It starts in 1647 when India was Bharat. We see Tanaji (Ajay Devgn) taking some training lessons from his dad while he’s a kid. His dad passes away but with a promise that Tanhaji will fight for the freedom of the country.
17 years later we see Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj (Sharad Kelkar) fighting with Mughals with only one aim ‘Swaraj’ (self-rule). Tanhaji becomes his favourite apprentice and a family to him. The army of Marathas faces a barbaric Udhaybhan (Saif Ali Khan). Tanhaji jumps in to face him and what happens next is hi’story’.
Director Om Raut takes the help of Prakash Kapadia to pen this intriguing story. It’s all available in history but Om & Prakash cinematise the facts to elevate the watching experience. Yes, they take a lot of liberty and that’s where most of the people will have an issue with. The movie starts at a good pace but crawls hardly reaching the interval point.
Ajay Devgn is brilliant with his portrayal of Tanaji Malusare. As usual, he speaks more with his eyes and less with his mouth. He gets the accent right and delivers difficult dialogues with clarity and ease. The best thing about Saif Ali Khan’s character is that he never reminds you of Ranveer Singh’s Khilji. Though both of them have a similar graph Saif manages too carve his own niche with a crazy-good performance. Kajol is there for a handful of scenes and looks beautiful. Sharad Kelkar as Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj is the surprise package.
This is Om Raut’s first Bollywood film and he’s unbelievably good at his art. Yes, he lacks the zing as a storyteller but as far as being behind the camera to lead the film – he has done a good job. He manages to perfect all the departments but there are certain issues everywhere.
Out of all, just one song works and that’s Sachet-Parampara’s, Ghamand Kar. The song’ss background score is outstanding and is used a lot of times rightfully. Sandeep Shirodkar’s background score leaves a huge impact on many of the scenes.
Ramazan Bulut is the man behind the action sequences of movies like Rush & Inferno. He has designed the action in Tanhaji and he’s brilliant at it. Skipping the usual slo-mo techniques, Ramazan manages to achieve some smooth fight scenes. Keiko Nakahara’s camera goes through the angles we rarely see in Bollywood. Dharmendra Sharma’s editing should’ve been better in the first half.
Overall, Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior provides a history lesson but with entertainment. Some of the facts are twisted, the first half is slow, takes time to build-up but nevertheless, it deserves appreciation.