Ashdoc's movie review---Tanhaji , the unsung warrior

Dec 7, 2017
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The movie shows Ajay Devgan play Tanaji Malusare , the Maratha warrior who was instrumental in the recapture of the fort of Kondhana from the Mughals by the forces of Shivaji maharaj .

However , the history of what actually happened has been considerably changed in the movie . The entire movie has considerable fiction though some touch with what had really happened has been barely maintained somehow .

The one major plus point of the movie is that it gives publicity to Tanaji Malusare in regions of India outside Maharashtra in a similar manner in which the movie 'Bajirao Mastani' gave publicity to Bajirao . Thus warriors popular in Maharashtra but little known outside it now have become known outside Maharashtra . This has been helped by the tremendous box office success of both movies .

The fort of kondhana was defended for the Mughals by it's Rajput commander Udaybhan , who was nothing but a soldier doing his job in real life . But in the movie the character of Udaybhan has been raised to the status of a villain by the acting of Saif Ali Khan . He has kidnapped a Rajput widow with whom he was in love before her marriage and she and her brother play a part in helping Maratha forces capture the fort by keeping Udaybhan distracted---all completely fictional and no such Rajput widow ever existed .

Amazingly , in the movie Tanaji makes a trip to the fort even before he actually captures it---needless to say , all this is completely fictional . Also completely fictional is the huge cannon called 'naagin' ( female cobra ) which Udaybhan has towed to the fort and has pointed towards Shivaji's capital Rajgad .

The character played by Shivaji is relatively sidelined in the movie ; his mother Jijabai has relatively more prominence . The movie is dominated by the rivalry between the character played by Ajay Devgan ( Tanaji called Tanhaji in the movie ) and the character played by Saif Ali Khan ( Udaybhan Rathod ) . Saif hardly looks like a Rajput warrior . His clothes are almost completely black like a muslim warrior .

Kajol plays Tanaji's wife and she looks and acts nicely . Acting by Ajay Devgan and Saif Ali Khan in their respective roles is decent without being spectacular . Colours and photography are decent while songs and background music are okay . The film has some well directed action scenes of fighting between the opposing forces .

As a hindu nationalist I liked the prominence given to the bhagwa jhenda ( saffron flag ) of Hinduism in the movie . Inspite of all the changes made by the movie makers to the real story of the capture of kondhana , the movie was entertaining enough for me to forgive the radical changes made to the history I had heard since childhood .

Verdict---Decent .

Three stars out of five .