Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior Movie Review - Ajay Devgn's Film Is A Treat For The Eye, If Not For The Mind

Tanhaji: the unsung warrior movie review - ajay devgn and saif ali khan are in their elements. kajol gives a great account of herself..

Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior Movie Review - Ajay Devgn's Film Is A Treat For The Eye, If Not For The Mind

Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior Movie Review - A poster of the film (courtesy ajaydevgn )

Cast: Ajay Devgn, Saif Ali Khan, Kajol, Sharad Kelkar

Director: Om Raut

Rating: 2.5 stars (out of 5)

A treat for the eye, if not for the mind, Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior , co-produced by lead actor Ajay Devgn, is a 3D period biopic that gives historicity a wide berth and pieces together a dramatic enactment of a 17th century Maratha conquest of a strategic fort under the control of Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb. The makers of the film do admit as much in an upfront disclaimer upfront to cover their tracks and assuage any outrage that might be caused by the liberties that they have taken.

The two principal stars of Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior , Devgn and Saif Ali Khan, in the guise of a ferocious Rajput fort-keeper who is unquestioningly trusted by Aurangzeb, are in their elements. It is another matter that the warriors that they play are shorn of authenticity.

Neither the hero Tanaji Malusare, an iconic Maratha military general who served Shivaji before he was coronated as the Chhatrapati, nor Udaybhan Singh (Saif Ali Khan), a brutal warrior, is human. The former is a paragon of rectitude and valour, a man so intrepid that he puts his son's wedding on hold to lead the assault on the hill fort of Kondhana. The latter is Devil Incarnate, a ruthless taskmaster who grandly declares that in his darbar pardon isn't an option, only punishment is. As a result, any nuanced portrait of a fierce confrontation is ruled out.

Director Om Raut, making his Hindi-language debut, confuses scale with cinematic finesse. To his credit, however, Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior is not devoid of visual flourishes. Most of them are a result of the work of the CGI technicians and the 3D cinematography by Japan-born, US-trained Keiko Nakahara. Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior is impressively mounted and the climactic sequences are first-rate. But too much artifice and too little authenticity is the film's bane.

The storyline, derived from a chapter in the annals of the Maratha Empire and run through a blender devised by a blinkered Bollywood, is simple. The proto-nationalist is Hindu, a pious, God-fearing family man who thinks nothing of putting the empire (equated facilely with nation) before self. The antagonist is Hindu, too, but fights on the side of a Muslim emperor, which makes him worse, a traitor beyond redemption. Udaybhan is a Rajput, but the film makes it a point not to show him as a man who has anything to do with worship and prayer. He is Godless and, therefore, beyond salvation.

Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior starts with a brief mid-17th century prelude. Tanaji is a boy but he is already a skilled swordsman and fighter. His doting father is impressed no end. The old man dies in battle, leaving his prized scimitar behind with his son. Jump to 1664. Under the treaty of Purandar, Shivaji surrenders 23 of his forts to the Mughals. The ruler's mother, Jijabai (Padmavathi Rao), vows to walk barefoot until Kondhana Fort is wrested back.

Four years on, Shivaji plans an attack on the fort but conceals the information from Tanaji, his most trusted aide, because the latter is preparing for his pre-teen son's wedding back in the village. It is a child marriage, but this is the 1660s, so let's refrain from calling anything into question.

Another warrior in the Maratha court, Chandraji Pisal (Ajinkya Deo), who envies Tanaji's clout, spills the beans when latter accompanied by his wife Savitribai (Kajol) travels to Raigad to extend a wedding invitation to Shivaji. Tanaji confronts Shivaji and requests him to let him lead the assault on Fort Kondhana. The fort first, only then my son's wedding, the general proclaims. Shivaji is forced to acquiesce.

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Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior Movie Review - Kajol is Savitribai, Tanaji's wife

Udaybhan Singh, Aurangzeb's former chief bodyguard, is now in charge of the impregnable fortress that stands atop a steep rocky hill. Here he holds a young widow Kamla (Neha Sharma) captive after dragging her out from her dead husband's pyre, but he does not force her in any way to surrender to his advances. I will wait until your 'no' changes to 'yes', he says. Udaybhan is an evil man but here we have him performing two acts of surprising 'nobility': not only does he prevent a Rajput woman from committing Sati , he also decides that consent matters.

But that facet of the villain's personality is drowned out in the portrayal of an evil man who chops off an elephant's trunk, pushes a cowering guard over a precipice for a minor lapse and slaughters his adversaries without batting an eyelid. Saif's Udaybhan is Ranveer Singh's Alauddin Khilji revisited. In one scene, he feasts on a crocodile being slow-roasted on fire, which is meant to underline how perverse the man is.

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Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior Movie Review - Saif ali Khan has been cast as Udaybhan Singh

The impulse to project Tanaji Malusare as a morally infallible man wedded to the cause of swaraj is easy to understand in the light of the glut of the Hindu-Muslim binary-pushing historical sagas that a segment of Bollywood is so in thrall of these days.

The emphasis on the colour bhagwa (saffron), too, is understandable - that was the colour of the Maratha confederacy's flag - but the constant reference to the adversaries of the Marathas as shaitaan (devil) and darinda (beast of prey) only serves to further a simplistic narrative that ignores the historical realities that obtained in this vast, diverse land of ours 350 years ago.

Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior , written by long-time Sanjay Leela Bhansali collaborator Prakash Kapadia with Om Raut, foists a terribly dull voice-over on the audience to guide it through a distorted history lesson. The best that it can manage, by way of an introduction, are cliched lines to the effect that in the mid-17th century India was a " sone ki chidiya " grievously wounded by a wave of invasions. Come up with something new, for god's sake!

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Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior Movie Review - Ajay Devgn in a still from the movie

On the positive side, for a swords-and-spears costume drama, Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior is pretty crisp. The performances breathe some life into the proceedings when the show threatens to turn overly stuffy. While Devgn and Khan deliver some neat blows on the way to the final face-off, the supporting cast members, notably Sharad Kelkar as Shivaji, Luke Kenny as Aurangzeb and, of course, Kajol, give a great account of themselves.

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'Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior' scores on various counts - 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.

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Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior Movie Review: This story of a braveheart makes for a thrilling watch

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In-depth Analysis

Our overall critic’s rating is not an average of the sub scores below.

Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior - Official Trailer

Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior - Official Trailer

Tanhaji​: The Unsung Warrior - Motion Poster

Tanhaji​: The Unsung Warrior - Motion Poster

Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior - The Making Of Ra Ra Ra

Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior - The Making Of Ra Ra Ra

Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior | Song Teaser - Shankara Re Shankara

Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior | Song Teaser - Shankara Re Sh...

Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior | Song - Shankara Re Shankara

Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior | Song - Shankara Re Shankara

Tanhaji​: The Unsung Warrior - Official Marathi Teaser

Tanhaji​: The Unsung Warrior - Official Marathi Teaser

Tanhaji​: The Unsung Warrior - Official Marathi Trailer

Tanhaji​: The Unsung Warrior - Official Marathi Trailer

Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior | Song - Maay Bhavani

Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior | Song - Maay Bhavani

Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior | Song - Ghamand Kar

Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior | Song - Ghamand Kar

Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior - Official Trailer

Tanhaji​: The Unsung Warrior - Dialogue Promo

Tanhaji​: The Unsung Warrior - Dialogue Promo

Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior - Dialogue Promo

Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior - Dialogue Promo

Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior - The Making

Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior - The Making

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  • This film marks the first collaboration of uncle-nephew duo Anil Kapoor and Arjun Kapoor. Arjun is the son of Anil’s brother Boney Kapoor. Share
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Tanhaji The Unsung Warrior movie review: Ajay Devgn’s classic century, Saif Ali Khan goes bad in style

Tanhaji the unsung warrior movie review: ajay devgn and saif ali khan’s film is a complete package. it’s magnificent, high on visual effects and has powerful action backed by rock solid performances..

Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior Director - Om Raut Cast - Ajay Devgn, Saif Ali Khan, Kajol

Tanhaji The Unsung Warrior movie review: Ajay Devgn hits a century in style.

Hindi cinema loves revisiting India’s glorious past and telling the stories of heroism and bravery. After last year’s Panipat paid tribute to Maratha pride, 2020 has begun on a high note with the story of yet another unsung Maratha hero, Tanhaji.

With Tanhaji The Unsung Warrior , Ajay Devgn hits his century – this is the actor’s 100th film. A visual spectacle from the word go, the films boasts of a stellar cast including Saif Ali Khan and Kajol besides Ajay, elaborate sets, larger-than-life characters, quality special effects and edge-of-the-seat war scenes. Everything has been put together so beautifully that it belongs to the category India prizes -- a complete paisa vasool.

Also Watch: Public review of Ajay Devgn & Kajol starrer Tanhaji

The basic premise is known: Tanhaji Malusare (Devgn) a trusted Subedar of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj (Sharad Kelkar) is determined to reclaim the Kondhana Fort (now called Sinhagad), which Shivaji had to cede to the shrewd Mughal emperor Aurangzeb (Luke Kenny) under the treaty of Purandhar. Tanhaji, with brave Maratha soldiers backing him, succeeds in capturing the fort that is being guarded by the emperor’s trusted aide and Rajput commander, Udaybhan (Saif Ali Khan) and a massive canon called ‘naagin’. A fierce battle ensues that leads to the ultimate yet known climax.

Makers here played rather smart by clearly stating in the disclaimer that they don’t vouch for the historic accuracy of events shown in the film, thus safely evading any possibility of flak from historians.

Ajay Devgn in a still from Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior.

Tanhaji is mounted on a grand scale and its visuals do make you sit up and take notice. It is evident in Tanhaji’s introduction shot itself where he is standing on top of a cliff with ropes tied to his waist, waiting for his enemies to arrive. The excessive use of CGI (Computer Generated Images) is evident but it seamlessly blends in the narrative that you don’t find it awkward. The film fully relies on CGI and VFX and it could have fallen flat if it failed to create this impact.

The picturesque locations are a sight to behold as are the sword fights performed with finesse and perfection. In fact, these battles are as beautifully choreographed and synchronized as dance sequences. And here, full credit goes to action director Ramazan Bulut. Even the rousing background score by Sandeep Shirodkar is the film’s strength and amps up the mood during war scenes.

For a debut attempt in a Hindi-language film, director Om Raut has hit the ball out of the park. He has taken cinematic liberty to an extent that you know some parts are unreal and fictional yet his make-believe approach keeps you invested. Raut’s direction gets full marks for he lets his characters do what they’re best at.

Tanhaji is loaded with ace performances but it lets the special effect overshadow the characters at times. You want to focus on what the actor is doing but the in-your-face VFX and 3D effects are distracting. In fact, with actors that you can fully trust, the film would have had an impact even if it was not made in 3D. I mean experiencing arrows piercing through the screen and heading in your direction can get a little distracting after a while. Also, some special effects are stretched to the limit that it tests your patience. The one scene where Udhaybhan chops off an elephant’s trunk was a bit too much to digest.

Saif Ali Khan in a still from Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior.

Devgn is in his element. With that straight face, intense expressions and eyes that talk to you, the actor holds his ground. Complimenting him from real to reel is Kajol as she plays his onscreen wife Savitribai who impresses in the limited screen time she gets. She remains Tanhaji’s silent support and his pillar of strength. The portions showing Ajay and Kajol talking about their son’s wedding and expressing their love for each other is sort of giving a back-story to their characters.

Kelkar plays his part well as warrior king Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj and with his voice and gestures, adds gravitas to the story. However, it’s Saif Ali Khan who outshines and overpowers everyone else. He reminds you of Ranveer Singh’s Khilji from Padmaavat, especially in one of the scenes where he is relishing roasted crocodile flesh. Call it Saif’s best performance till date in an antagonist’s role and it won’t be an exaggeration. He’s cunning, ferocious, ruthless, devilish and deadly and has a set of quirks, too. He plays an unhinged character, and manages to give you moments of mirth with his sinister laugh amid killing people.

Tanhaji is a complete package. It’s magnificent, high on visual effects and has powerful action backed by rock solid performances.

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Tanhaji movie review: A simplistic, dressed-up slice of the past

Tanhaji movie review: i enjoyed saif ali khan’s maniacal bad guy, which comes off as yet another variant (ranveer singh, sanjay dutt) of the flesh-devouring, diabolical, ruthless enemy that bollywood currently delights in..

tanhaji movie review writing

Tanhaji movie cast: Ajay Devgn, Saif Ali Khan, Kajol, Sharad Kelkar, Luke Kenny Tanhaji movie director: Om Raut Tanhaji movie rating: 2 stars

Somewhere in central India in the mid-17th century, the only force that is holding up the advancing soldiers of Mughal emperor Aurangzeb, are the mighty Marathas.

tanhaji movie review writing

Maratha valour has always been in vogue, but suddenly it seems unstoppable. Last month, Ashutosh Gowariker’s Panipat had the rousing battle cry of ‘har har Mahadev’ ringing across the screen; Tanhaji treads the same paths, more or less, only with a heavier-weight trio in the lead: Devgn as the all-good, valiant Tanhaji Malusare, Kajol as his dutiful, beautiful wife Savitribai, and Khan as the all-bad, utterly villainous Udaybhan Rathod.

There’s a lot of thunderous speechifying combined with thundering hooves, as befits an epic which toplines a historical figure who was chiefly a warrior. The opening credits tell us that eminent historians were consultants for this resurrection of the hitherto ‘unsung’ Tanhaji, to give him his rightful place in the pantheon of Maratha braves.

With this caveat out of the way, the film is free to pile up the songs and dances and non-stop action sequences, always circling back to heavy dialogues about the sanctity of the ‘bhagwaa dhwaj’ and ‘desh prem’, just in case we are in danger of forgetting the kind of film we are watching.

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By now, we are so steeped in Bollywood’s patriots re-creating paeans to our glorious past, that to even bring up the fact that the bad guys are your Muslim ‘outsiders’, seems to belabour the point. For this film, it’s simple; either you are on our side, or theirs.

