Rajeev Masand’s Review Of Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior

Cast: Ajay Devgn, Saif Ali Khan, Sharad Kelkar, Kajol, Luke Kenny
Director: Om Raut

Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior stars Ajay Devgn because the valorous hero of the movie’s title, Chhatrapati Shivaji’s trusted lieutenant Subedar Tanhaji Malasure, who, in response to legend, by no means backed away from a struggle. Yet it’s Saif Ali Khan, taking part in the movie’s villain, who seems to be having extra enjoyable.

Saif performs Udaybhan, Mughal emperor Aurangzeb’s Rajput common, who sports activities black robes, a thick beard, a misleading smile, and an endless urge for food for cruelty. Let’s simply say he’s minimize from the identical fabric as Ranveer Singh’s Alauddin Khilji.

The movie, directed by Om Raut, is about within the 12 months 1670, and focuses on the Battle of Sinhagad between the Marathas and the Mughals. History has it that Tanhaji deserted his son’s wedding ceremony to defend the Kondhana Fort close to Pune from Udaybhan and his troops.

The filmmakers persist with the broad strokes of the story, however particulars look like cheerfully exaggerated and fictionalised. Characters, communities, and empires are lowered to archetypes. The Marathas are all noble, swaraj-worshipping warriors; the Mughals are opportunistic, deceitful, invaders.

Over practically two hours and fifteen minutes the stage is about for a sprawling epic that’s frankly much less historic and extra motion saga. It can also be the easiest way to take pleasure in this movie. Tanhaji is first launched within the movie swooping down on the enemy in a ravine, his males and him vanquishing them with technique and sheer daring. It’s a shocking entry.

The movie is mounted on an extravagant scale, with large units, massive motion set items, booming background music, and elaborate costumes. There is greater than a whiff of Sanjay Leela Bhansali and significantly Padmaavat within the movie’s lighting and color tones. The cinematography by Keiko Nakahara is sweeping, very a lot in line with the general temporary of aesthetics.

The motion scenes are particularly efficient, and additional enhanced in case you select to observe the movie in 3D. Sequences depicting the guerilla ways employed by the Marathas to scale the fort are excellently executed, and the ultimate battle between Tanhaji and Udaybhan is nothing in need of spectacular. With a lethal cannon aimed within the route of Shivaji’s Rajgad Fort, the 2 males face off in a bloody struggle to the end.

Of the solid, Kajol reveals up within the position of Tahaji’s spouse Savitri, and the scenes between them profit from the actors’ simple chemistry. Sharad Kelkar properly channels Chhatrapati Shivaji’s the Aristocracy, and Luke Kenny is an impressed casting alternative for the position of Aurangzeb.

Ajay Devgn brings unmistakable earnestness to the position of the honourable warrior. It is to his credit score that even whereas mouthing heavy dialogues loaded with repeated use of phrases like “bhagwaa dhwaj”, he roots the hero in a type of relatable humanity. The scene-stealer, nevertheless, is Saif Ali Khan who sinks his tooth into the position of Udaybhan. His sadistic common is a person who throws chilly water on sleeping prisoners, and in a single scene sends a poor guard falling to his loss of life after screaming in his face.

It should even be mentioned that Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior speaks on to our hyper-nationalistic local weather. The historical past is doubtful, the politics problematic. It feeds into what appears to have grow to be Bollywood’s most well-liked stereotype of the enemy: all savage, brutal, ruthless ‘outsiders’.

If you may look past that, you’ll respect the strong filmmaking, the visceral battle scenes, and a scrumptious efficiency by an actor who’s seldom received his due. For some that shall be sufficient. I’m going with three out of 5 for Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior.

Rating: 3 / 5