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Natarang (film).jpg
Theatrical poster for Natarang
Directed byRavi Jadhav
Screenplay byRavi Jadhav
Based onNatarang
by Dr. Anand Yadav
Produced by
CinematographyMahesh Limaye
Edited byJayant Jathar
Music byAjay−Atul
Distributed by
Release date
1 January 2010 (2010-01-01)
Running time
120 minutes
Box office12 crore (US$1.6 million) (lifetime)[1]

Natarang, also spelled Natrang (Marathi: नटरंग, an ornamental word for "artist", especially a theatre artist), is a 2010 Indian Marathi-language drama film directed by debutant Ravi Jadhav and starring Atul Kulkarni and Sonalee Kulkarni. Composer duo Ajay−Atul composed the original score and songs of the film.[2]

Based on Natarang, 1978 Marathi novel by Dr. Anand Yadav, the film depicts the journey of a young artist in overcoming hurdles in the form of family, friends, society and to finally realise the unthinkable dream. Set in the 1970s, in the backdrop of a village in Maharashtra, Natarang highlights the emotions related to gender bias and the sacrifices of an artiste for the love of his art.[3]


Gunvantrao Kagalkar aka 'Guna' (Atul Kulkarni), a poor village labourer, nurtures an obsession for Tamasha - a popular theatrical folk art form of Maharashtra. Unforeseen circumstances lead him to lose his job as labourer and lands him in situation where he sets up a theatre company along with his friend and mentor Pandoba (Kishor Kadam). Guna is convinced that his troupe cannot take off unless it has a female dancer. After painstaking search, Pandoba finds Naina (Sonalee Kulkarni), the daughter of his former lover Yamunabai (Priya Berde), who is willing to dance for the company on the condition that it has a "Nachya", a "pansy" character, a man who acts in an effeminate manner. As no one is willing to take up the role, due to the eunuch taboo, Guna takes it upon himself to play the character. The strongly built Guna takes up the challenge of doing the role due to his passion for the art.

Despite lack of support from his family, Guna works hard to get the role right, and his play becomes successful in a very short while. However, due to their success, the play gets entangled in the power struggle between two local politicians who wish to use its success for political mileage. Meanwhile, Guna's father dies in his village, and his wife and son are subject to harassment from other villagers. Rival political gangs attack Guna's play and torch his theater. Guna is accused of being a eunuch and gang-raped. However, despite being rejected by his family and discouraged by his friends, Guna continues with his stage career, where he is joined only by Naina. It is implied that Guna and Naina marry, and that their play gathers national and international fame. The film ends with an aged Guna, now addressed as Gunvantrao Kagalkar wins the lifetime achievement award at a major awards ceremony


The film is a cinematic adaptation of the Marathi novel named Natarang by Anand Yadav. Yadav initially expressed qualms about entrusting a debutant director with the film adaptation of his novel, however he was convinced by Ravi Jadhav's study and understanding of the novel. Yadav later expressed satisfaction over the film.[4]

Yadav's 1978 novel was earlier adapted to a theater production, whose performance however "caused pains to the author."[4] There were plans for a film adaptation starring Ganpat Patil as Guna and Nilu Phule as Pandoba, but these did not work out.


  • Atul Kulkarni as Guna Kagalkar. Atul has described the role as physically as well as emotionally challenging. Kulkarni had to first build up his physique for the role of a laborer, and lose it to portray a pansy.[5]
  • Sonalee Kulkarni as Nayna Kolhapurkarin, the lead dancer in Guna's troupe. Kulkarni learned dance from the age of five, and her dance performances in the film were well received by audiences worldwide.[6]
  • Vibhavari Deshpande as Daarki Kagalkar, Guna's traditional wife who is displeased about his involvement in the Tamasha.
  • Kishor Kadam as Pandoba, Guna's friend and mentor. Marathi legend Nilu Phule was considered for the role of Pandoba in an earlier version of the film.[5]
  • Priya Berde as Yamunabai, Nayna's mother and Pandoba's former love interest.
  • Amruta Khanvilkar in a special appearance in the Lāvaṇī song Wajle ki Bara


Natarang was released in a grand premiere at the Cinemax Multiplex in Andheri, Mumbai on New Year's Day 2010. The premiere was attended by luminaries from both the Marathi and the Bollywood film industries.[7] It was the first time a Marathi film was released in a grand premiere.

