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Zee Marathi gears up to launch mythological show Jai Malhar

JAI MALHARMUMBAI: Zee Marathi, the foremost Marathi general entertainment channel, is gearing up to launch one of the costliest shows on Marathi television, ‘Jai Malhar’, on 18 May.

The mythological is based on the stories of Lord Khandoba, the most popular family deity in Maharashtra and a form of Lord Shiva. The pilot will be a one-hour episode, introducing the show, and for the first two weeks, the show will air every day from 7–7.30 pm. Following the Indian Premier League (1 June), it will be aired every Monday–Saturday.

mahesh kothare‘Jai Malhar’ is produced by noted Marathi filmmaker Mahesh Kothare, who has spent over one-and-a-half year conceptualising the show. “After the idea came to our mind, we pitched it to Zee Marathi and they instantly liked it. Once the channel OK’d the idea and gave its full support, we followed it up with rigorous research, planning and execution,” Kothare told TelevisionPost.com.

The show is based on the greatness and prowess of Khandoba (also known as Malhar) and it has all the ingredients—action, romance, intrigue—to make for good daily viewing, Kothare added.

He said that he and his team invested over eighteen months to bring the show alive. A huge set was erected in the Film City in Mumbai and a big team is working full time. “I am most thankful to the Film City for giving me the prime location, as it was sought after by some Hindi film producers too. The set alone cost Rs 1.30 crore, while we have spent Rs 50 lakh on costumes. This is one of the costliest shows on Marathi television and no show of this scale has ever been made,” added Kothare.

The show will depict the Krut yug (period) of mythological times for which the set is constructed on a two-acre land. “We have constructed the palace of Khandoba, the fort of Jejuri, popular temples and ashrams from that time. We conducted auditions in many major cities of Maharashtra including Nagpur, Kolhapur, etc. and have selected all new faces for the lead roles of Khandoba, Mhalsa and Baanai.”

Kothare has a contract for 312 episodes. Out of these, six are already banked, while he hopes to keep 20 episodes ready by the time the show launches. “The shooting is on and it takes time to add VFX. I am hoping that we will have 20 episodes in bank by the time we launch on 18 May.”

Deepak rajadhyakshaZee Marathi business head Deepak Rajadhyaksha said, “Mythology has always appealed to Indian audiences but nobody in Marathi industry has touched the subject as it demands extensive research and heavy investments. Zee Marathi has made an ambitious attempt to transform the saga of Maharashtra’s Lord Khandoba into a gripping and thoughtful show with state-of-the-art visual effects and presentation. The original mythological narrative hasn’t been disturbed. What has been modified is the style of narration making the story riveting and in tune with contemporary screen techniques.”

“We realised that we could get grip only if we managed to package the show with a contemporary touch. Thus, we decided to entrust this project in the hands of popular producer-director of Marathi cinema Mahesh Kothare. With great knowledge of the technical and graphical advances and his keen interest in the topic, we believe that he will successfully bring this challenging venture to life,” Rajadhyaksha added.

The executive director of the show is Kartik Kende and music director Pankaj Padghan (of ‘Tik Tik Vajate’ fame) has composed the title track of the show. Kothare said that the idea was of Santosh Ayachit’s, who is now the show’s creative head. Rupesh Tatkari is the director of photography while Satish Panchal is the art director and costumes are designed by Nilima Kothare and Neeta Khandke. VFX is managed by Chandrabhan and Abhijat.

Zee Marathi has already launched promotional campaign with a first look promo and teaser ad in leading dailies of Maharashtra giving a glimpse of the grandeur of the show.