Things start hotting up when the ambitious Aurangzeb (Kenny, adorned in heavy brocade) appoints the ‘wafaadar’ Udaybhan as his man in the Deccan. Shivaji (Kelkar, nailing the look) counters with his main man Tanhaji, and we are set. Except we never know just who Udaybhan is, where he comes from. We don’t know why his loyalties lie with the Mughals. None of these niceties bother Udaybhan, as he goes about vamping it up with great zest, cleaving through body parts, slavering over an imprisoned young woman (who is she? Where does she come from?), and chomping into braised crocodile meat. Yes, that’s right.

Given the times we are in, as long as we get an array of costumery, and our noble ancestors rattling their sabres, flag-waving period films will get audiences. Or will they? Whatever happened to provenance? I enjoyed Saif’s maniacal bad guy, which comes off as yet another variant ( Ranveer Singh , Sanjay Dutt ) of the flesh-devouring, diabolical, ruthless enemy that Bollywood currently delights in. Devgn and Kajol have a couple of soft moments.

And then there’s the kinetic climax, all strategy and battle and CGI. Scores of soldiers are shown scaling impossibly steep cliff-sides, and running into a rain of bows-and-arrows; Tanhaji himself races towards certain doom, but also victory, and the ‘maukaparast darinda’ is handed out an end with a bang.

Also Read | Tanhaji Movie Release LIVE UPDATES | Tanhaji Box Office Collection Prediction

Just the film for those who long for a simplistic, dressed-up slice of the past.

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Abdul Malik, the key accused in the violence that took place on February 8 in Haldwani, was arrested by the Uttarakhand Police from Delhi on Saturday. At least five persons were killed and over a dozen injured in the violence that erupted on February 8 in Uttarakhand’s Haldwani after the administration conducted a demolition drive where a mosque and a madrasa stood.

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tanhaji movie review writing

Tanhaji The Unsung Warrior Movie Review: Saif Ali Khan shines as anti-hero in Ajay Devgn and Kajol film

Ajay devgn and kajol's tanhaji: the unsung warrior is an exaggerated and slow-paced ode to the great maratha warrior. saif ali khan plays the role of rajput mughal fortkeeper udaybhan singh rathod in the om raut directorial film..

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Tanhaji The Unsung Warrior Movie Review: Saif Ali Khan shines as anti-hero in Ajay Devgn and Kajol film

  • Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior stars Ajay Devgn in the titular role.
  • Saif Ali Khan is seen playing a negative role of Rajput Mughal fortkeeper Udaybhan Singh.
  • It's been almost a decade since we last saw Kajol and Ajay Devgn together on the screen.

Cast & Crew

tanhaji movie review writing

Bollywood and its love affair with historical heroes has given us many films in the recent past. While films like Padmaavat and Jodha Akbar made us feel awed of our grand and magnificent history, cinematic experiences like the recent Panipat compelled us to question the filmmaker's motive behind making such films. Ajay Devgn and Kajol's film Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior falls in the second category. Based on the life of Maratha warrior Tanaji Malusare (stylised as Tanhaji in the film), who was the Subedar in the army of Maratha king Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, the Om Raut directorial film is an exaggerated and slow-paced ode to the great warrior.

It is the 17th century when Mughal emperor Aurangzeb (Luke Kenny) is ruling the northern parts of India from the banks of Yamuna. He aspires to expand his empire down South by defeating the Marathas, who are determined to bring back Swarajya under the leadership of Chattrapati Shivaji Maharaj. Aurangzeb, the shrewd Mughal emperor also known by his regal name Alamgir, sets a Rajput General, Mirza Raje Jai Singh, against the Marathas. To save his people and his kingdom, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj (Sharad Kelkar) surrenders 23 of his forts, including the Fort of Kondhana, under the treaty of Purandar. The Fort of Kondhana has a strategic importance through which Aurangzeb wants to rule the southern part of India. Four years after capturing the fort, the Mughal emperor sends his Rajput fortkeeper Udaybhan Singh Rathod (Saif Ali Khan) with a special cannon, named Naagin, which has the calibre to destroy an entire fort. The Marathas plan a muhim (campaign) to recapture the Fort of Kondhana and are led by Tanaji Malusare (Ajay Devgn) in this struggle.

While a lot has been written about the Battle of Sinhagarh, which took place between the Maratha army led by Tanaji Malusare and Mughal fortkeeper Udaybhan Singh, the film presents it with interesting twists and turns. Tanaji Malusare is a brave Maratha warrior trained in the art of war skills. Remember Bajirao Singham in Rohit Shetty's Singham and Singham Returns? Ajay Devgn's Tanaji Malusare is the 17th-century Singham. With over-the-top dialogues exhorting Maratha masculinity, Ajay Devgn appears to be trying really hard to MAKE Tanaji a hero, which he indeed is in reality even sans all that pomp and show: "Jis tarah mitti ke har kan main pahad hota hai, har beej main ek jungle, har talwar main ek sena, ussi tarah har ek Maratha main chhupa hai lakh Maratha."

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Kajol is reuniting with her husband in the latter's 100th film. It's been almost a decade since we last saw them together on the screen. The actress is seen playing Tanaji's wife Savitribai Malusare. Kajol's Savitribai is an 'adarsh' Maratha wife who stands with her husband in pain and in sorrow. While there is not much for the actress to do in the film dominated by male valour and patriotism, Kajol's chemistry with husband Ajay is refreshing.

View this post on Instagram Witness the moment history was created. Presenting the official #TanhajiTrailer2: link in bio #TanhajiTheUnsungWarrior @kajol #SaifAliKhan @omraut @bhushankumar @sharadkelkar #AjayDevgnFFilms @tseries.official @tseriesfilms @tanhajifilm A post shared by Ajay Devgn (@ajaydevgn) on Dec 16, 2019 at 4:00am PST

Om Raut's Tanhaji: The Unsung Hero is a weak attempt to glorify the Maratha warrior. The director takes a lot of CGI help, which makes the film a grand affair, but poor writing and its slow pace make it unbearable in parts. The action sequences have been shot with absolutely zero consideration for basic Physics. Men are walking on the walls parallel to the ground and there's no logic behind how the ropes are able to pull the men by just being hung on the sidewalls of the fort. We understand that Issac Newton was a few years late in discovering gravity (he discovered it in 1687 and the Battle of Sinhagarh was fought in 1670), but then again, gravity always existed. No?

The frequent references to bhagwa (saffron) and patriotism is again questionable. In the trailer, the makers introduce the Battle of Sinhagarh, which was fought on February 4, 1670, as the 'surgical strike' that shook the Mughal empire. Exactly what the makers are trying to draw parallels with is an answer you get no prize for guessing.

The extremely talented Sharad Kelkar as Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj appears to have been wasted in the role. He doesn't have much meat to his character.

The good things about Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior are its cinematography and story-telling. Sanjay Mishra as the narrator is also a surprise. The film looks grand and beautiful, which can help it fetch audiences to the theatres. Its songs, which are again majorly about flaunting masculinity, are upbeat and will strike a chord with cinegoers. The music credits are shared by Sachet-Parampara, Ajay-Atul and Mehul Vyas.

