TANHAJI

Director- Om Raut

Writers- Prakash Kapadia, Om Raut

Cast- Ajay Devgn, Kajol, Saif Ali Khan, Neha Sharma, Sharad Kelkar

In a nutshell

This historical biographical saga about maratha warrior Tanhaji Malusare is an engaging period film that impresses on quite a many fronts.

Plot

The plot focuses on 17th century India, when marathas and mughals were at loggerheads to have complete control over India.

Fort Kondhana was a strategic fort in Deccan that was taken over by mughals from Chatrapati Shivaji under a war treaty. When Aurangzeb decides to make it a seat of Mughal Empire for Deccan area, it becomes extremely important to wrench it back from them.

Close aide of Shivaji Maharaj (Sharad Kelkar),Subedar Tanhaji Malasure( Ajay) was a brave and revered warrior who had seen his father die on battlefield and taken a wow to defend Sawaraj with his life. When he comes to know about the plan about Fort Kondhana’s conquest, he decides to lead it, irrespective of the fact that his son’s marriage is round the corner.

Udaybhan(Saif) is a brave , barbaric and trusted warrior of Aurangzeb who was sent by him to take charge of Kondhana.

The film tells us a tale of bravery and valour about how Tanhaji fulfils his promise of protecting his motherland.

The Crew :

The film is a maiden Hindi venture of director OM RAUT and I would say he’s done a great job. I always believe it’s not easy to make periodicals and specially battle films. The high points in this one being ,the visuals, music ,performances, special effects, battle scenes have all been brought together well in a story that remains crisp and focused.

Writer PRAKASH KAPADIA who has written most of Bhansali’s films has written the film along with Om Raut.

KEIKO NAKAHARA’s cinematography was impressive. His filmography include Bollywood films like Mary Kom, Noor, Total Dhamaal etc. This seems his first Bollywood historical .The special effects and the battle scenes were great.

Music by AJAY ATUL & SACHET PARAMPARA was good.

The fantastic background score deserves a special mention and had a lot to do with the adrenaline rush we felt.

Performances:

AJAY DEVGUN gives a good restrained performance as a doting family man and a devoted warrior of motherland who lives by ethos and bravery.

SAIF is good as the dark, whimsical and barbaric warrior albeit his characterisation has a very “ seen before kinda look”. That man never fails to impress with his diverse choice of roles.

SHARAD KELKAR had a lot of responsibility in portraying a character who is extremely revered but was not the central one here. He managed to portray the imperial but empathetic and brave but emotional side of Shivaji Maharaj.

KAJOL was great in her small but important role. She’s an actress who has mastered portraying difficult emotions. As a loving and doting family woman, proud wife, she impresses with her portrayal of love, fear, doubt and bravery.

There was something good and refreshing about Kenny Luke’s portrayal as Aurangzeb sans the loudness and unnecessary dark and melodramatic villainy.

What’s Good:

The film offers a peep into another important chapter in history, another saga of valour. Its special effects and camera work along with performances and battle scenes make it visually impressive and engaging watch.

What’s not :

I feel Udaybhan’s character had way too much Mughal /Afghan look and feel and was over dramatic. Looks like the makers were too impressed with the negative characters like Khilji.

In fact Kamal (Neha Sharma) hardly looked a Rajput in terms of her costume and get up. These two aspects stood out like a sore thumb.

Recommendation:

The film is a must watch for those who love period dramas. It’s an engaging and entertaining one.

It’s a good watch for many reasons mentioned above and the good performances. Ajay, Saif, Kajol fans would have a lot to swoon over.

Score 7 on 10

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