Dr. Prakash Baba Amte-The real Hero

wogma rating: Add to that never-watched 'To Watch' list (?)

quick review:

Shoddy screenplay dampens the impact of an inspirational story of a great social worker - Dr. Prakash Baba Amte. The film could’ve looked far better had it been edited intelligently.

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Director: Samrouddhi Porey
Running time: 137 minutes
Categories: Regional
Genres: Biography
More Movie Info

We all love heroes. We sing to their tunes. We dance to their moves. We read about them tirelessly. And we even follow their films mindlessly. But what about an extraordinary hero, you might have never heard of or seen before? Will people throng theatres just to watch such an unusual hero on celluloid? Well, I found my answers when I saw audiences turning up in big numbers on the first day, first show of Samruddhi Porey’s Dr. Prakash Baba Amate. The auditorium was buzzing with excitement. Though it died down very shortly.

The film is the official biopic of Dr. Prakash Baba Amte – a man (played masterfully by Nana Patekar) who sacrificed his entire life for tribals and wild animals in the Hemalkasa area of Maharashtra. It traces the struggle of Amte and his wife Dr. Mandakini Amte (Sonali Kulkarni) with tribals, wild animals, naxalites and corrupt government officials. The film takes you back to an era where this man lived, worked and even performed emergency surgical procedures without electricity.

The way he developed personal bond with tribals and wild animals is one of the most fascinating aspects of Amte’s story. This tale is undoubtedly heroic. However, not this film. At least not the way it is narrated.

I don’t understand, why director, Porey had to overemphasise the protagonist’s heroics in every single scene? Actually, this is the outcome of passé, lacklustre writing. Its screenplay is structured in the most typical manner. I know, flashbacks inside a flashback look bold. But only if they’re handled carefully. Considering the subject, occasional slow-paced narrative is somewhat justified. But where is the drama that hooks you with its storytelling?

Every department of this film seems haywire - writing-direction, cinematography, editing, sound design or even makeup. Mahesh Anye’s Cinematography is beautiful, undoubtedly. But it fails to add any value to the storytelling. What’s the use of capturing stunning shots, when they rarely tell you a story? That wow factor is missing throughout the film.

The visuals and audios are sometimes poles apart. When you’re dying to see the drama, you’re bombarded with philosophy. But when you actually get to see it, you barely feel anything about it. You just see gore, but feel nothing for the characters or their situations. That is another letdown.

The film’s only saving grace is Nana Patekar and Sonali Kulkarni’s acting prowess. Both the lead actors are back (after Taxi No. 9211 and Deool to charm you with their power-packed, sizzling chemistry. However, directing your talented, lead cast isn’t a big deal. The real challenge is to bring good performances out of the extras (mostly tribals) as well. Nagraj Manjule's Fandry is a beautiful example to describe it. This is where Porey fails miserably.

Average films turn better (of course, to some extent) thanks to smart editing. However; this film’s amateurish, outdated editing adds to its woes. The film does have few sequences you can emotionally relate to. They are simply beautiful too. But the director’s overall focus seems to be only on telling (sometimes showing) you almost everything that happened. This leaves you disheartened.

“Dr. Prakash Baba Amte - The Real Hero” isn’t a terrible film in its entirety. The makers had a fascinating story to tell through two of the best actors our industry has. They definitely seem to have had a good intention (who wants to make a bad film anyway?) It’s just that their approach went wrong. The sad part is that this is the official biopic of Amte. I doubt if this inspirational tale would ever be retold.

This article is by guest author Abhishek Gosavi. Just another cinephile who tweets as @bombaybug.

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2 readers - 1 yays 1 so-so 0 nays

Want to Watch, by Satta King

Yay! Thumbs Up, by Abhay Patil : Inspiring and appealing in spite of a few technical shortcomings. A must watch!

So-So, by Abhishek Gosavi

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

Plot Summary

The film traces the life of Dr. Prakash Amte and his wife Dr. Mandakini Amte, who struggled to provide basic medical and livelihood facilities to the tribals in the Hemalkasa area of Maharashtra.

What Worked

  • Sparkling chemistry between the lead actors
  • Lead actors’ natural, powerful performances
  • Few comic moments
  • Prosthetic makeup done quite well

What did not

Note: This section simply lists the things that I did not like in this movie. This is not the overall impression about this movie. Please read the full review here

  • Overacting of supporting cast
  • Music isn’t exciting


This section lists things that I think are not important to the overall impact of the movie. In most cases, it could be explained away by something like, "we noticed the glitch after the scene was shot and there were schedule/budget issues and thus we could not re-shoot it". I like giving the makers the benefit of doubt, but I am amused nevertheless. Hopefully, they will tickle you too.

  • Awful dubbing. In several scenes, audio just doesn’t match visuals
  • Costumes look clean and new even when they’re least expected to be
  • The VFX of Nana walking along with a tiger look really fake

Parental Guidance:

  • Violence: Encounters between police and naxalites. Little Bloodshed.
  • Language: Marathi
  • Nudity & Sexual content: Blurred breasts of tribeswomen. An unseen rape sequence.
  • Concept: A real-life story of a doctor and his wife, who left their material world behind for the development of tribals in Hemalkasa, Maharashtra.
  • General Look and Feel: A slightly warm look sets the tone of rural life.

Detailed Ratings (out of 5):

Lead Actors:
Character Artists:
Music Director:

Dr. Prakash Baba Amte-The real Hero - Cast, crew, links

Official Sites:
Running time:
137 minutes

Comments (5)

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I sincerely believe that most reviewers in general - and this reviewer in particular - just don't get it. They just love to take the movie piece by piece and revel in exposing inadequacies they find in those fragments. Truly they miss the forest for the trees. I by no means am saying that if the subject is noble it's criminal to criticize the film. My only point is that "the whole" is exponentially more than the sum of the parts in the case of this movie. I say this based on my own experience as well as after talking to many - especially youngsters. I believe the script writer and the director have done an excellent job bringing to fore the story of Amtes in a way that would excite and inspire the masses - specifically the youngsters who are so consumed by the global culture that they hardly relate to the stories from their immediate surrounding.


@Abhay: well said. Agree with you.

@Abhay Patil: Thanks for reading my review. I'm glad that you disagree with me. That's absolutely fine. The film does have few elements that will inspire masses (mainly youngsters). But just because it is inspirational, it need not be a good film. I sincerely feel that the film was written badly. It was a half-baked tribute to the great efforts of the Amtes. At the end of the day, a film (forest) stands out only due to its elements (trees).

Abhay Patil

Appreciate your response to my comment Abhishek! Crux of my point is simply this - the technique, snippets, dialogues chosen by the script writer and director left a feeling of a solid and gripping narrative - without any kinks - which is the key.

Abhishek Gosavi

@Abhay Patil: I completely understand what you meant. You've reasons to love the entire film and I've my own to hate several key aspects of it. It's not necessary that we all have to agree on everything. That's why we're film buffs, right?

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