Reader Rating (Rate Here): [Total: 2 Average: 1/5]
Directed By: Abhijit Panse
Cast: Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Amrita Rao
Language: Hindi, Marathi
Its election year and every political party is rallying their troops. Political parties are using cinema as a medium to reach out to potential voters. The trend was started by Udta Punjab in 2016 when it was released just before the state elections. Thackeray written by Sanjay Raut, Shiv Sena MP, has the singular motive to idolize the man, energize party workers and reach out to an audience.
The movie opens in 1994 with Thackeray being questioned in a Lucknow court for his role in Babri Masjid demolition case. Then it pans back to a time when Thackeray has just resigned from Free Press Journal. From there, he goes to a movie theater where the camera spans on the audience. He is surrounded by Tamilians, Muslims, Parsis, Sardars, Malayalis and every other non Maharashtrian possible. Sitting among them, Thackeray, the only Marathi, promises himself to avenge the situation. Shoddy screenplay fails to explain to us the cause of the sentiment- we can’t fathom why and what exactly the “others” did to hurt the Maratha pride. From this point onward the movie goes back and forth- in the flashback (black and white) the events happen and in the present (colored) he gives his reasons for the same in court.
At first I thought the movie was like Guru in which Madhavan and Mithun challenge Abhishek Bachchan. But no, in this movie there is no antagonist and there is no judgement. I went into the theater expecting to know more about the man. I knew his politics, but not his personal life. Its trailer itself got mixed reactions with people tweeting not to spread hate but in all fairness it was honest to its leader who did the same his entire political career.
The movie is full of ironies- the first one being Nawazuddin Siddiqui acting as Thackeray. Before everyone jumps on me about him being an actor and his freedom to choose his jobs! To see Siddiqui- a UP Muslim, playing the man who justified Babri demolition and who wanted all non-Marathis out of Maharashtra, that too with such conviction is surreal. At numerous points the movie abuses South Indians, the trailer even had a dialogue “Uthao Lungi, bajao pungi”. And ironically, the movie has an extended intro made famous by South Indian movies, where the heroes are revered as demi gods. He allows a muslim to perform namaz in his home but wants to rename Aurangabad as Sambhaji Nagar. In the scene with Indira Gandhi he proclaims that he always says “Jai Hind” before “Jai Maratha” but he never treated everyone equal.
Nawazuddin Siddiqui is really good and he powers on delivering punch lines with swag. He is able to showcase the charisma of Balasaheb Thackeray. The rest of the actors and their roles are inconsequential and whatever their role was, most of them were atrocious. Amrita Rao has a somewhat meaty role and shows why no one is offering her roles anymore. But, the worst of the lot is that lawyer who didn’t counter any of Thackeray’s statements. The background score by Amar Mohile is too loud.
The movie is exclusively for Shiv Sena cadres to energize them before the elections and the marathi manoos. This movies is not everyone’s cup of tea so make your decision accordingly. If you have watched it then please share your rating above.
Watch the Trailer: