'Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior' has a lot of elements to entertain audience as superior performances, powerful action, visual impact, and a story from the pages of history.
About the story, the film spins around the life of the fierce Maratha warrior, Tanhaji Malusare, who was one of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj’s closest aides and a military leader. It emphases on the famous Battle of Sinhagad (February 4, 1670), which saw Tanhaji take on Udaybhan, a Rajput who fought for Aurangzeb against the Marathas.
Film Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior portrays the heroic battle of Sinhagadh, from the pages of history, where Ajay Devgn essays the glorious character of Tanhaji Malusare, who was the military commander of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, who fought against the Mughals in the battle. The movie shows the bravery of the Marathas in all its glorious pride. Saif Ali Khan is essaying the antagonist, Udaybhan Rathodh, the fortkeeper under Jai Singh, who was a Mughal Army Chief, and Kajol is seen in the role of Savitribai, Tanhaji’s loving wife. How the Marathas under the leadership of Tanhaji seized the Kondana fort by plotting a surgical strike forms the climax?
Under the Treaty of Purandar, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj (Sharad Kelkar) surrendered 23 forts to Aurangzeb (Luke Kenny), including the Kondhana (now called Sinhagad), which was of strategic importance. Rajmata Jijabai (Padmavati Rao) swore that she would walk bare feet till the fort is recaptured by the Marathas. Four years later, Aurangzeb sends Udaybhan (Saif Ali Khan) with a huge army and a massive canon called 'naagin', to ensure that Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj cannot reclaim the fort. While Shivaji Maharaj plans a campaign, he doesn't want to send his trusted lieutenant and dear friend, Subedar Tanhaji Malusare on the battlefield, as the latter's son is about to get married. When Tanhaji gets to know of the 'mohim' (campaign), he implores Shivaji Maharaj to give him an opportunity to win Kondhana. His wife, Savitribai (Kajol) proves to be his silent strength. Despite the evil intentions of some like Pisal (Ajinkya Deo), Tanhaji manages to make inroads into the fort that is considered impregnable. A fierce battle ensues where Tanhaji fights the deadly Udaybhan. While the story is known, several creative liberties have been taken to capture the attention of the audience.
About the performances, Ajay Devgn is in top form essaying the braveheart Maratha warrior, Tanhaji, with all his might. Ajay Devgn’s ability to deliver emotions through his expressive eyes, brings Tanhaji alive, but Saif Ali Khan with his remarkable performance as the wicked beast Udaybhan Rathod steals the show. Saif as Udaybhan brings out the cruelty and devilish streak of his character with finesse and ferocity. Kajol fits in perfectly as the strong Maratha wife, whose glory lies in her husband's win at the battlefield. Kajol with her fluent Marathi accent delivers an authentic act with her character. Sharad Kelkar essays the royal Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, and does full justice to the little screen space that he has. The strong emotional bond between Chatrapati and his right hand is warm and personal. But what make this movie a true winner is its terrifically filmed climax, which doubles its impact with the tremendous performances by Saif and Ajay, leaving you spellbound.
A few songs are OK. The background score is able to enhance the cinematic experience with effective screenplay. The roaring score in the blazing fighting sequences and ignited battlefield will leave a lingering impact of the glorious epic battle in the audience’s hearts.
It is an absolute visual cinematic treat due to its high end VFX and CGI work, which makes this film a must watch in 3D. Director Om Raut in his directorial debut has managed to deliver a magnum opus which is all set to roar at the box office.
Director Om Raut shows a flair for storytelling in his debut Hindi movie. He maintains a firm grip on the film and balances the emotions and drama with tact. 'Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior' is praiseworthy on various reasons as superior performances, powerful action, visual impact, and most of all, it unfolds a story from the pages of history that deserved to be told, with just this kind of intensity, passion and vigour.
Overall, film Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior is worthy to watch for its high end VFX and CGI work and stellar performances of star cast.