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TANHAJI - Works as an informative historical film with impressive lead performances and a noteworthy climax, relying more on action missing the explosive drama. (Review by Bobby Sing)

10 Jan, 2020 | Movie Reviews / 2020 Releases / Inspired Movies (Alphabetical) / ALL ABOUT INSPIRED MOVIES / T

Along with being a means of general entertainment, one of the key responsibilities of creative arts including cinema is to enlighten the younger generation about the major historical events and our renowned as well as lesser celebrated icons of the past. Hindi cinema has been working on the same since last decade and TANHAJI is the latest offering in that genre deserving a unanimous appreciation for the attempt made.
Thankfully, the end result is a far superior film than the recent PANIPAT, which at one end works as an informative historical, but on the other also excels in its fascinating execution of action sequences with mostly praise-worthy VFX transporting you back in time to the battlefield. Besides we also have two lead actors at their best as Ajay Devgn playing Tanhaji and Saif Ali Khan playing the evil villain Udaybhan Rathore, providing the typical Bollywood clashes, the viewers cheer for. So, the two can easily be called the sole reason to watch TANAHJI, even when the film has other merits including a spirited background score and an engrossing spell-binding climax shot majestically.
Directed by Om Raut, it also features Kajol, Sharad Kelkar, Luke Kenny, Ajinkya Deo and more playing the important roles, though they don’t get much to do in the film focusing completely on Ajay and Saif alone. As a matter of fact TANHAJI largely works due to its well-presented negative character of Saif adding fire to an otherwise predictable narration, which strongly reminds you of the saying that ‘a film is as good as its villain’.
Beginning on a repetitive note with a voice over mentioning India as (the once) “Sone Ki Chidiya” severely affected by the various invasions, TANHAJI delivers in its detailed action and battle sequences making the best use of CGI graphics but the same also makes it look superficial maintaining the graphical feel throughout. As a result one misses the authentic human feel in the film and may be the emotions too. Probably the director along with his actor-producer mutually decided to give more emphasis to the look, grandeur and cinematic finesse in the project justifying its scale. However where it might work for many, it couldn't work at same level for me and I missed the original human touch and drama as mentioned above.
Moreover though I could get the subtle mention of forced nationalism with specific words used at times, I really couldn’t get why the ruthless Mughal Commander Udaybhan Rathore (Saif) was deliberately presented, dressed and made to enact as a Mughal when he was actually a Hindu warrior. The cunning portrayal of the character was more near to Ranveer as Alauddin Khilji which looked like forcibly done on purpose.
Mentioning the music, where the average soundtrack gives you the feeling of Deja-Vu, I don’t know the reason why many who have even seen the outstanding VIKRAM VEDHA (Tamil/2017), didn't point out the similarity of its brilliant Background score with the one heard in TANHA JI. Though the composer might call it a co-incidence, but the possible inspiration angle in the notes composed is quite evident. And for friends who are not even aware of the Tamil classic, now you know about an unmissable film. So do watch it as a must (with English Subtitles) but do not watch the poorly dubbed Hindi version. 
Coming to the disclaimer displayed in the beginning, one can surely understands the justfied or no objectionable cinematic liberties taken in films, adapting the stories of our important historical events and its brave heroes. But I personally had a different picture in mind which was formed by the Amar Chitra Katha on TANA JI (it was spelt like that) we had read in our teens back in the mid and late 80s. 
Was really glad to see the logo of ACK in the film’s opening credits too but in the comics that began the story from the childhood, I remember the mention of a Giant Lizard used by Tanhajii to climb the hills at night. As told in the book, he threw the Lizard with a rope toward the top and it reached there after a couple of attempts, fixing it at the top as desired. And then they all climbed through that rope to take over the fort.
Here, though I don’t have the exact information of how it was actually done, in the film it is depicted differently and the final 20-30 minutes can certainly be called the major highlight of TANHAJI ending on a tragic note.
In all, yes as a historical it might not have those emotions or any explosive human drama focusing more on the action sequences in particular, still TANHAJI deserves to be seen for its informative value, lead performances and the technical excellence achieved, preferably in 3D.
Concluding on a different note, the film also needs to be seen for learning an eye-opener fact, which is probably the most important truth that essentially has to be conveyed to the present generation. And the truth is that contrary to what is being questionably preached today, the earlier fights in those times between two sides were not fought for Religion but were fought for conquering the land. And a deeper study of who fought for whom and who all were in key positions in the army at both sides, will certainly shatter the false misconceptions and perceptions in the mind of many.

So do watch the film and give a deep thought to this important fact too if possible.

Rating: 3 / 5 

Tags : Tanhaji Review by Bobby Sing at bobbytalkscinema.com, New Hindi Films Reviews by Bobby Sing, New Bollywood Movies Reviews by Bobby Sing, Hindi Films based on History, Historical Hindi Films
10 Jan 2020 / Comment ( 0 )
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