Swanand Kirkire: 13-minute film ‘Maratha Mandir Cinema’ an ode to ‘DDLJ’

Veteran theatre artiste, lyricist, singer, actor and writer Swanand Kirkire has opened up on the short film titled ‘Maratha Mandir Cinema’. The film is a tribute to celebrate the 26th anniversary of the release of mega hit ‘Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge’.

The movie ‘Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge’ has been running for 25 years at Mumbai’s Maratha Mandir cinema. So, this 13-minute short film that was released on the Gorilla Short YouTube channel on October 20, not only acts as a tribute but it also focuses on the life of the sex workers in Kamathipura in Mumbai. It brings out their dreams and aspirations. Directed by novelist-turned-filmmaker Pankaj Dubey, this film features actors like Sarika, Swanand Kirkire, Tanvi Ravindra Sangvai and Rajeev K. Panday.

‘DDLJ’ is the longest running Hindi film of all times with a historic 1,274-week run at Mumbai’s Maratha Mandir theatre. But this film is also important to the commercial sex workers from the neighbouring red-light district of Kamathipura. The film revolves around the life of a young woman called ‘Simran’.

Swanand Kirkire says: “The film is about the red-light area where the movie ‘Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge’ the epic movie starring Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol is playing for 20 years and near that red-light area there is a girl who watches it regularly and due to some circumstances she has a choice to either live as a prostitute or a normal life and there is this pimp, this person who is being an obstacle in her life.”

He adds about his role and also shares his experience of shooting: “I play the role of a pimp near Maratha Mandir cinema where the girl lives basically. My experience of working on the film was great, Pankaj Dubey was very kind. We shot for 3 days and also watched ‘Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge’ sitting in the Maratha Mandir which was a great experience. I thoroughly enjoyed working with Pankaj Dubey and Sarika ji and the new actor Sandeep. Sarika ji was very kind and very cooperative. I really enjoyed working with her. It’s warm and a beautiful film which is made with heart and I want everyone to see this film and tell us how they feel about it.”