Ever since I’d seen its trailers, I was excited about watching the movie Lokmanya: Ek Yug Purush. It is a Marathi film that was released in the theaters on 2nd January, 2015 and its lead actor, Subodh Bhave, received widespread praise for his portrayal of Lokmanya Tilak. It was a pretty solid movie, but the thing that I was most excited about was the preparation and efforts that had gone into making it. It was exciting to see a Marathi film in this form. I went for its screening on the very first day and thoroughly enjoyed it. The make-up and the sets, along with the dialogues and the music were top notch. I was glad to see a Marathi film of this quality running housefull shows around the city.
I had decided to purchase a copy of the film whenever it was going to be released to the public. I wanted to own a high-quality version of the film and would gladly pay for a Blu-ray of it. Leading up to its release, I tried contacting its director, @omraut via Twitter, to ask him whether they’d be releasing Blu-ray version of the film (Marathi films usually get released on Blu-rays), but unfortunately received no response from him. I was hoping if not for a Blu-ray, we’d at least get the option of a legal, digital download in 1080p via iTunes or Google Play Movies.
Unfortunately, the film only got released on CD and DVD. Fine, I said, and went ahead and pre-ordered the DVD anyway via Amazon . While I waited for the delivery, a friend of mine told me that a 720p version of the film was already out on torrents and that he’d already downloaded it and watched it. Since I’d already pre-ordered the DVD, I told him I’d just wait for its delivery.
When the DVD got delivered, I was throughly disappointed. The DVD packaging was flimsy and terrible and when I tried to play the DVD, it just wouldn’t play. I tried to rip it using Handbrake, but that kept failing too. I looked up on Amazon and apparently I wasn’t the only one. Two others had complained that their DVDs too were corrupt and wouldn’t play at all.
Here I was, all excited about a movie I really liked, ready to pay good money to own a high-quality version for viewing at home but without any options to do so. The copy that I legally bought and paid for ended up not working at all. On the other hand, my friend who pirated a copy not only watched a much higher quality version than my DVD, he also got to watch it much before me. And of course, he would watch the entire film without trouble.