It was re-released on popular demand with English subtitles on 22 January.[8] It has been the highest grossig film as of 2017.[9]


The original and the background scores were composed by Ajay Atul, based on the song lyrics by Guru Thakur. The script and story of the film demands period compositions and traditional dance numbers as in Lavani and Gavalan. Vijay Chavan received special accolades for his performance on the dholki.[10]

The music has been described as "soulful, melodious, and rhythmically rural" and as "touching just the right chords"[by whom?][2]

Soundtrack album by
Released1 January 2010
GenreFeature film soundtrack
ProducerNikhil Sane
Amit Phalke
Meghana Jadhav


Track # Song Singer(s)
1 "Natarang Ubha" Ajay-Atul and chorus
2 "Kagal Gavcha Guna" Ajay Gogavale
3 "Wajle Ki Bara" Bela Shende and chorus
4 "Achuk Padli Thingi" Ajay Gogavale
5 "Khel Mandala" Ajay Gogavale
6 "Petla Gadi" Ajay Gogavale
7 "Kashi Mi Jau Mathurechya Bajari" Bela Shende, Ajay Gogavale and chorus
8 "Apsara Aali" Bela Shende, Ajay-Atul

Critical reception[edit]

Natarang was screened in the Mumbai Academy of the Moving Image film festival, and the Pune International Film Festival. It was the only Indian film to be selected in the "Above the cut" category in MAMI.[3] It was selected as the opening film in the Asian Film Festival in Kolhapur.[2]

The film won seven awards at the annual Zee Gaurav Awards ceremony, including best director for Ravindra Jadhav, best music composition for Ajay-Atul and best supporting actor for Kishor Kadam.[11]

Although the Lāvaṇī dance sequences were well received by the audiences, they were criticized by traditional Lāvaṇī performers and academics as having an item song slant. Critics have especially targeted the "provocative dress style" of Sonalee Kulkarni and Amruta Khanvilkar, saying that it runs contrary to traditional, conservative Lāvaṇī costume.[12] In a 2014 interview, Atul Kulkarni said, "I’ve always loved doing roles which frighten me as to how am I going to do it!! Natarang was a perfect example. I am must confess that this role and the script has challenged me the most so far.".[13]

Box office[edit]

Natarang opened to a successful run statewide and earned Rs. 70 million in the first three weeks of its run.[8] Overall, Marathi films earned Rs. 200 million in the first quarter of 2010, outperforming Bollywood in both box office collection and critical acclaim.[14] The films Natarang, Mahesh Manjrekar's Shikshanachya Aaicha Gho and Paresh Mokashi's Harishchandrachi Factory themselves collected more than Rs. 160 million at the box office.[14]

Participation in film festivals[edit]

  • MAMI – Mumbai Film Festival.
  • Goa Film Festival
  • Third Eye – ASEAN Film Festival.
  • Participated in PIFF (Pune Film Fest).
  • 33rd Göteborg Fest 2010
  • Munich Film Festival 2010


See also[edit]


  1. ^ "A mixed first half for Marathi cinema".
  2. ^ a b c Sampurn Wire (29 December 2009). "Natarang to hit screens on 1st Jan 2010". Thaindian News.
  3. ^ a b PTI (2 November 2009). "Natrang brings Tamasha genre back to Marathi cinema". DNA India.
  4. ^ a b Sakaal news service (27 December 2009). "'नटरंग' यथार्थ साकार - डॉ. यादव" (in Marathi).
  5. ^ a b Sakaal news service (9 January 2010). "'नटरंग'मधली भूमिका आव्हानात्मक - अतुल कुलकर्णी" (in Marathi).
  6. ^ Shrikant Katre (2 March 2010). "साधी simple ... अप्सरा!" (in Marathi).
  7. ^ Sakaal news service (31 December 2009). "'नटरंग'चा उद्या दणकेबाज प्रीमियर" (in Marathi).
  8. ^ a b "Natarang earns Rs 7 crore in 3 weeks". Screen India. 5 March 2010. Archived from the original on 8 March 2010.
  9. ^ "After 'Sairat', These 4 Marathi Films Need Bollywood Makeovers!". Retrieved 18 December 2017.
  10. ^ Sakaal news service (24 March 2010). "नटरंग' माझ्यासाठी कळसाध्याय!" (in Marathi).
  11. ^ "झी गौरव पुरस्कार : 'नटरंग' आणि 'मी शिवाजीराजे'ने मारली बाजी" (in Marathi). Daily Loksatta. 20 February 2010.
  12. ^ Prashant Pawar (20 March 2010). "लावणीचे वाजले की बारा!" (in Marathi). Daily Loksatta.
  13. ^ "Atul Kulkarni in Marathi film Saat". The Indian Express. Retrieved 17 October 2014.
  14. ^ a b Staff Writer (31 March 2010). "Marathi movies score over Hindi counterparts at BO". Indian Express. Mumbai. (accessdate=2010-09-15)
  15. ^ Staff Writer (10 July 2010). "व्ही. शांताराम पुरस्कारांवर 'झिंग चिक झिंग'चे वर्चस्व". Mumbai: Loksatta.
  16. ^ a b c d e f "बिग म्युझिक पुरस्कारांवर 'नटरंग'चे वर्चस्व". Loksatta. 28 August 2010. Retrieved 1 September 2010.
  17. ^ Bollywood Trade News Network. "57th National Film Awards".
  18. ^ "Asia Pacific Screen Awards 2010 Nominations". Archived from the original on 22 October 2010.

External links[edit]