Amazon Prime is steadily ramping up its regional content library in India, led mostly by Tamil films. (Check out the best Tamil movies on Amazon Prime here). But there are a very few Marathi titles, worth exploring. We’ve pulled out some of the best Marathi movies on Amazon Prime available for streaming. These films were playing as of May 22, 2021:
1. Photo Prem (2021)
This Neena Kulkarni-starrer narrates the story of a housewife, Sunanda, who’s traumatized by the sight of a camera so much that she isn’t to be seen in her honeymoon photos. But, her world is turned upside down when she’s at the funeral of an acquaintance who doesn’t seem to have a decent picture for her obituary. Sunanda now starts to ponder about how her grandchildren would remember her. The rest of Photo Prem deals with her attempts at getting the perfect picture to be hung on the wall.
Despite an underdeveloped character, Neena is fantastic and makes us feel for Sunanda. The supporting characters too hold their own against the veteran. Watch Aditya Rathi, Gayatri Patil’s Photo Prem for its light-hearted take on death and paranoia.
Watch Photo Prem on Amazon Prime
2. Shala (2011)
Adapted from a novel of the same name by Milind Bokil, this romantic drama claimed two National Awards; the Silver Lotus for the Best Feature Film in Marathi category and the National Film Award for Best Screenplay. Harking back to the nostalgia of school days and a sweet adolescence filled with naivete, the film is set in the turbulent era of Emergency. It follows four ninth grade kids who are keen on shaping their own destiny.
Sujay Dahake’s film peeps into the life of a school boy, tracing his love for his classmate. Thematically, the film plays around with the idea of how adolescent love pans out at its very core. Questioning, while providing subtle answers, the film is a wholesome treat. Get ready to press the rewind button with Shala!
Watch Shala on Amazon Prime
3. Half Ticket (2015)
An official remake of the award-winning Tamil film Kaaka Muttai, Half Ticket is a sweet, sentimental tale that highlights the everyday struggles of the lesser privileged to survive in a world that unapologetically favours the privileged; a world that thrives on greed and rewards it. Under the able direction of Samit Kakkad, Half Ticket is a triumph in storytelling, which is elevated further by Sanjay Memane’s camerawork. The two child actors Shubham More and Vinayak Potdar along with Priyanka Bose (who plays their onscreen mother), turn in powerful performances.
Watch Half Ticket on Amazon Prime
4. YZ (2016)
Honestly speaking, YZ’s trailer didn’t intrigue me. I thought it was just another remake of 40 Year Old Virgin. But the romantic comedy drama far exceeded my expectations. Bold, progressive ideas are sprinkled all over this witty, breezy film. The dialogues are crisp. Both Akshay Tanksale and Sagar Deshmukh share electrifying bro-chemistry while delivering superb lines. The film maturely handles themes like sex before marriage, arranged marriage, age gap in relationships, and stigma on divorcees, yet never takes them too seriously. Gajanan Kulkarni’s transformation from a wimpy, diffident boy to a man who refuses to succumb to societal pressure feels organic.
Watch YZ on Amazon Prime
5) Aga Bai Arechha (2004)
The cinema snob in me says this is by no definition the greatest Marathi film. But the child in me loves this film. And you can clearly see who won the conflict. Loosely based on Hollywood film What Women Want, Aga Bai Arechha is adapted to Marathi sensibilities and we can relate to the middle class household. Sanjay Narvekar plays the perfect responsible Marathi man peeved by the opposite sex. It’s a hard life to be the sole breadwinner of a middle class house and Sanjay perfectly blends emotional vulnerability with helplessness. One day, God gives him the power to understand women. He can hear every single thought of every woman he ever encounters.
While the concept is not really original, the treatment certainly is. The film is a light-hearted take on women’s issues, but never goes the full feminist mode. Our protagonist understands that man is not the only victim here.
But Aga Bai Arrecha never falls in the trap of ignoring men completely. It is as much a dissection of the male psyche as it is of understanding women. Dilip Prabhavalkar’s unsaid words go a long way in telling the tragic story of a man affected by the 1980’s textile mill workers strike. The director seems to have had great fun making it and that translates into an endearing film.
Watch Aga Bai Arechha on Amazon Prime
6. Kaul – A Calling (2016)
A school teacher starts losing his sanity after witnessing a baffling event that takes him on a journey of unlearning everything known to him about humans and God. Kaul – A Calling is a highly experimental film that will be a rewarding experience if you peel each layer of it. It’s a milestone film that relies heavily on an exploratory audio-visual medium that is rare in Indian cinema. Kaul takes a vehement jibe at the superficial way of living and how we perceive God. The film is a meditation on sanity that challenges our confined thinking by the decree of society and thrashes the conventions of normalcy.
Watch Kaul – A Calling on Amazon Prime
7. Baapjanma (2017)
A highly engrossing situational comedy, Baapjanma is extremely heartwarming to watch. The film follows the journey of a father, who upon learning about his terminal illness, is resolute to mend his broken relationship with both his children. A simple tale of parental love and affection, Baapjanma relies on powerful storytelling and subtle humor to put its message across. Although, its emotionality might appeal to most of us, the film has its share of illogical premises, and calls for a complete suspension of disbelief. With stellar performances by the entire star-cast, specifically Sachin Khedekar as the father and directed by Nipun Dharmadhikari, the film hailed a change in the Marathi film industry.
Watch Baapjanma on Amazon Prime
8. Ashi Hi Banwa Banwi (1988)
Now considered a cult classic comedy, this Sachin Pilgaonkar directorial borrows its plot from Biwi Aur Makan (1966) directed by Hrishikesh Mukherjee, a film that has been remade repeatedly across languages. The plot revolves around four friends who are in search for rented accommodation. Due to the landlord’s demands, two of them are forced to pose as the wives of the other two. With such a humorous premise, the film cascades into a laughter riot scene after scene.
A comedy of errors in true right, the film features Ashok Saraf, Sachin Pilgaonkar, Laxmikant Berde and Siddharth Ray in lead roles. They truly make the drama in the film come alive, engaging and enthralling the audience alike.
Watch Ashi Hi Banwa Banwi on Amazon Prime
9. Deool (2011)
Deool is a story of a village simpleton (Keshya) who, as an effect of a heat stroke, hallucinates Dutta (God), atop a hill. The news soon spreads across the village culminating into a series of events where believers as well as non-believers take advantage of the situation, commercializing god and religion.
How a small, insignificant incident blows out of proportion, is remarkably executed. It all becomes so ridiculous in the end that God becomes a mere spectator, trapped in his own temple. Umesh Kulkarni’s Deool came way before Bollywood’s similar satirical takes on commercialization of religion — Oh My God, PK.
Exceptional performances from the cast — Nana Patekar, Mohan Agashe, Sonali Kulkarni, Girish Kulkarni, Dilip Prabhavalkar, Usha Nadkarni make it worth a watch.
Watch Deool on Amazon Prime
There we are! These are the best Marathi movies on Amazon Prime streaming right now.
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