Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior (2020) – Movie Review

Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior is the fictionalized biographical period action film directed by Om Raut.

The film sets in the late 17th century, when the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb (Luke Kenny) declares strategic hill fortress Kondhana as the Mughal base of Southern India, with an intent to expand his empire. And sends his trusted commander Uday Bhan (Saif Ali Khan) to defend the fortress. However, the Maratha Emperor Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj (Sharad Kelkar) enlists his General Tanhaji Malusare (Ajay Devgan) to capture Kondhana at any cost to protect Southern India from Mughal invasion.

The film is based on the life of the great Maratha Warrior Tanhaji Malusare. The film mainly focuses on the Battle of Kondhana. But it is the fictionalized version of that story. And even before the film starts, the makers declare in the disclaimer that the film does not claim to be historically accurate. With that liberty, the film even tries to make itself aligned with the current socio-political environment and ideology.

The film has a very strong plot. But sadly, the film weakens in the storytelling and just feels like the series of not so impacting dialogue exchange. There are some impassioned monologues. But there are hardly any good conversations written for its characters, which are actually required for character development, and it makes them hollow. Whatever is written, only in that much space, both the leads manage to pull off the powerful performances and tries to keep the film interesting and entertaining. The only thing that bugged me regarding the characters was their stereotyping (Saif’s character is over-villainized).

The production cost of the film is high, as the film heavily depends on the practical sets and CGI. Overall, the CGI work is just satisfactory, because at some places it is too noticeable and looks fake. I don’t remember seeing any real locations where the film was shot, and that’s why this film to me is far away from realism. The background score of the film is really good, I liked it a lot, but sometimes it is used unnecessarily. The story wasn’t as much gripping as I was expecting it to be. But I thoroughly enjoyed the action sequences in it, especially the last one. The film is character-centric and mostly depends on the moments of goosebumps, and the audience’s emotional drive towards its story and its characters.

Verdict : The film is an emotional experience and definitely worth a watch for witnessing the courageous story of the great Maratha Warrior Tanhaji Malusare.

Rating : 3.8/5

Check the trailer here : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cffAGIYTEHU&t=64s

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