Movie: Tanhaji The Unsung Warrior
Cast: Ajay Devgn, Saif Ali Khan, Kajol
Director: Om Raut
Duration: 2 hours 15 minutes
Critic’s rating: 3/5
Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior is based in the 17th century and traces the life of Tanhaji Malusare (Ajay Devgn), the military leader of Shivaji Maharaj, founder of the Maratha Empire. It focuses on the famous Battle of Kondana (now Sinhagad) which saw Tanhaji take on Uday Bhan (Saif Ali Khan), a Rajput who fought for Aurangzeb against the Marathas.
The film that is hitting the theatres this Friday along with Deepika Padukone’s Chhapaak is Ajay Devgn’s Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior. The film is special for numerous reasons whether it marks the 100th film of Ajay Devgn in the industry or Ajay and Kajol reuniting on the screen after nine long years.
Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior is a story of a brave Maratha warrior Tanhaji Malusare, Subedar to Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. The film starts with Maratha’s cry for freedom from the Mughal Empire’s regime and their re-capture of the strategic Kondana Fort, now known as Sinhagad Fort.
Although the film is what you would expect historical fiction to be – magnanimous, larger than life and visually satisfying, what lacks in it is the impression the characters leave with you at the end of it.
Ajay plays and justifies the loyalty, zeal and passion of the great Maratha warrior but apart from the action sequences that Ajay is generally good at, his character doesn’t stay with you for long after you exit the movie theatre. On the other hand, Kajol, who plays the character of Savitri Bai (Tanhaji’s wife), for what little role she gets in the film, outshines everyone she shares screen space with.
The actress is brilliant in her individual scenes but looks awkward playing Ajay’s wife onscreen which should have been fluid and frankly, a cakewalk.
But the actor who surpassed all my expectations is Saif Ali Khan who played the role of Uday Bhan Rathore with a flair which doesn’t come naturally to him otherwise. Saif is overpowering; he brings out the fierce and brutal streak with finesse and a tinge of humour. This definitely is Saif’s most outstanding performance.
Another high point is the casting of Sharad Kelkar as Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj who looks the part and brings the soul of the warrior-king in his portrayal.
Director Om Raut who made his directorial debut with the film has a flair for storytelling and its evident. The background score for the film by Sandeep Shirodkar is apt and sets the tone of the movie brilliantly.