Tanaji was a valiant Maratha warrior, but he was a human. By showing a human being with extraordinary capabilities by exaggerating his qualities, to the point of making him unbelievably superhuman, the makers lose an opportunity. They end up turning this historical hero into a fictional creation and not a flesh-and-blood person who can inspire the upcoming generations.

2.5 stars out of 5 for Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior.

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Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior movie review — Saif Ali Khan, Kajol's performances elevate Ajay Devgn's tepid film

Unlike Saif Ali Khan and Kajol, Ajay Devgn fails to take his character beyond the written word, which makes the protagonist of Tanhaji rather one-dimensional.

Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior movie review — Saif Ali Khan, Kajol's performances elevate Ajay Devgn's tepid film

Language: Hindi

Director Om Raut redeems his historical Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior to a large extent with a smashing climax, involving a duel between the titular character ( Ajay Devgn ) and his Rajput nemesis Uday Bhan ( Saif Ali Khan ).

It is a powerful close to a film that lacked the same intensity throughout its rather tepid narrative. Sure, the climax conventionally needs to be at a higher point than the rest of the film. But the lead-up could have been at least a large fraction of what lay ahead. The only point that comes even close to the rousing climax is the interval point, which not only introduces an unexpected twist to the plot but also raises the stakes of the forthcoming Battle of Singhad.

The trailer of the film described the battle as ‘a surgical strike’ by a troop of Chhatrapati Shivaji’s Maratha soldiers, led by his right-in-command Tanaji Malusare, on the castle of Gondana, an erstwhile Maratha territory, surrendered to the Mughal Empire four years before as a truce to not invade the rest of the Maratha kingdom.

Standing tall against Tanaji and his Maratha bravehearts is Uday Bhan, a Rajput bodyguard of Aurangzeb, who has been assigned the task to secure Gondana, given his crafty ways, inhuman strength and agility, and skilled warrior abilities.

The real meat of Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior  is the climactic strike and ensuing battle. The rest of the narrative falls weak in relation on grounds of both engagement and significance. Most of it is just setting up the plot and explaining the background, which could have been conveniently done even by Sanjay Mishra’s voiceover, that introduces the audience to the times of Tanhaji.

The leading man, though undoubtedly an unsung warrior, as the title suggests, comes across as rather one-dimensional.

The same can be said for the character of Shivaji (Sharad Kelkar) but his sidelining can be attributed to Tanhaji being considered the focal point of the narrative. Given he is in almost every frame of the story, Devgn needed to play Tanaji with many more shades. He is unfortunately reduced to a type, who just speaks Marathi.

Saif is then left to do most of the heavy-lifting. He does not disappoint but that is only because he transcends the written word. When his first look was released online, it drew instant comparisons to Game of Thrones character Jon Snow and Ranveer Singh’s portrayal of Alauddin Khilji from Padmaavat . In the subsequent interviews, Saif clarified his character is much more twisted than Snow, and he does aim to supersede the benchmark set by Ranveer (In one scene, he actually screams, “Jai Khilji!”). Neither of his statements is entirely true. That is because he does not immerse himself completely in the unhinged evilness of his character like Ranveer did.

However, what stops his Uday from becoming a type is the amount of infectious fun Saif has while playing the character. For him, Uday is merely a costume drama character, and Saif has a ball playing him to the gallery. His self-awareness makes him stand out in an otherwise frivolous drama.

A special mention to Kajol, who plays Tanaji’s wife Savitribai. She told this writer that she plays one of those stay-at-home women who pray while their husbands navigate the battlefield. Despite how trivial she makes her contribution to the narrative sound, Kajol makes her small part reverberate through her unparalleled screen presence and emotional intelligence. It is her first historical in an over 25-year-long career, and she admits her approach was more studied for historical accuracy, as opposed to her usual spontaneous self. The best part about her performance is the calculations don’t really show. She is as effective and effortless as she has been throughout her career.

The rest of the supporting cast, including Luke Kenny (as Aurangzeb), Kelkar (as Shivaji), and Neha Sharma (as Kamal, Uday’s love interest), are serviceable though none of them particularly stand out.

Cinematographer Keiko Nakahara captures both scale and intimacy at the correct spots. Editor Dharmendra Sharma has a difficult job of putting together a huge number of action pieces but he achieves that with ease.

Production designers Sriram Iyengar and Sujeet Sawant, and costume designer Nachiket Bharve, resort to conventional tropes (red for the wife, earthy tones for protagonist, and ink blue for the villain) but end up creating a visually fascinating chapter straight out of an Amar Chitra Katha book.

The VFX and special effects, including the 3D ones, aid the scale of the film and the vision of the director. The action direction is great, particularly the inventive use of bamboos to scale the outer walls of the castle and Uday’s innovative style of holding the sword upside down while attacking.

Ajay-Atul’s music, as is the case with most of their Hindi music rooted in Marathi flavour, is populated with Nashik dhols and other local instruments. Out of the entire soundtrack, the tracks ‘ Maay Bhavani ’ and ‘ Tinak Tinak ’ stand out. Ganesh Acharya comes up with contemporary dance moves for ‘ Shankara Re Shankara ,’ which serve more as a distraction than an addition to the screenplay. The real deal is the background score, which is consistently as rousing as the climax of the film.

Like every unsung warrior is a hero by birth, every engaging character stems from good writing.

Rating: **1/2

All images from YouTube.

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Home » Reviews

Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior Movie Review: Ajay Devgn & Saif Ali Khan Redesign The Genre To ‘Masala Period Drama’

It manages to stand tall between a period drama and a commercial potboiler..

Star Cast: Ajay Devgn, Saif Ali Khan, Sharad Kelkar, Kajol, Luke Kenny

Director: Om Raut

Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior Movie Review

What’s Good: It takes its own way to reach the destination and doesn’t follow the ‘road taken’ many-a-times, all the three lead performances (Ajay Devgn, Saif Ali Khan & Sharad Kelkar) hold your attention till the end.

What’s Bad: From the very tight duration of 130 minutes, makers take the entire first half to lay the base of the film and that worried me for a while.

Loo Break: Even if you’re in the wrong screen, just sit tight till the end!

Watch or Not?: Even if you aren’t a fan of the genre, give it a try for its freshness.

Thankfully, the makers don’t follow the usual boring norms seeking the help of animation in the starting credits to explain the backdrop of the story. We see how Subedar Tanaji Malusare (Ajay Devgn) grows up fulfilling his dad’s promise of earning freedom for the country. Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj (Sharad Kelkar) is shown spreading the dream of ‘Swaraj’ (self-rule) all over the country.

On the Mughals’ side, we’ve Udhaybhan (Saif Ali Khan) moving to capture Kondhana (now Sihangad). Despite resistance, Shivaji Maharaj agrees to send his most loyal apprentice Tanaji to face Udhaybhan. The rest of the story is all about how Tanaji with his brain & brawn reaches Kondhana and faces Udhaybhan. And as they say, rest is history!

Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior Movie Review

Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior Movie Review: Script Analysis

Prakash Kapadia & Om Raut’s story surely takes many liberties but just to amp up the watching experience. It’s very convenient at places which raises the question of “Has this really happened?”. I would’ve complained about the same if the makers have taken the route of usual period-dramas. But this is unlike most of them we’ve seen. It manages to stand tall between a period drama and a commercial potboiler.

