Tanhaji The Unsung Warrior is a visual treat and keeps you involved in this chapter of history, where a braveheart gives up his life in the line of duty.
Seti n 1600s, Tanhaji narrates the story of the patriotic and fiercely loyal Maratha warrior subhedar Tanhaji Malusare (Ajay Devgn). Tanhaji is a childhood friend and the military leader of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj (played by Sharad Kelkar) and Maharaj trusts him with is life.
The story is set before and during the famous battle of Sinhagad between the Marathas and Aurangazeb (played by Luke Kenny). While the Mughals have captured most of the forts owned by Maharaj, the capturing of Kondhana fort remains the bone of contention as the rajmata Jijabai (Padmavati Rao) takes it as a personal humiliation. She swears to not wear footwear till Kondana is reclaimed by the Marathas.
Shivaji plans to reclaim the fort and Aurangazeb chooses to send his loyalist Udaybhan (Saif Ali Khan), a Rajput to lead his army to protect the fort. Shivaji Maharaj doesn’t want to involve Tanhaji in this mission as Tanhaji’s son is about to get married. When Tanhaji comes to know of this he manages to convince him otherwise.
Director Om Raut successfully creates a contrasting world of Marathas and Mughals even as he narrates the story of valour from both sides. The film drags a little in the first half, but picks pace in the second half and ends in a scintillating climax scene. There is a generous use of CGI, but thankfully it merges well with the narration. While the actual story of what happened in Sindhugad is just a chapter, the writers (Prakash Kapadia and Om Raut) manage to pad it up with a liberal dose of creative liberties.
Ajay Devgn looks and acts the part very well..Kajol plays Tanhaji’s devoted wife Savitribai and she’s very good. Kelkar as Shivaji is a perfect fit, But the film clearly belongs to Saif Ali Khan. While his character of a ruthless and devilish soldier is etched out pretty well, Saif brings in his own charm and humour into it and ends up giving an outstanding performance. Raut gets a good ensemble cast except for Luke Kenny who as Aurangazeb seems too much of a stretch of imagination.
A special mention has to be made of the action director Ramazan Bullut, who has done a super job, especially in the climax.
Stars: *** and half