Arthouse Battle: Ananth Mahadevan takes on Amol Palekar


MUMBAI: Rivalry and oneupmanship are not peculiar to mainstream cinema. Offbeat filmmakers and actors are often locked in bitter battles of supremacy. During Smita Patil’s lifetime she was in a constant battle with Shabana Azmi, and the outspoken Mrinal Sen could never see eye to eye with Satyajit Ray.

The latest arthouse battle seems to be between two prolific Hindi-Marathi actors-filmmaker Amole Palekar and Ananth Mahadevan. The two have a shared history of non-mainstream performances and directorial ventures. Lately Mahadevan scored a whopping whammy at the National and state awards with  his bio-pic Mee Sindhutai Sapkal which won the highest Maharashtra state awards pipping Palelekar’s Marathi film Dhoosar for the honors….a fact that, apparently has not gone down well with Palekar.

When Mahadevan invited Palekar and his wife for  a screening Palekar was openly critical of Mahadevan’s Mee Sindhutai Sapkal.

Says Mahadevan, “I’ve the highest regard for Mr Palekar. I’ve worked with him as an actor. But when I invited him and his wife for a screening he was rather cold and critical. He was specially critical of the writing by Sanjay Pawar in Mee Sindhutai Sapkal. Later I got to know that Sanjay and Amol had a spat earlier on over some  issue.”

The icing on the cake is Palekar’s recent which claims his film Dhoosar has won the highest state awards for best film and best director.

Ananth is not amused. “My film Mee Sindhukal Sapkal won the State award for best film while Amole Palekar’s film won the award for 2nd best film. I don’t know why these confusions are being created.”

Maybe the fact that a non-Marathi won the highest state honors for cinema didn’t go down too well with some people?