Bringing in Ramazan Bulut (Inferno, Rush fame) on-board results into some top-notch action sequences. Because of a lot of theory and less practical, the first half of the film misses the punch. It only drastically picks up in the second half and leaves you on high with the climax. The press show I attended turned into a single-screen theatre by the end. An experience to cherish! Dharmendra Sharma’s editing keeps the pace very tight and the duration (130 minutes) is a benchmark now for the filmmakers.

Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior Movie Review: Star Performance

Ajay Devgn manages to pack a punch with his explosive performance. He makes you feel for the character & more importantly gets all the nuances on point. His power-packed presence surely keeps the intrigue alive.

Saif Ali Khan portrays the role which is crazy & adorable at the same time. It’s brilliant how amidst all the chaos of his character he manages to get his comical timing right. His character sketch is like a vintage wine, the more you see of him the better he gets.

Despite both of them being best at their games, the biggest takeaway for me from the film is Sharad Kelkar as Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. He is so subtle, so profound with his performance. If there’s anything made of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj from now, the actor playing him needs to be Sharad Kelkar. Kajol shares a couple of scenes and is good at it.

Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior Movie Review: Direction, Music

For someone directing his first Bollywood film, Om Raut manages to handle the scale very well. He doesn’t get too formulaic following what the period-dramas have done before this. It’s a fresh attempt at reinventing and mashing this genre with a pinch of masala. He manages to narrate a very interesting history chapter but in his own way. This could open ways to the new genre of Masala Period Drama.

First and foremost, credit where due – it’s Sandeep Shirodkar’s background score that helps to connect you by the action happening on screen. Without going loud, it blows your mind. Songs are the weak link as most of them are forced and affect the pace. It’s Sachet–Parampara’s Ghamand Kar that works the best. It’s also smartly woven into the background score for the desired impact.

Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior Movie Review: The Last Word

All said and done, Tanhaji serves what it promises – a historical lesson with unabashed entertainment. Once in a blue moon, there comes a film that redesigns the genre and that’s Tanhaji for you.

Three and a half stars!

Tanhaji: the unsung warrior trailer.

Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior releases on 10th January 2020.

Share with us your experience of watching Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior.

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‘Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior’ movie review: Rousing battle scenes lift one-dimensional period piece

Om raut takes ajay devgn and saif ali khan back to the seventeenth century. for a recreation of the battle of sinhagad..

‘Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior’ movie review: Rousing battle scenes lift one-dimensional period piece

Spoiler alert: some of the events in Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior don’t unfold quite in the way we remember them from the history books and the Amar Chitra Katha comic.

Director and co-writer Om Raut freely adapts the lore surrounding the Battle of Sinhagad in 1670 between the Maratha king Shivaji and Mughal emperor Aurangzeb. The original tale concerns the valour of Maratha commander Tanaji Malusare, who abandoned his son’s wedding to defend the Kondhana fort near Pune from Aurangzeb’s Rajput general Udaybhan Singh Rathore. Tanaji emerged victorious with the help of a loyal force and an intrepid iguana named Yashwanti, but died in the bargain.

The movie rewrites the fate of some of the characters, but retains the ballad-friendly spirit of Tanaji’s feats. Tanaji’s name gets an “h” and a backstory that nudges him towards sainthood. Tanhaji is a loving husband to his wife Savitribai (Kajol) and a proud soldier in Shivaji’s army. When Shivaji (Sharad Kelkar) needs Tanhaji’s help, he readily abandons his domestic duties and straps on the armour.

There are moments when Tanhaji’s brawny integrity is simply too much to take. Even his private conversations with Savitribai resemble sermons, so the movie compensates by creating a delightfully depraved counterpart in Udaybhan (Saif Ali Khan). Udaybhan feasts on villainy the way some might on kebabs, kills frequently and arbitrarily, and bring along a female captive (Neha Sharma).

tanhaji movie review writing

Udaybhan is clearly channelling Ranveer Singh’s hedonistic Alauddin Khilji from Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Padmaavat (2018). There are other similarities between the historicals, both of which have been inspired by real-life people and incidents but are distinctly modern in their approach. Tanhaji has been co-written by Prakash Kapadia, Bhansali’s partner-in-crime in reimagining the historical genre. We have Kapadia to partially thank for the virile heroes, proud and supportive women, bombastic language and depiction of the Mughals as marauding foreigners bent on despoiling the countryside. In Tanhaji , Luke Kenny, in a piece of inspired casting, plays Aurangzeb as the very foreign-looking ruler who is as alien to Shivaji as restraint is to Udaybhan.

The colour coding in Tanhaji is as subtle as Udaybhan’s antics – he is nearly always dressed in black. Tanhaji, on the other hand, is clothed in ivory and deep maroon, but his favourite shade is bhagwa, or saffron.

Battles that took place centuries ago are viewed through the prism of present-day politics and prejudices. Tanhaji sees himself as a proto-version of the freedom fighters who would swarm against the British many decades down the line. “Swaraj” is one of Tanhaji’s favourite words, even though the idea of India as a nation was still being incubated and self-reliance was invented many decades later. The Mughals are clearly shown as interlopers and invaders even though they had been well ensconced in the neighbourhood by then.

Udaybhan is a “Hindu pitted against the Hindus”, in the writers’ words, and the movie bares its bias by showing him as the worst kind of Mughal representative possible – the servant even more loyal and cruel than the king. Udaybhan redeems himself by proving to be as clever as Tanaji in his military tactics. The battle of phallic symbols – Tanhaji’s sword versus Udaybhan’s cannon named Naagin – is an equal one. Both men put up a strong fight when they finally clash, with Udaybhan proving that the wine and wantonness haven’t weakened his ability to move swiftly.

The slickly produced period drama has the look and feel of a richly coloured animated comic strip (the cinematography is by Keiko Nakahara). Tanhaji has also been released in 3D, which enhances the scenes of the rapelling that help the Maratha posse navigate the hilly terrain. Raut’s expertise is strongest in depicting the famed guerrilla tactics adopted by the Marathas, and the war scenes have the nastiness and the body count that help the historical genre survive into a time governed by caped crusaders.

Solid performances underpin the heroics. Ajay Devgn is perfectly cast as the monomaniacal Tanhaji who leaps first and asks questions later. Saif Ali Khan attacks his role with undisguised glee, and he has enough fun for both the main characters. Kajol makes her small and uni-dimensional role count, and Sharad Kelkar is a buff-and-gruff Shivaji even though his character is reduced to watching from the sidelines as Tanhaji steals the show.

People will write powadas , or ballads, about you, Tanjahi is told. They did, and the movie often has the quality of a ballad – it’s heavily embellished, romantic and simplistic. Tanhaji loudly sings its hero’s praises, creating a spectacle that is thrilling when in battle mode and troubling when considering the dynamic between the Marathas and the Mughals.

