Natasamrat is the poignant and depressing story of the last days of an acclaimed and very successful theatre personality, his battle for respect and relevance in a world that no longer has any use for him. Forgotten by audiences and abused by his own family, unable to cope with his theatrics and inability to adapt to their "modern" way of life, the once proud actor is forced to take shelter with a roadside bootpolishwaala, minus his companion, his identity, and his sustenance.
Nana Patekar puts up a signature performance, but for me, it was Vikram Gokhale as his frenemy that takes the award. The supporting cast, especially Nana's "sparrow" daughter and his wife, are also brilliant.
While Natasamrat evokes some hearty laughter in the first half, and shocks the audience into silence in the second, terminating with spontaneous applause to the brilliant performances when the end credits roll, this is the kind of movie you do not want to see at the beginning of a new year. While it is packed with powerful performances, it's not my kind of movie - it does nothing to lift your mood, it drowns your spirits, and the bitter aftertaste only serves to wrench your heart.
The world already has a lot of despair and sorrow. Give me something that gives me hope.