Thackeray Movie Review 2019: The Tiger Roars

Thackeray Movie Review 2019: The Tiger Roars

CRITIC'S RATING    3.5/5
AVG READERS' RATING:    4.0/5
Movie Name
Thackeray
DIRECTION
Abhijit Panse
GENRE
Biography, Drama
DURATION
02 hours 00 minutes

Thackeray Review


It is completely unapologetic. Exactly the way the man himself was. Unlike Indian biopics that whitewash habits like sipping on warm beer or smoking a pipe, the portrait of the Shiv Sena supremo is unabashed and unshrinking.

Putting him on the stand for pulling down Babri Masjid in 1992, his defence takes him back to the days when he was a cartoonist with Free Press Journal. He was Bal Thackeray then. A South Indian editor and the idli-dosa eateries soon sparked off his politics which began by batting for the pride of the Marathi manoos. His metamorphosis from Bal to Balasaheb is short and witty with his father reacting to it with amusement.

The launch of the Shiv Sena, a name suggested by his father who said, yours is not just a sanghatan, it is a sena, and the growth of Thackeray's importance in the state is gradual, entertaining and appealing. From Manohar Joshi, George Fernandes and Sharad Pawar to Indira Gandhi and YB Chavan, every politician that Thackeray dealt with figures in this extremely well written and well-directed biopic.

In fact, writer-director Abhijit Panse makes the ideal biopic. Whether you liked Thackeray or feared him or jeered him, this is who he was.

The Emergency, his stand on BabriMasjid and Ayodha, the roasting of Hindus in Radhabai Chawl, Thackeray's meeting with cricketers Vengsarkar and Javed Miandad before the Sainiks destroyed the cricket pitch at Wankhede, it's all there, interestingly chronicled. What he did for Dada Kondke, what he did to Air India, the vada-paav stalls, Abhijit tells it all.

And that's where many are going to have a problem with the film. Because it is so compellingly told that admirers will warm up to it and detractors will rubbish it and poke holes in it. But like the man himself, you can't wish away a film that documents such an important chunk of Maharashtra's politics.

Without a doubt, casting Nawazuddin Siddiqui as Bal Thackeray was a masterstroke not only for widening the audience beyond Maharashtra but also for the flawless performance that he puts in. Siddiqui makes a perfect Thackeray and Chetan Sashital who has dubbed for him in Marathi is beyond proficient. Amrita Rao as wife Meenatai has a pleasant presence.


Disclaimer: We are proud that LehrenTV reviewer Bharathi S Pradhan has been appointed an advisory member of the prestigious CBFC. However, her reviews reflect her personal appraisal of a film and do not in any way speak on behalf of the Censor Board.


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Analysis

    Direction
    4/5
  • Dialogues
    3.5/5
  • Story
    4/5
  • Music
    2.5/5
  • Screen Play
    4/5

The Verdict

The only question mark I could put against Panse’s film is, will there be an audience for Thackeray beyond Maharashtra? I also think the Marathi version will probably bring in larger numbers than the Hindi one.

For a superbly crafted biopic on an important figure in Indian politics, Thackeray gets a 3.5* rating.


 

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