indian cinema heritage foundation

Martoo (2013)

  • GenreDrama
  • LanguageKonkani
  • Run Time108.08 meters
  • Gauge35 mm
  • Censor RatingU
  • Censor Certificate NumberDIL/1/75/2013 Mum
  • Certificate Date21/08/2013

Forty-year-old Mortoo lives with his wife Parvati at Pisuddem. He does odd jobs for a living but cremating corpses is what he does best. Parvati who is childless feels that Mortoo should leave his profession and opt for a different job. A sarpanch, Sada, plans to install an electric crematorium, but his corrupt practices come in the way of implementing the scheme. Mortoo alerts the villagers to Sada’s schemes, and mobilizes them against him. Many fraudsters descend on Pisuddem, intending to exploit Mortoo. Sada, in a bid to take revenge, urges the villagers to expel Mortoo and Parvati from the village. They proceed to the city to fetch Billu.

Billu advises Mortoo to return to the village. With his tempo, they plan a transport business together. Sada grows jealous of their success. Meanwhile, Billu falls in love with Sada’s daughter Bindu. Mortoo devises a cremation plan that will cover the entire range of rituals at low costs. They meet the local MLA Gangotri, and he extends his support.

Unfortunately, Gangotri succumbs to a heart attack. His mistress is shamed on media, irritating his nephew, who has an eye on the vacant seat. Billu and Mortoo employ their wits to solve the problem, and host a funeral for Gangotri on media for a hefty sum. Gangotri’s nephews help them, and the two end up earning a lot of money from the venture. Bindu and Billu are married, and Parvati and Mortoo are finally at peace again.

The film was shot in Kannkonn, Telaulim, Ponda and Poingunim. It received favourable responses at international film festivals as well. As a black comedy, the first of its kind made in the Konkani film industry, the director Jitendra Shikerkar noted in an interview that Martoo made waves. Martoo went on to become India’s entry for the Melbourne International Film Festival of India. It was also screened at the International Film Festival of India in 2013.