Thackeray Review & Rating
Thackeray Review: An Essential and Unveiled Portrayal of Thackeray The Man and The Leader
Balasaheb Thackeray, the late supremo of Shiv Sena is a polarizing figure when it comes to politics but as an individual who was a cartoonist finding it tough to meet ends and enters the political scene with a bang and becomes the face of Maratha movement his life is as fascinating as any of the other top leaders. Bal Thackeray wrote himself a special chapter in Indian Politics especially in the latter half of the 20th Century.
Thackeray the personality
The film starts with the notorious court case when NBal Thackeray has to step into the court during the Babri Masjid questioning. Then the film sketches his life (pun intended) from the time he was a cartoonist to 1995 when Manohar Joshi becomes the Chief Minister. The film touches about all the aspects of Thackeray which made him a mass leader of Marathas who can instigate violence just by rising his brow.
His speeches, the way he manipulate the masses using his words and voice are captured well. This reviewer was of the opinion that the film will whitewash Thackeray like it happened with Sanju. There was also a feeling that Thackeray is a propaganda film. But the doubts were squashed once the first scene started rolling on the screen and Bal Thackeray is presented as he was for the most part including the times his command like words making his followers take justice into their hands. Thackeray comes into active politics as the cosmopolitan atmosphere in Bombay was supposedly curbing the chances of the natives of the state. That fact was not removed in the film.
Writing and direction
The director followed a clever but obvious technique by keeping the past scenes in black and white. He has used the Babri Masjid scene as a pivot on which he balanced the black and white past and the colorful present. The color scheme brought depth to the proceedings as is the sweeping narrative of Thackeray's life. Sanjay Raut's pen talked brilliantly and few scenes are wonderfully conceived. Take, for example, when Thackeray talking to a Muslim family post-violence.
The narration is smooth and the screenplay is constructed in such a way that there is a sustained interest for the audience to invest in the emotions the lead character has been going through. Thackeray is more like introducing the Maratha Tiger to the current generation which always sees him through colored glasses.
Artists and performances
Nawazuddin Siddiqui is the lifeblood of Thackeray. He became the Thackeray rather than portraying him. He didn't imitate Thackeray which helped in recreating Bal Thackeray on the screen. The director too deserves kudos for the way he utilized the understated acting prowess of an actor of the caliber Nawazuddin. The dialogue modulation, the languid body language, the deep looks and the charismatic but imposing personality was well captured by Nawazuddin with all his might.
Amrita Rao has a limited role but she did well in the chances given to her. Other actors are not as much known as the characters they played. George Fernandez, Barrister Rajni Patel, Sharad Pawar etc. The scene involving Indira Gandhi is pure genius in establishing the aura of Bal Thackeray. His crowd-pleasing speeches weren't masked.
First class crew work
The music takes you back in the time as much as the top of the line cinematography. The production design team did a fantastic job of recreating the old and the not that old Mumbai as we have known. Every technical department worked with synchronization which added to the efforts of the makers. Everything looks pitch perfect as Nawazuddin himself. The production values by Sanjay Raut and his team under the able assistance of Viacom18 Motion Pictures are first rate. All in all, Thackeray is a well-made film.
It is not to say that there are no flaws in the film. But by choosing not to present a rosy picture of the subject, interesting narration, and a more than brilliant work by Nawazuddin Siddiqui all add to the experience in a positive way. Whether you like him or not, Thackeray is a film that worth a watch if not this weekend, once it is available for streaming. Don't miss this sweeping tale of one of the most fascinating leaders of Marathaland.
- Unveiled portrayal of Thackeray
- Nawazuddin Siddiqui is Thackeray
- Terrific production work
- Lack of clarity on the writer's part in some areas
Pycker Rating: 3.25 out of 5
Tailpiece: It's not a propaganda film
Reviewed by: GitacharYa
Thackeray Critic Reviews
Thackeray User Reviews
Despite the film being produced by a Shiv Sena leader, it doesn't present him as all do-gooder. A well acted and well made film not to be missed. A bit more clarity in the narration would have made it even better. But still, Nawazuddin Siddiqui is simply amazing
What is Thackeray About?
Bal Keshav Thackeray or as more popularly known as Balasaheb Thackeray was the embodiment of the Maratha spirit of the latter half of the 20th century. The man who founded Shiv Sena Party and one of the cornerstones of nationalist politics in India, Bal Thackeray's is a fascinating story either as a born leader who rose up to be the face of Maratha Pride or as an eminent cartoonist who later started Shiv Sena or even as a tale of one man who rose to stratospheric heights with his sheer will power and charismatic leadership.
Thackeray depicts the life of Balasaheb Thackeray, his journey from being a respected cartoonist to a volatile political leader. There is a general perception that he was disliked by a section of people in Indian for his polemic comments. For all the ways he was painted as anti-Muslim, he always had some great friends in that community and is said to respect those who think themselves as Indians first Muslims next. Proof? The man who is portraying Thackeray's role, Nawazuddin Siddiqui. This can happen only in India.
A Rivetting drama about the life of Babasaheb Thackeray
Balasaheb Thackeray is one of the most prominent Indian leaders of the latter half of the 20th century. He is a polarising man all right. But he is well-respected for what he is. His life is an essential case study for the growth of a leader with a single point agenda. He was treated as the embodiment of Maratha Spirit. He was also the founder of the noted Marathi language newspaper, Saamana. Thackeray acted as the editor of Saamana and its Hindi version Dopahar Ka Saamana until his death in 2012.
The movie, Thackeray is expected to cover all the aspects of his life and to show him in an objective way despite being the production of men who have strong ties with Shiv Sena. Or at least as a sympathetic figure without whitewashing him. In whatever way the film is made, watching the life of Balasaheb Thackeray on the big screen is an experience in itself as he was the witness for several important happenings in modern-day India. And Nawazuddin Siddiqui already started receiving rave reviews for his performance.
Nawazuddin Siddiqui as Balasaheb Thackeray
Nawazuddin Siddiqui is one of the highly acclaimed actors in Indian Cinema these days. He is playing the eponymous role of Thackeray in the film through the Marathi lines for him in Marathi version are dubbed for him. He is an actor par excellence and it is an intriguing prospect for us to watch him essay a role like Bal Thackeray the quintessential Hindu nationalist political leader. And it is a historical event in itself that a Muslim actor portraying Thackeray. A well-played trump card from the makers if it is what it is. Or the testament for the true secular nature of the Indian fabric.
Team Assembled by Viacom18 Motion Pictures
The movie is primarily produced by Sanjay Raut, An MP of Rajya Sabha, who also wrote the script for the film in collaboration with Viacom18 Motion Pictures. He is said to have taken a lot of care in the making of the film. This and Abhijit Panse's direction have certainly lent an epic feel for the film from what is evidenced by the trailer. Also, Amrita Rao makes her return to the big screen after a long gap with this film by playing Mina Tai Thackeray.
Amar Mohile's background score is elevating and matches the scale of the film and Sudeep Chatterjee's cinematography creates a lot more interest as he has a great track record with films like Padmaavat, Bajirao Mastani, Chak De! India etc films. Viacom19 Motion Pictures is known for making high-quality films and Thackeray will surely be nothing short of that.
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