Review by: Ajay Kulye

Ekk Albela is beautifully conceptualized and made biopic on the actor’s life of bygone era, Bhagwan Dada. From the first frame of the film, viewers get submerged into the era of 1930’s to 1950’s and witness the making of an actor –director from no background in film making. The film effectively showcases the story of Bhagwan Abaji Palav who became legendary as Bhagwan dada with his Superhit blockbuster classic film Albela in 1951.

Ekk Albela has very high production values as it’s not easy to create the era of silent films and the start of talkies. Technically the film is masterpiece with perfect representation of makeup, production designs, costumes and all-time hit music. Actor Mangesh Desai takes his versatility to a new height and creates Bhagwan dada with superlative performance. I will strongly recommend this film to everyone to relive Bhagwan Dada’s struggles to become the legend of Hindi Cinema.

The story concentrates on the life of Bhagwan Abaji Palav (Mangesh Desai) from 1930’s to 1950’s when he made film ‘Albela’ which become one of the classic movies of all time. The film aptly showcases the real situations of Bhagwan dada’s life. ‘लायकी पेक्षा मोठी नसतील तर ती स्वप्नं काय कामाची’. The story is beautifully woven around these lines, dare to dream bigger. Bhagwan Dada’s life journey from a Paan vendor to becoming an actor and then a director is shown beautifully. His era’s Dancing Action Superstar Bhagwan Dada was self-made man.

Heartbreak, marriage, first car, first production, first fist-fight, first horror film and many more firsts in Indian cinema are showcased. His struggles with producers and not getting paid his shares of the profits. He starts his own production house and makes films. Raj Kapoor suggests him to make a Social Film and that is how the idea of Albela is born. Was making Albela that smooth? Will the distributors back him with his first social film? Watch it to believe it.

Tejaswi Patil Interview 04

Mangesh Desai as Bhagwan dada steals the show in Ekk Albela. Mangesh has tried to be self, still be able to create Bhagwan dada with his own style of dances, melodrama and facial expressions. He has shown that he is an actor always thriving for excellence and versatility. His dance moves matches with Bhagwan dada so much that you cannot believe that Mangesh is a non-dancer. Ekk Albela is going to be career changing film for Mangesh for sure.

Vidya Balan has recreated Geeta Bali beautifully. She had played her character with same aplomb as Mangesh. The dance moves surely will make you remember the hit songs in Albela. Tejaswi Patil’s portrayal of Bhagwan Dada’s wife is perfect as she has played her first deglam role. Rest of the actors chip in with memorable performances, especially Vidyadhar Joshi’s Chandubhai Mehta.

Mangesh Desai Exclusive Ekk Albela 02

Ekk Albela is a director’s film and all the credits goes to Shekhar Sartandel for researching and recreating the golden era of Indian Cinema considering Marathi film’s budget. Every frame of the film is beautifully created considering the old offices, streets, film sets, dress styles etc. I give brownie points to the director for attempting such a grand film on actor’s life.

Technically the film is very sound in all departments like Art direction, Makeup, hairstyles, costumes, Cinematography and background score. Special mention goes to Makeup man Vidyadhar Bhatte for transforming Mangesh into Bhagwan dada. Sets are realistic of that era. Film is fast paced and director has ensured that it remains interesting all the time.

The highlight is off course the songs recreation from the original. This movie can be watched only for these songs too.

Overall the movie is made so beautifully that this is a must watch for every Indian viewer. You have to watch this movie to witness the common man’s dream to make big in film industry. Must watch film for all age groups for legendary Bhagwan Dada.

Rating: 4/ 5

Ekk Albela Trailer

Movie: Ek Albela (2016) | एक अलबेला
Producor: Dr. Monish Babre
Director: Shekhar Sartandel
Studio: Kimaya Motion Pictures, Manglmurti Films
Cast: Mangesh Desai, Vidhyadhar Joshi, Prasad Pandit, Swapnil Rajshekhar, Vighnesh Joshi, Shekhar Phadke, Shriram Kolhatkar, Arun Bhadsavle, Tejaswi Patil, Jyoti Joshi & Vidya Balan
Screenplay & Dialouges: Shekhar Sartandel & Amol Shetge
Music: Santosh Mulekar, C Ramachandra
DoP: Uday Devare
Art Director: Baban Adagale
Make up: Vidyadhar Bhatte
Genre: Biopic
Release Date: 24 June 2016
Duration: 100 Mins

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