It is very rare for a movie to give a social message, without getting preachy and entertain at the same time. Mee Shivaji Raje Bhosale Boltoy (I am Shivaji Raje Bhosale speaking) is one such exception. The movie is based on grievances of Marathi Manoos (Marathi people) in Mumbai. The issue raised is same as the one raised by Bal Thackeray in 60s and recently by Raj Thackeray. However the solution suggested is different than what is being propagated by Raj Thackeray today or was espoused by Bal Thackeray in the past.
The movie starts off by introducing the main protagonist, Dinkar Maruti Bhosale, a clerk in a bank, as Damn Marathi Bhosale. Dinkar feels that Marathis are neglected and disrespected in their own state and “outsiders” are making hay at the cost of locals. Till here it seems as if the movie is espousing Raj Thackeray’s agenda. However, when Dinkar curses himself for being a Maharashtrian, Shivaji’s spirit, a la Munnabhai, comes to the rescue and the movie takes a turn for good. When Dinkar Joshi rues the fact that Gujaratis dominate the busuines landscape in the city, South Indians dominate the hotel industry and North Indians dominate the bureaucracy, Shivaji asks him that had anyone stopped Marathi Manoos to do any of these ? Dinkar then decides to take charge of his life and with the guidance of Shivaji reclaims self respect and sanity back in his life.
The movie has exaggerated the plight of Marathi Manoos at some places. For example, Dinkar’s daughter wants to change her name as a film director, who himself is a Maharshtrian but hides this fact, believes that Marathi girls have no future in Hindi movie industry. But the plus point is that “outsiders” have not been vilified. The corrupt BMC employees and Policeman in the movie are Maharashtrians and so is the corrupt minister. This was probably a subtle reference to the fact that Maharashtrians dominate BMC and Policeforce in the state. Two North Indians help Dinkar Bhosale a la Jiva Mahale when he goes to meet his Afzal Khan. The movie does not end before making a point that political apathy is not the solution to corruption in politics and only by participating in the political process can one make a difference.
Locals v/s outsiders is the backdrop of the movie. However, the movie succeeds in driving home the larger point that people themselves are responsible for their situation and nothing would change unless they take steps to change the status quo in a positive manner.