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Not many references available on Tanaji’s deportment, says Ajay Devgn


Ajay Devgn, lead actor of Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior, and director Om Raut explain how they prepared for the historical film.

Keyur Seta

Ajay Devgn has played historical characters before. The classic example would be his National award-winning act as Bhagat Singh in Rajkumar Santoshi’s The Legend Of Bhagat Singh (2002). In Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior (2020), Devgn had to go back three and a half centuries, to 1670, to play the Maratha warrior Tanaji Malusare.

At the film's trailer launch, when asked how he got into character, Devgn said, "I followed my director. Whatever we have read, it didn’t have much reference to Tanaji’s behaviour and mannerisms. So you have to imagine that and maintain your dignity, basically.” 

Director Om Raut chipped in to explain how they created the film. “We worked hard and studied a lot," he said. "We started this journey in 2015 when we started writing the script. We had to create a new world. Nobody [living today] has seen 1670. After taking a lot of references from books and paintings, we came to a point where we could do what we could do."

A recent title that springs to people’s minds when one mentions the term 'period drama' is SS Rajamouli’s Baahubali. But Devgn doesn’t want Tanhaji to be compared with Baahubali. “I wouldn’t like it to be compared with any other film," the actor said. "Our film is different and tells a different story. Other people are doing some very good work and making some very good films. We are also trying to do some good work.”

Starring Sharad Kelkar as the Maratha king Shivaji and Saif Ali Khan as Udaybhan Rathod, head of the Mughal garrison holding Kondhana fort, Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior will be released on 10 January 2020.

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