Naseer's Marathi film debut

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By Hindustan Times

Mumbai, June 28 -- At the age of 61, veteran actor Naseeruddin Shah is venturing into a brand new film industry. The actor has made his Marathi debut by playing a small part in a film titled Deool.

The R 4 crore movie has all of 35 actors in it and Naseer plays a God-like figure. "He had seen a short film, Girni, that I had made, and after reading Deool's script, immediately agreed to do the film," says director Umesh Vinayak Kulkarni, whose film, also starring Nana Patekar, will release in September. "He has spoken in Marathi, which I don't think he's ever done before."

Both Nana's and Naseer's performances have earned great acclaim over the years, but this is the first time the actors will share screen space. Recalling how this happened, Kulkarni says, "They both came to felicitate the crew of my film, Valu, when it had completed 100 days. And someone from the audience came on the dais, and expressed his desire to see them together."

The film revolves around a bunch of people from a rural area, whose lives change due to development in the cities. "Villages are becoming semi-towns. Educated young people don't want to farm, but can't get dignified jobs. Basic technology and education have seeped into the interiors, so the locals know what's out there but don't have access to it," says Kulkarni.

Nana plays the part of a sarpanch (head of the Panchayat) Bhau Galande, in the film that also stars Dilip Prabhakar (the actor who played Mahatma Gandhi in Lage Raho Munna Bhai, (2006) and Mohan Agashe.

"The film is not driven by any one character, even though these super actors have come together for it," adds Kulkarni, who has a few ideas he would like to explore in Bollywood, but enjoys making films in Marathi equally.