• Golden Globe Awards

Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior (India) – In conversation with Ajay Devgan

"Arial",sans-serif;color:black”> is based on the true-life of Subedar Tanaji Malusare, the military leader of the Maratha King Shivaji Maharaj. Tanaji sacrificed himself in order to win the famous Battle of Sinhagad on the night of February 4, 1670. The film tells us the story of this brave warrior who was not only a skilled swordsman but whose timely intelligence helped in leading the Maratha army to victory. Actor Ajay Devgan who plays the part of Tanhaji talks about his passion for the subject and the making of the film.Tanaji Malusare (our film title was spelled Tanhaji) was a trusted military aide of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj in 1670. He had a mention in our school textbook. I was fascinated with him since back then. Of course, years later when director Om Raut walked in with a suggestion to make a film on him, I rediscovered Tanaji again. How he almost single-handedly won the Singhagad Fort back for Shivaji from the Mughals is a kind of folklore. The story has valor, honor and integrity. The qualities most people admire in people. This is what drew me to the character. We, at our production house, ADFFilms have also launched an unsung warrior series and intend to continue telling stories of the lesser feted and celebrated heroes, as and when we can.The preparation for the part was mostly internal. Externally we had hardly anything to reference. However, one had to prepare mentally because Tanhaji was a strategist and a warrior. He, as I said earlier, was extraordinarily loyal and fierce. For the character, I had to draw from my inner resource of strength to convey the kind of fierceness he brought to the screen. Our script and dialogue supported me amply as an actor.I’m fortunate to own a VFX company called NYVFXwalas. Tanhaji offered us scope to tell our story in 3-D with the best possible visual effects because we wanted to capture the imagination of an audience that ranged from the ages of 8 to 80. And that is precisely what we did. Our VFX budget was huge and we were suitably rewarded because the visual effects did enhance our film making it a large-screen spectacle. Not quite in the league of an Avatar. Modestly, I must say that by Indian cinema standards, we set a benchmark.line-height:107%;font-family:"Arial",sans-serif”>Savitribai Malusare)