Ajay Devgn on ‘Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior’

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Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior

Kajol, Ajay Devgn, and Saif Ali Khan in Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior (2020)

Tanhaji Malusare, a military chieftain in the army of the Maratha king Shivaji, leads the charge to capture the strategically important Kondhana fort guarded by the army of the fierce Rajput... Read all Tanhaji Malusare, a military chieftain in the army of the Maratha king Shivaji, leads the charge to capture the strategically important Kondhana fort guarded by the army of the fierce Rajput chieftain Udaybhan Rathod. Tanhaji Malusare, a military chieftain in the army of the Maratha king Shivaji, leads the charge to capture the strategically important Kondhana fort guarded by the army of the fierce Rajput chieftain Udaybhan Rathod.

  • Prakash Kapadia
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Trailer [OV]

  • Tanhaji Malusare

Saif Ali Khan

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Sharad Kelkar

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Kajol

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Padmavati Rao

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Shashank Shende

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Neha Sharma

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Devdutta Nage

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Ajinkya Deo

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Yuri Suri

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Nissar Khan

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Jagannath Nivangune

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  • Trivia A dialogue said by Savitribai ( Kajol ) in the movie, "When Shivaji Raje wields his sword, it safeguards and supports the honour of women and the sacred thread of a Brahmin." was changed to "When Shivaji Raje wields his sword, it safeguards and supports the honour of women and every single household." after objections were raised over it by the Sambhaji Brigade, who said that King Shivaji safeguarded all castes and communities and not only Brahmins, and that the movie was trying to erase Shivaji's inclusive and secular image.
  • Alternate versions In order to obtain a U/A certificate for the film, the makers had to make six changes. A few objectionable words (not profanity) were removed, visual and verbal references to a character's death were deleted, a dialogue with an innuendo was corrected and three disclaimers were added, regarding computer graphics used to create animals, discouragement of child marriage and the usage of the word "Maratha" as a general term referring to all soldiers (entire army) of Chhhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, and not to refer to any community. Also, the first line of the disclaimer was edited, declaring the film claim a fictionalized representation inspired by life of warrior and a Hindi disclaimer too was added along with the name of History consultant for the film.
  • Connections Featured in 66th Vimal Elaichi Filmfare Awards 2021 (2021)
  • Soundtracks Shankara Re Shankara Vocals by Mehul Vyas & Adarsh Shinde Chorus by Umesh Joshi, Vijay Dhuri, Sagar Lele, Swapnil Godbole, Vivek Naik, Rahul Chitnis, Yash Kulkarni, Gaurav Dandekar, Dattamestri, Karan Kagale Lyrics by Anil Verma Music by Mehul Vyas

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  • bansal-yatindra
  • Jan 13, 2020
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  • January 10, 2020 (United States)
  • Filmcity Studios, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India (location)
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  • $21,500,000 (estimated)
  • $45,221,814

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  • Runtime 2 hours 15 minutes

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Tanhaji- The Unsung Warrior

Feature Name: Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior Directed By: Om Raut Cast: Ajay Devgan, Saif Ali Khan, Kajol, Sharad Kelkar, Luke Kenny, Shashank Shende, Neha Sharma. Devdatta Nage, Padmavati Rao Run Time: 2 hours 11 minutes Review By: Grinell Jacinto

Tanhaji- The Unsung Warrior

Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior is the historical biographical story of 17th century Maratha subedar (military leader) Tanaji Malusare. He was a military leader of Shivaji who helped Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj win back the fortress Kondhana from the Mughals.

The film features Ajay Devgn as Tanaji Malusare and Saif Ali Khan as the villainous Mughal commander Udaybhan Singh Rathod. It also stars Kajol as Tanhaji’s dutiful wife Savitribai Malusare, Sharad Kelkar as Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj and Luke Kenny as Mughal emperor Aurangzeb.

Ajay Devgn & Kajol in a still from Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior

Director Om Raut has done a good job in directing this biographical film. But a few scenes do seem stretched and a little over the top.

One of the drawbacks of the film is the use of VFX. The VFX that is used especially to show death, amputation or blood flowing seem unreal and overdone. Another drawback is that some scenes seem impossible and go against gravity – like climbing roles up the fort when they aren’t nailed to the ground or caught on something as well as climbing the fort with just a stick.

The cinematography is good and makes the fort scenes more believable.

The film’s music is good thanks to the compositions of Sachet-Parampara, Ajay-Atul and Mehul Vyas. They get you more engrossed in the moments.

Talking about performances, Devgn has the most screen space and does a commendable as Tanhaji. But who takes the cake with his performance is Khan as Udaybhan Singh Rathod. Even though he looks and acts more Afghan than Mughal you still cannot take your eyes off him.

Kajol looks amazing as the Savitribai but is reduced to only being the dutiful wife and nothing more. She doesn’t have a lot of screen space but the moments she shares with Ajay are sweet and full of chemistry. Kelkar as Chhatrapati Shivaji is almost wasted as he too doesn’t have much screen time.

We give Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior 3 stars and recommend watching it this weekend.

For more reviews, interviews and news stay tuned to urbanasian..

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Film review: ‘Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior’ is cartoon history

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Om Raut’s film has fluent action and a gleeful Saif Ali Khan, though its view of history is slanted and broad

Ajay Devgn in a still from ‘Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior’.

The flipside of all the racial stereotyping in recent Hindi historical films is that the antagonists are turning out more interesting than the heroes. Without Alauddin Khilji’s perversity and parrot noises, Padmaavat would have been 160 minutes of Rajputs telling each other how great they are. And Panipat would have been hollower without Sanjay Dutt’s attempts to wrest some dignity for Ahmad Shah Abdali from the film's savage conception of his character.

Udaybhan Rathod, a Rajput general in Aurangzeb’s army, is only Mughal by allegiance. This is enough, though, for him to be saddled with what Hindi cinema would have you believe are Mughal characteristics: rapaciousness, cruelty, sadism. The only problem is, the more outrageous his villainy, the more enjoyable Udaybhan becomes. The film needs this gleeful villain, played to the hilt by Saif Ali Khan, much more than it does Ajay Devgn’s dull, dutiful protagonist. Who would you rather watch: the guy singing devotional songs and keeping promises to his father and wife or the one tossing soldiers off ramparts and grilling crocodiles over a fire?

In the late 17th century, Mughal emperor Aurangzeb is trying to make inroads into south India. He sends Udaybhan to assume charge of the strategically important fort of Kondhana, which the Marathas had had to give up. In response, Maratha ruler Shivaji sends the general Tanhaji to recapture it (there’s a bizarre scene where Devgn dresses up as a priest in order to convince his king to allow him to go and fight). The ensuing battle is a storied one in Maratha history – though the film leaves out one particularly crazy story: that the formidable walls of the fort were scaled with the help of a rope attached to a monitor lizard.

Unlike the recent Panipat, which took pains to lay out its historical context, there isn’t much political or social knowledge to be gleaned here. Everything’s rendered in broad strokes, and Raut and co-writer Prakash Kapadia don’t mind repeating things for the inattentive viewer. One bit of crosscutting results in this sparkling exchange. Udaybhan: “We’ll travel via Shirdhon." Tanhaji to Shivaji: “Shirdhon. Shirdhon. He’ll go from Shirdhon. Shirdhon."

