said.
The Marathi actor, who has acted in many successful Hindi films like ‘Sholay’ (1975), ‘Trishul’ (1978) and ‘Ankhiyon Ke Jharokhon Se’ (1978) said that although he has given his own playback in a number of Marathi films, he borrowed the voice of Marathi vocalist Rahul Deshpande for ‘Katyar Kaljat Ghusali’ as the classical songs needed deep knowledge of music, and it was very important for an artist to know his weaknesses more than knowing his strengths. He also said that the Urdu he had studied from yesteryear actress Meena Kumari proved useful while acting in ‘Katyar Kaljat Ghusli’.