Tanhaji: The unsung warrior starring Ajay Devgn, Saif Ali Khan, Kajol, Sharad Kelkar and others has become the first hit film of the decade and is set to cross Rs 100 crore mark. Battling stiff competition not just from the films released on the same day like Rajnikanth’s Darbar and Deepika Padukone’s Chhapaak, Tanhaji also faced a challenge from Akshay Kumar and Kareena Kapoor Khan starrer Good Newws which was the last release of 2019 and is still going good at the box office. Directed by Om Raut, Tanhaji opened with a figure of just over Rs 15 crore on Friday. Decent reviews by critics and great word-of-mouth by audiences propelled the film’s box office collection to Rs 20.57 crore on Saturday and Rs 26.08 crore on Sunday, giving it well over Rs 60 crore opening weekend collection. We look at five reasons why the film is getting brilliant reactions from the general public which is reflecting in its box office numbers:
1. Script and screenplay
The film begins with a battle sequence which sets the tone of the film and starts gathering steam as the film moves. Film’s narrative keeps the audiences glued as there is no or very little screen time wasted on things which are not important for the main narrative. The crescendo keeps on building and ends in a grand climax. This keeps audiences invested in what the director wants to convey. The screenplay by Prakash Kapadia and Om Raut hits the ball out of the park.
2. 3D that feels like 3D and superb cinematography
Off-late, we have seen many 3D movies and some of them have left audiences wondering about the need of it at all. It becomes heavy on their pocket but does not give them the experience that a 3D movie promises. Tanhaji justifies its 3D format. The cinematography by Keiko Nakahara is precise for the format. You feel arrows and spears spading toward you and pass. You feel the depth of the gorge, the flow of river and grandeur of a palace. Everything is spot-on.
3. Baahubali-esque action sequences
Tanhaji is a historical movie based on the Battle of Sinhagadh or Kondhana as it was known then. Maratha-Mawala warriors led by Tanaji Malusare fought Mughal army under the command of Uday Bhan Singh Rathore. The film has many battle sequences and all of them are grand. Many viewers have termed the climax battle between Ajay Devgn and Saif Ali Khan being as good as or even better than Bahubali’s climax fight scene between Prabhas and Rana Dagubatti. Action director Ramazan Bulut and fight designer Tolga Degirmen have brilliantly choreographed Tanhaji’s fight scenes. They are high-on adrenaline, fast and engaging.
4. Ajay Devgn and Saif Ali Khan’s brilliance
In a historical film, it is important that actors look the part they are playing and execute it to perfection. Ajay Devgn and Saif Ali Khan share a great onscreen camaraderie. They have worked together in superhit films like Kachche Dhaage and Omkara and together, they put the screen on fire. Ajay Devgn easily transforms into the Mawala warrior and Saif Ali Khan has looked menacing as the antagonist. Saif is fierce and raw, giving one of the best negative performances in Hindi cinema.
5 Sharad Kelkar as Shivaji and an inspired ensemble cast
The inspiration for Tanaji Malusare to lead his army on one of the toughest battles ahead of his son’s wedding was his unwavering loyalty towards Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, the founder of the Maratha empire. A weak onscreen portrayal of the latter risked derailment of the entire plot of this movie. Sharad Kelkar has portrayed everything that we imagine about Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. He looks straight out of the Great Maratha’s portraits. Sharad Kelkar is poised and graceful and his onscreen persona looks that of an emperor who commanded the respect and loyalty of his followers. Kajol as Tanaji’s wife and Luke Kenny as Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb are great casting choices for their respective characters.