Still, with its Prince of Persia physics and Amar Chitra Katha aesthetics, Tanhaji is surprisingly enjoyable. Raut is a fluent director of action, transforming ideas that must have seemed bizarre on paper into persuasively choreographed sequences (credit, also, to cinematographer Keiko Nakahara). The bees-and-bungee attack early on is as freakishly inventive as anything since Baahubali . If Hindi cinema is to keep churning out violent historicals, the least they can do is get the fighting right. Tanhaji , which has the same feel for bodies in violent motion as Padmaavat did for sari drapes, represents one kind of way forward.

The film is never far from silliness, but there’s often a reason attached. Tanhaji, on a recce mission, leads a celebration at Kondhana and a delighted Udaybhan mimics his moves. He’s captured, of course, but the point isn't sensible tactics; it’s a nod to the Hindi cinema tradition of the climactic dance. When an elephant trunk is sliced off, it’s a reminder of the scene at the start where a human hand is cut off, and a premonition of a later dismemberment. The one flashback in the film is used productively, giving us a look at a more human Udaybhan.

The mention of Brahmin janeu by Tanhaji’s wife, Savitribai (Kajol), in the trailer has been replaced by a line that isn’t caste-specific. But Muslim rulers and their collaborators, from the 12th century to the 18th, continue to be fair game. Aurangzeb and another king play a game of human chess ending in actual casualties. Udaybhan may be Rajput but he dresses like a Mughal. He eats meat off the bone, an insidious differentiator used in just about every recent Hindi historical. He captures a Hindu princess and places her in chains. He steps on a carpet that has a map of India on it. Traitor. Anti-national. If only he wasn’t so much fun.

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Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior

2020, History/Drama, 2h 11m

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Tanhaji: the unsung warrior   photos.

Chhatrapati Shivaji's right-hand man, braveheart Subhedar Tanhaji Malusare, pits his sharp acumen against the brawn of ruthless and hedonistic Mughal chieftain Udaybhan Singh Rathore to recapture Kondhana for the Maratha empire.

Genre: History, Drama, Action

Original Language: Hindi

Director: Om Raut

Producer: Bhushan Kumar , Krishan Kumar

Writer: Prakash Kapadia

Box Office (Gross USA): $2.1M

Runtime: 2h 11m

Production Co: Ajay Devgn Ffilms, T-Series

Cast & Crew

Ajay Devgan

Saif Ali Khan

Udaybhan Rathod

Savitribai Malusare

Kiran Rathod

Emperor Aurangzeb

Neha Sharma

Sharad Kelkar

Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj

Nitesh Kalbande

Divya Malusare Maratha

Shashank Shende

Ajinkya Deo

Chandraji Pisal

Tareeq Ahmed Khan

Prakash Kapadia

Screenwriter

Bhushan Kumar

Krishan Kumar

Keiko Nakahara

Cinematographer

Dharmendra Sharma

Film Editing

Original Music

Sriram Iyengar

Production Design

Nachiket Barve

Costume Design

Vicky Sidana

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Naruto Live-Action Movie in the Works With Shang-Chi Director Destin Daniel Cretton

Believe it.

Michael Cripe Avatar

A live-action Naruto movie is in the works at Lionsgate with Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings’ Destin Daniel Cretton tapped to write and direct, the studio announced today.

Cretton has already met with franchise creator Masashi Kishimoto, who will help oversee the film. Arad Productions’ Avi Arad, Ari Arad, and Emmy Yu will produce the Naruto film. Cretton will also produce along with Jeyun Munford’s company, Hisako.

“It was a true honor to meet Kishimoto-san in Tokyo and hear his expansive vision for his creation,” Cretton said in the announcement. “We are very excited to collaborate and bring NARUTO to the big screen.”

A live-action Naruto movie is under developement.

With multiple animated movies, series, and games under its belt, Naruto has long been considered one of the Big Three of anime . Its manga alone has printed more than 250 million copies in more than 60 countries and garnered a nearly uncountable number of fans throughout the last few decades.

In a statement, Kishimoto talked about his meeting with Cretton, saying he "can't help but be excited" for the film:

“When I heard of Destin’s attachment, it happened to be right after watching a blockbuster action film of his, and I thought he would be the perfect director for NARUTO. After enjoying his other films and understanding that his forte is in creating solid dramas about people, I became convinced that there is no other director for NARUTO. In actually meeting Destin, I also found him to be an open-minded director who was willing to embrace my input, and felt strongly that we would be able to cooperate together in the production process. To put it simply, the live-action NARUTO is bound to be a film with spectacular action and profound drama. I can’t help but be excited for it.”

A live-action Naruto movie was said to have been in the works for some time, but today’s news finally gives fans some clear direction. Previous reports had Michael Gracey (The Greatest Showman) tapped to direct , though Lionsgate was at least interested as far back as 2015 .

Live-action takes on classic anime stories are nothing new. Some recent examples include Netflix’s Cowboy Bebop show and its One Piece series . However, the results of these adaptations have varied, with the former met a cancelation while One Piece is set to return for Season 2 .

“NARUTO is one of the greatest manga ever written that has captivated hearts and minds globally,” Avi and Ari Arad said. “Collaborating with the legendary Kishimoto-san and the esteemed team at Shueisha has been a joy and an honor. We are beyond excited to have Destin at the helm, bringing this cherished saga to life under the Lionsgate banner.”

Naruto’s performance remains to be seen. The movie has no release window, so we’ll have to wait to see when it will arrive.

THR first broke the news.

Michael Cripe is a freelance contributor with IGN. He started writing in the industry in 2017 and is best known for his work at outlets such as The Pitch, The Escapist, OnlySP, and Gameranx.

Be sure to give him a follow on Twitter @MikeCripe.

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‘a family’ review: french writer christine angot makes directorial debut with a bruisingly personal doc about incest.

Like many of her written works, this explores the damage done by the abuse inflicted on Angot as an adolescent by her father.

By Leslie Felperin

Leslie Felperin

Contributing Film Critic

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Christine Angot and her daughter, Léonore Chastagner in 'A Family'

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Made with artistic collaboration, per the end credits, from storied cinematographer Caroline Champetier ( Holy Motors) , A Family returns to the foundational trauma addressed in Incest and in a sense brings the story up to date. One couldn’t exactly say it brings closure. But by the end, we observe Angot and her daughter Leonore processing how much what Angot’s father did reverberated throughout Angot’s life thereafter. Leonore apologizes in an empathic sense for what her mother went through, and there is a feeling that a page is slowly turning or even a chapter finishing.

Judging by the interactions seen earlier in the film, that moment of peace has been hard won and not easily achieved. In the opening minutes, we meet Angot at a prominent book fair near Strasbourg to sign copies of her books. It’s the same town where her father, now deceased, used to live, and a woman who had met him once but knew the woman he married and Christine’s half-siblings approaches Angot to say they’re good people, implicitly berating her for what she wrote about them.

The first is her stepmother Elizabeth Weber, whom Angot and her film crew effectlvely doorstep, insisting that she lets them in to have it out. Reluctantly, Elizabeth complies, and the two women have a very heated but ultimately rational conversation about the past. An elegant older woman with a severely color-coordinated house full of paintings and haute bourgeois tchotchkes, Elizabeth politely insists that she does not recognize the portrait Angot paints in her writings of her father as the same man to whom she was married. She doesn’t ever deny what Christine accuses him of; she just insists that it’s hard for her to reconcile it all.

