Tanhaji Trailer Review: One More Bhansali In The Making
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Tanhaji Trailer Review: One More Bhansali In The Making

Yet another film that shows a nationalistic hero taking on a brutish invader

It looks  like  every  major  Bollywood superstar wants to play a nationalist warrior taking on a kohl-black invader  from the  Mughal era. Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Bajirao Mastani started the trend.  Then came Ashutosh Gowariker’s Panipat where  Maratha warrior Sadashiv Rao Bhau is seen taking on Dutt’s Ahmad Shah Abdali. Even before Panipat is out, Ajay Devgan’s ambitious Tanhaji’s trailer  was  released on Tuesday. It looks like a part of  a trilogy of historicals on valiant noble legendary Maratha warriors taking on  a brutish invader.

Ajay Devgn and Saif Ali Khan at the trailer launch of 'Tanhaji'Ajay Devgn and Saif Ali Khan at the trailer launch of 'Tanhaji'

There is  no doubt that Devgan is the right fit for playing the Maratha warrior. And  I can’t imagine a more  suitable  adversary than  Saif Ali Khan. However the merger  of the righteous  and  the  renegade  doesn’t create  the  impact that  it ought to . At  least  not in the trailer. Devgan looks distracted. While Saif, never comfortable in characters he doesn’t believe in, behaves like Laal Kaptaan on steroids, Devgan looks like he has finally decided to do own Bajirao (the role was originally offered to Devgan)

Poster of 'Tanhaji'Poster of 'Tanhaji'

The special effects  showing men and horses  making impossible leaps look like out-takes from Bajirao Mastani. The  stunts clearly  lack  authenticity  and  could pull back producer Devgan’s  best intentions. Somewhere in the stretched-out trailer  Kajol appears as Tanhaji’s devoted wife.  Her Maharashtrian  look  is impeccable. No one can fault the  trailer for its eye for costume and accessories.   But the effort to  infiltrate  the  patriotic psyche seems  skin-deep. Tanhaji looks like  the patriotic card being  played at  high stakes but  never quite  getting  a  hang of  the game. There  is  the  patriotic hero’s mother vowing not to  wear  shoes  until the  invader is vanquished. This  sounds like  a  threat we must take seriously.

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