Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior is an Indian Hindi-language biographical period action film starring Ajay Devgn, Saif Ali Khan, Kajol, Jagapathi Babu and Sharad Kelkar in the lead roles. Directed by Om Raut, the film is set in the 17th century and based on the life of Tanaji Malusare, who was the military leader of King Shivaji, founder of the Maratha Empire. In many interviews, Ajay Devgan expressed that it is going be the 1st part of “unsung warriors” series which later will feature many more unsung warriors of historical India.
Read EXCLUSIVE interview of Filmfare with Ajay Devgn.
What made you play a historical figure like Subhedar Tanhaji Malusare?
Thereís little written about Tanhaji (military leader in the army of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj) in history books. When I read the script, I got to know about his contribution to history and the sacrifices he made. He died while keeping the Kondhana Fort from Aurangzeb (in the Battle of Sinhagad 1670). Aurangeb ka poore Hindustan par hukumat karne ka sapna adhura reh gaya. We’re (Ajay Devgn FFilms) planning to launch a franchise called The Unsung Warriors. Tanhaji is the first in that series. Under the title, we want to tell stories of unsung warriors. Itís not necessary that they should have fought wars. It could also be a person, whoís fought for societyís betterment.
How did this story come to you?
Director Om Raut came to me with the story. Heís directed the Marathi film, Lokmanya: Ek Yug Purush (2015), for which he won several awards. Heís well-versed with Maratha history. The script fascinated me. We realized the look and the scale of the film would be difficult to achieve. It was not about the budget. It was about expertise. To make a film like Tanhaji you need a knowledge of technicalities, which Om has. The character was equally inspiring. You have to be conscious about presenting such a historical figure with dignity, keeping in mind his stature.
Kajol and you coming together always creates excitement…
As actors, we were excited about the script. In Tanhaji, Kajol doesnít have a full-fledged role. Sheís playing an important character, that of Tanhajiís wife (Savitri Malusare). She has six to eight scenes. But we needed a fine actor for this character. We believed Kajol was perfect. She too got excited about her character and wanted to be part of it.
For more interviews, subscribe to www.filmfaremiddleast.com