Harishchandrachi Factory poster

Harishchandrachi Factory

wogma rating: Owner's Pride! (?)

quick review:

A charming and heartwarming tribute to the two years and many sacrifices that Dadasaaheb Phalke made smilingly. Only to bring us the magic of cinema. His dedication and unwavering attitude will be an inspiration to date because of this well-made film.

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Director: Paresh Mokashi
Running time: 95 minutes
Categories: Regional
More Movie Info

Only an enthusiastic, never-say-die, determined, and crazy person could have brought films to India in that day and age. Importing and understanding mechanical equipment was considerably easy when you compared it to the taboo associated with doing anything out of the normal. An art form absolutely unknown to the masses, let alone go around stigma-free. And women working in a venture like this would be a social suicide. These are the odds we are transported to.

Mokashi does a wonderful job of making this a light peek into the hard work without letting us get too sentimental or too stark a depiction of his hardship. He doesn't introduce us to the darker side of Phalke's life at all. His insecurities, the craze for his work completely taking over his life to the extent that his and his family's health is at stake. Not to mention the bleak financial situation that they were already in. While we can complain about the ever-smiling Phalke, the harshness is treated in the same tone as the rest of the film.

Every once in a while the film switches to the 8mm and silent era feel albeit in color. And it adds humor and is in perfect context. Also you can't help but smile at the compare and contrast of how things have changed to today. For example, shunning anyone who wants to work towards his passion and go against the tide; the younger generation being more receptive to a new thing; the diminishing value of other forms of entertainment after the advent of the moving images; attempt of actors to steal more screen space from co-stars; we accord her on screen today; the need to imitate the technologies used in the west; the contrast between the mute but strong role a woman played in that time with the respect(?); the contrast between people applauding something as simple as the growth of a plant and the need for constant entertainment(?) now.

The film is after all an obituary of sorts. To the 2 years that the Father of Indian cinema spent in making THE first Indian film Raja Harishchandra. And like an obituary it is polite and sweet. It is also an enchanting time travel to a century ago. Go for it and take the kids along!

- meeta, a part of the audience

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3 readers - 2 yays 1 so-so 0 nays

Yay! Thumbs Up, by chiropractic marketing : 98

Yay! Thumbs Up, by TimELiebe : Rose Tinted But Enjoyable Film About the Start of the Indian Film Industry

So-So, by Consumer Goods

This page has additional observations, other than the ones noted in the main review.

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Comments (13)

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They released it with subtitles? Or you understand Marathi? I mean, I didn't even see a trailer in Marathi... so I am a bit worried if there will be a subtitled version.

Gopi, I understand Marathi. I'm sure there's a subtitled version coz its been playing at various film festivals and is also our nomination to the Oscars. But the one I saw was not sub-titled. Actually, though I don't think sub-titles are necessary, you can follow the story. And remember is about the silent era, there are portions without any dialogue :D

UTV didn't cut a subtitled trailer of Harishchandrachi Factory. So I wouldn't place my bets on them having a subtitled release version. And, I couldn't follow the trailer either. I could understand what it was, but still, it's not the same. Now, to learn some Marathi....

@moviebhakt appearing fine in my browser. Which one are you using? Will see what's going wrong with that version.

The movie is excellent.

@Meetu - we liked it. Yes, it's clearly a very rose-tinted view of the beginnings of the Indian film industry, but there's just enough bits of cultural prejudice and strangeness (like their having to use men in the women's roles early on because "picture-making" was such a shocking profession even prostitutes wouldn't be a part of it!) to give it more crunch than most similar American versions of our beginning film industry.

I'm assuming it got released in the United States now to commemorate the 100th Anniversary of the Indian Film Industry. Is BOMBAY TALKIES also meant to be a fiction film celebrating the history of Indian movies?

@Gopi - there's a subtitled version in English, because I just watched it last week.

Well @TimELiebe Bombay Talkies is a different kind of celebration, more looking forward than behind. Collection of four short stories. http://wogma.com/movie/bombay-talkies-review/


hi i just seen malayalam film on j c daniyal father of malayalam film.. And love to see harichandrachi factory did dvd is avalbale in market.

@sajeesh yes, I think the DVD is out.

@Meetu - then we'll check out BOMBAY TALKIES when it hits our shores! :)

It has to be more enjoyable than ROCKSTAR and TEEN PATTI, right...?

@TimELiebe It's different. Can't really compare it to Rockstar or Teen Patti. Am really intrigued to know what you think of Bombay Talkies.

@Meetu - still waiting to get the DVD of BOMBAY TALKIES from Netflix…!

@TimELiebe *fingers crossed*

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