Mumbai, Sept. 23 -- An increasing number of Bollywood actors are supporting Marathi films. Of late, they have been doing cameos, playing full-fledged roles in them, producing and promoting them.
Riteish Deshmukh has arguably led the charge. Last year, he produced the hit Balak Palak. This year, he produced and acted in Lai Bhaari, in which wife Genelia Deshmukh and Salman Khan had cameos. According to trade analyst Amod Mehra, the film earned a whopping 40 crore at the box office. Meanwhile, Salman isn't limiting himself to cameos. Reportedly, he's planning to remake Mahesh Manjrekar's Marathi hit, Shikshanachya Aaicha Gho (2010) in Hindi.
On the other hand, Amitabh Bachchan's way of lending support is by promoting films. He has done so for Harishchandrachi Factory (2009), and has now promised the makers of the just-released Por Bazaar that he will spread awareness about the film. Incidentally, the film - which deals with human trafficking - has a cameo by Farhan Akhtar. Shreyas Talpade has done his bit too, by producing a Marathi film called Poshter Boyz.
Experts say the growing interest from Hindi film actors is due to the sudden boom in Marathi cinema. "It's a lucrative prospect because on the first Marathi movie you make, the government gives you a rebate of 40 lakh. Also, today, Marathi cinema is doing business in crores, which was unheard of a few years ago. Certainly, everyone wants to make money," says Mehra, pointing out that the budgets of most of these films don't tend to exceed 3 crore. Another trade analyst, Kumar Mohan, adds, "Along with money, they (the actors) also get prominence in the state (through Marathi films)."
According to trade expert Vinod Mirani, it's good to see actors from different industries coming together. "When you have achieved so much, you can do small things for the industry," he says.