Dr. Prakash Baba Amte

Author: Dr. Mandar

Dr. Prakash Baba Amte
Year: 2014
Director: Samruddhi Pore
Cast: Nana Patekar, Sonali Kulkarni

Over the last few years, Marathi cinema has made significant strides forward, presenting some wonderful diverse themed films, which have garnered various national and international accolades. Writer-director Samruddhi Pore’s Dr. Prakash Baba Amte is certain to add to that growing reputation.

A doctor couple works tirelessly for the upliftment of tribals in a remote forest area for four decades, facing natural and man-made adversities all along, they finally succeed in establishing a hospital, a school and an animal shelter. Their efforts, long ignored by the Indian public and authorities, finally get world-wide recognition. It is a story filled with courage, romance and compassion. That it happens to be true just adds to its magic.

The life-story of Prakash Amte and his wife Mandakini is not only amazing; it is inspiring. Their total dedication to their cause, their uncomplaining adjustment and their continuous innovation…everything needed to be told, to be shown to the world. Samruddhi Pore’s film does that admirably. She stitches together the milestone events in the couple’s lifelong journey.

Shot on the actual location- Hemalkasa, the far-removed Naxalite-infested jungle area, where the Amtes established their Lok Biradari Prakalp for the Madia-Gond tribe, Prakash Baba Amte must have been a courageous film to complete. The director and the crew deserve kudos for that effort alone.

Piece by piece, scene by scene the movie does well but somehow it doesn’t gel smoothly and comes across as a patchy, jerky narrative. The anti-establishment tone of some sequences also may not be palatable for many. But that is an inevitable process while depicting such eventful life-stories.

Nana Patekar and Sonali Kulkarni are terrific in portraying the central characters and their performances must be strong contenders for major awards this year.

Forget the cinematic flaws. Dr. Prakash Baba Amte is a must-watch film for all families, just to know that there are still real heroes in this world, who care nothing for material comforts and serve humanity without any expectations!

(*Read Prakash and Mandakini Amte’s interview to understand more about their lives and sacrifices.)

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