That’s not really good enough for Angot though. Clearly extremely agitated by the situation, she bridles at just about everything Elizabeth says, from the maladroit “I pity you” to her even describing what went on between father and daughter as a “relationship.” No, they did not have a relationship, she responds, it was rape, or rather a series of rapes that kept happening, even when she was an adult.

Other viewers may beg to differ, of course, but like Angot’s writing, the film as a whole has a magic mirror quality, like so many abuse stories; everyone sees something slightly different reflected in the surface, depending on their own experience.

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COMMENTS

  1. Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior Movie Review

    4.0/5 Critic's Rating 0/5 Rate Movie Synopsis 'Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior' scores on various counts - 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. Cast & Crew Om Raut Director

  2. Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior Movie Review

    Reviews Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior Movie Review - A Slick Period Drama Marred By Its Saffronisation of History Director Om Raut chooses a vivid, graphic novel-ish rendition of the 17th century conflict between the Marathas and the Mughals for the Southern fort of Kondhana Rahul Desai Updated on : 10 Jan 2020, 3:26 am Director: Om Raut

  3. Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior Movie Review

    Rating: 2.5 stars (out of 5) A treat for the eye, if not for the mind, Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior, co-produced by lead actor Ajay Devgn, is a 3D period biopic that gives historicity a wide berth...

  4. Tanaji Review {4/5}: 'Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior' makes for a

    'Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior' scores on various counts - 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. Cast & Crew Om Raut Director Ajay Devgn Actor, Producer Saif Ali Khan Actor Kajol Actor

  5. Tanhaji The Unsung Warrior movie review: Ajay Devgn's classic century

    Director - Om Raut Cast - Ajay Devgn, Saif Ali Khan, Kajol Tanhaji The Unsung Warrior movie review: Ajay Devgn hits a century in style. Hindi cinema loves revisiting India's glorious past and...

  6. Tanhaji movie review: A simplistic, dressed-up slice of the past

    Tanhaji movie review: I enjoyed Saif Ali Khan's maniacal bad guy, which comes off as yet another variant (Ranveer Singh, Sanjay Dutt) of the flesh-devouring, diabolical, ruthless enemy that Bollywood currently delights in. Written by Shubhra Gupta New Delhi | Updated: January 11, 2020 07:51 IST Follow Us

  7. Tanhaji The Unsung Warrior Movie Review: Saif Ali Khan shines as anti

    New Delhi, UPDATED: Jan 10, 2020 16:28 IST In Short Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior stars Ajay Devgn in the titular role. Saif Ali Khan is seen playing a negative role of Rajput Mughal fortkeeper Udaybhan Singh. It's been almost a decade since we last saw Kajol and Ajay Devgn together on the screen. Cast & Crew Ajay Devgn Rating:

  8. Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior movie review

    Hindi Director Om Raut redeems his historical Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior to a large extent with a smashing climax, involving a duel between the titular character ( Ajay Devgn) and his Rajput nemesis Uday Bhan ( Saif Ali Khan ). It is a powerful close to a film that lacked the same intensity throughout its rather tepid narrative.

  9. Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior

    Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior is a total paisa vasool product for all action fans. Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/5 | Jan 11, 2020 Nandini Ramnath Scroll.in

  10. Tanhaji Movie Review: Ajay Devgn & Saif Ali Khan Redesign The ...

    Umesh Punwani - January 10, 2020 | 8:13 PM IST Tanhaji Movie Review Rating: 3.5/5 Stars (Three and a half stars) Star Cast: Ajay Devgn, Saif Ali Khan, Sharad Kelkar, Kajol, Luke Kenny...

  11. How Historically Accurate Is Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior

    Updated on : 20 Mar 2023, 6:25 am When you want to placate the current sensibilities of the nation using 17 th century popular historical narratives, you get Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior.

  12. Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior Movie Review

    Writer-director Om Raut, co-writer Prakash Kapadia and leading man and co-producer Ajay Devgn seemed to have cracked the formula - Tanhaji, based on the life of Shivaji Maharaj's lieutenant, is an action movie rolled into an Amar Chitra Katha comic. Which means that there is no room here for nuance or arcs.

  13. Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior (2020)

    8/10 Tanhaji - The Unsung Warrior was a wholesome historical drama which should be lauded for surreal direction, exemplary CGI and commendable performances. ketgup83 11 January 2020

  14. Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior Movie Review: Historical ...

    Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior Movie Review: The film stars Ajay Devgn and Saif Ali Khan in lead roles. Directed by Om Raut, it releases on 10 January.

  15. Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior movie review: Lifted by Ajay Devgn, Saif

    Spoiler alert: some of the events in Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior don't unfold quite in the way we remember them from the history books and the Amar Chitra Katha comic.. Director and co-writer Om ...

  16. Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior (2020)

    Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior: Directed by Om Raut. With Ajay Devgn, Saif Ali Khan, Sharad Kelkar, Kajol. Tanhaji Malusare, a military chieftain in the army of the Maratha king Shivaji, leads the charge to capture the strategically important Kondhana fort guarded by the army of the fierce Rajput chieftain Udaybhan Rathod.

  17. Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior Review

    Feature Name: Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior Directed By: Om Raut Cast: Ajay Devgan, Saif Ali Khan, Kajol, Sharad Kelkar, Luke Kenny, Shashank Shende, Neha Sharma. Devdatta Nage, Padmavati Rao Run Time: 2 hours 11 minutes Review By: Grinell Jacinto Tanhaji- The Unsung Warrior. Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior is the historical biographical story of 17th century Maratha subedar (military leader) Tanaji ...

  18. Film Review: Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior Sings Hindu Propaganda

    Tanhaji: The Unsung Hero. Cast: Ajay Devgn, Kajol, Neha Sharma, Saif Ali Khan. Director: Om Raut. Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior attempts to narrate the story of Tanhaji Malusare, Shivaji's military leader, and his quest for the fort of Kondhana. Aurangzeb sends his Mughal troops under the leadership of Udaybhan Rathore to fight against Tanhaji.

  19. Film review: 'Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior' is cartoon history

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  20. Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior

    Movie Info. Chhatrapati Shivaji's right-hand man, braveheart Subhedar Tanhaji Malusare, pits his sharp acumen against the brawn of ruthless and hedonistic Mughal chieftain Udaybhan Singh Rathore ...

  21. How to write film review ? Film review of Tanhaji

    Subscribe Subscribed 126 Share 15K views 1 year ago NASHIK film review of Tanhaji : the unsung warrior . The film review is compulsory question in class 11 & 12 HSC MH board English paper....

  22. Film Review: Write a review of a film that you have recently seen

    Name the characters Type/Genre of the film Story line/Theme Special features/Novelties Music/Dance/Songs/Direction/Production Would you recommend others to watch it? Why? Review of Tanhaji - The Unsung Warrior Tanhaji - The Unsung Warrior, starring Ajay Devgan and directed by Bhushan and Krishnan Kumar, was released in 2020.

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