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Farzand teaser: Captures the daring of an unsung hero of Shivaji’s army

Chinmay Mandlekar looks convicing in the role of Shivaji while Ankit Mohan, who plays the titular character, looks promising. 

Keyur Seta

Shivaji, the 17th century warrior king, is almost worshipped as an icon in Maharashtra. So, it is no surprise that Marathi cinema keeps going back to his life and times for story ideas. The most recent film to do so successfully was Mee Shivajiraje Bhosale Boltoy (2009).

But Shivaji's core team also comprised quite a few fearless warriors whose stories are worth retelling on celluloid. Kondaji Farzand was one such warrior on whom the film Farzand is based. 

Kondaji Farzand became famous for pulling off the near impossible task of capturing Panhala fort, which is surrounded by water on all sides. Shivaji had captured the fort in 1659 after he had killed Afzal Khan, the general of the Adilshahi army of Bijapur. But the following year, the Adilshah took the fort back after an extended seige and Shivaji only escaped alive because of the bravery and sacrifice of 300 Maratha troops led by legendary general Baji Prabhu Deshpande who held the Adilshahi forces at bay at a narrow mountain pass until Shivaji had reached the safety of Vishalgad.

After that, Shivaji tried to recapture Panhala in 1666 but failed. Worse, he lost over 1,000 soldiers in the attempt. The fort came to be considered near impregnable. But Shivaji was determined to take it back, and Kondaji Farzand volunteered for the task.

Farzand realized he would never be able to take the fort in a frontal attack and decided to mount his offensive with a detachment of just 300 soldiers in the dead of night. It was a daring move, considering that the fort housed a 1,500-strong garrison. But the element of surprise, with 60 soldiers scaling the fort's walls while the rest remaining at the bottom to cut off any escape or assistance from outside, carried the day.

The teaser, however, focuses mostly on Shivaji and his entry. Shivaji is played in the film by Chinmay Mandlekar, who looks fairly convincing. Ankit Mohan, the actor playing Farzand, also appears promising. But the makers have resorted to the use of some cliched music and over-enthusiastic dialogues. This technique has been done to death in films depicting the Marathas and a newer approach would have been desirable. 

Farzand is the directorial debut of Digpal Lanjekar. 

Watch the teaser:


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