Sujay Dahake On ‘Shyamchi Aai’: ‘I Am Adapting My Story From The Novel’

Filmmaker Sujay Dahake who has made films like ‘Shala’, ‘Phuntroo’, ‘Aajoba’ and ‘Kesari’ will now be making an adaptation of Sane Guruji’s book ‘Shyamchi Aai’. The director says, “I am not remaking the film but adapting my story from the novel. It is very extensive and also talks about the socio-political era of those days, the political unrest affecting Shyam’s behaviour and how this young mother induces values in Shyam.”

The Marathi drama, ‘Shyamchi Aai’ was first made by director Prahlad Keshav Atre in 1953. Speaking about updating the film’s story, Dahake says, “The story remains the same but there will be more instances that will happen with Shyam. As you know it is a narrative of 43 nights and Shyam who is older is narrating it to his jail mates. The screenplay structure will go back and forth. Also the earlier version of the film was made in the 1950s. So, technologically you will see a major shift and graphic meter of the drama.”

Speaking about how the story will relate to modern audiences, Dahake says, “It is relevant even today. It is about a mother inculcating values in a child. The only difference is in the earlier version of the film, the values were spoken out in form of dialogues but in my film we have technology to show the values with a little more depth.”

The film will be shot in black and white and Dahake reasons, “Black and white has its own beauty and digital black and white is a peach. Besides, very few times you get a chance to go back to black and white, also as part of nostalgia.” Dahake has been researching on the subject for nearly five years but felt that the 151st birth anniversary of Dadasaheb Phalke was the best time to bring another important chapter in the history of cinema.

But when asked if he plans to make it for cinemas or OTT he says, “It is purely for cinema and we have a year to go. Also the last one year has taught us more about values and family and this subject will definitely have that connection with the audiences. And above all, people would want to watch nostalgia once again.” Dahake has also met the original Shyam Madhav Vaze, on whom the book was based and is now 80 years old, living in Pune. He says, “I have met him a couple of times but I don’t know whether he really remembers about this film so much.”

Dahake is currently working on the pre-production and casting of the film and has plans to release it on Diwali next year.

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