Zapatlela 2, the sequel to Mahesh Kothare’s horror comedy releases on June 7. The director recently visited Sakal Times office along with his actor son Adinath and actress Sonalee Kulkarni. Renu Dhole reports
Tatya Vinchu. The name was enough to make children, who grew up in the ’90s smitten with this evil incarnate talking puppet, break into cold sweat. Well, brace yourself once more. Marathi cinema’s most menacing villain is back after 20 years, the chilling smile intact. And this time, he’s going to lunge out of the screen straight for your jugular. Yes, Zapatlela 2 is coming at a theatre near you soon, and in 3D, it is going to take the thrill to another level altogether. Director Mahesh Kothare, actors Adinath Kothare and Sonalee Kulkarni shared their excitement with us.
‘What will happen if Tatya Vinchu was to come back’..this idea had lingered in my mind for years. I knew a film could be made out of it. Unfortunately, the story and the plot of the sequel came to me only after Laxmikant Berde passed away. The setting is the same — Shrirangpur village. But this time around, there’s a jatra in the village. And — Laxya Bolke’s son, played by Adinath, the village engineer, Makarand Anaspure, the artiste who performs talking puppets’ shows, Megha Satarkar, played by Sonalee, an urban girl who has folk Tamasha in her blood, and of course, Tatya Vinchu, along with some other characters — are thrown together in this arena. What ensues is dhamaal (high drama).
Tatya Vinchu has somehow come back to life and is hunting for a human body to realise his full powers. How will Laxya’s son, the doll’s destined prey, escape his deathly grip? Ever since I conceived the sequel, I wanted it to be in 3D. This is the first Marathi film in 3D and it will be an incredible experience for the audience. We’ve used the best 3D technology, which doesn’t hurt the eyes yet gives great depth, and some very good CG (22 mins of it!). We’re releasing the film at 150 screens in 3D.
Viacom18 and Moving Pictures, who have produced the film along with my company, have to be credited for making it so big. This film will also benefit the Marathi industry as corporates are the present and future of films.
I also owe a lot to Nitin Desai, who himself called me after learning that I’m making this film in 3D, and offered me ND Studios and all his production design facilities. I think we’ve hit it right with this one! I dedicate this film to my friend Laxmikant Berde.
My father wanted another Laxya for this role but wasn’t getting one. It was only when he saw my play All the Best that he realised I had it in me. When he offered me the role, I was very excited and nervous. It’s a dream role for any actor for Zapatlela is a brand in itself. But with so many expectations from the role, it was a challenge. The role has a mix of innocence and mischief, shades that I have in my own personality, but this is my first comedy, and the genre requires greater projection. So I had to change my body language, enhance my pitch of acting. I had the guidance of my father all through, of course. We had a lot of fun shooting the film!
I play a young, urban college girl in the film. The character’s mother is a Tamasha dancer, who wants to keep her girl away from it. But whenever the girl sees the stage, she’s just drawn to it. I’ve done a lavnee in the film, but it’s not there because I can dance well. I’m playing a Tamasha artiste, so the folk dance is in my blood. Dancing for a 3D camera was challenging. After every take, we all used to crowd around it to see how the shot looked! It was a lot of fun.