In this guest post, Vishek Chauhan talks about Ajay Devgn and his extraordinary journey towards the top at the box office. As we speak Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior has breached the Rs 275 cr mark. It is Ajay Devgn’s highest grossing film ever. This is probably the first time Devgn has seen such a huge success and he was the one shouldering the film. Ajay has been part of many ensemble comic franchises that have done phenomenally well. Singham franchise is also extremely popular but that one big genuine solo Blockbuster eluded him for the longest. Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior is that Blockbuster.
Ajay Devgn burst onto the screen with Phool Aur Kaante. He captured the imagination of the masses and very quickly became a very dependable box office draw. Jigar and Dilwale stand out as Boxoffice bonanzas. Ajay had made the space his own. He regularly played the angry brooding hero. Masala films with emotions and dollops of action. The brand was established and films(Diljale and Jaan) cemented it.
Ajay just wasn’t satisfied with the regular masala flick. He pushed the envelope with films like Zakhm and Takshak. His sensitive portrayals won over critics over. Company was another landmark film in which Ajay the actor took forefront, but he didn’t leave his regular potboilers. He was smartly mixing it up. Raincoat was another superlative performance in which he completely stripped himself of his stardom and became the character. Gangajaal still remains one of my personal favourite films of Devgn( am a bihari!!) , where he nailed it as an IPS officer. He also had the audacity to play a villain in the much acclaimed Khakee. An ensemble starcast led supremely by Amitabh Bacchan. Apaharan and Yuva were perfectly balanced by Golmaals.
Commercially Devgn hit a high with Singham and till today it remains his most popular character. Himmatwala and Action Jackson were setbacks for the actor. He continued to deliver successful films through ensemble comedy capers but the solo projects weren’t delivering those big numbers.
Drishyam and Raid were good money spinners but the young crop of actors were exceeding those numbers. Shivaay although successful didn’t do the numbers it was expected to deliver.
Ensemble films were delivering the numbers or probably more. The problem were the solo starrers. They weren’t doing justice to his stardom.
Tanhaji has changed all that and how! Delivering phenomenal numbers and putting Devgn right at the top, where he rightly deserves to be. Mind you, the films he was doing weren’t doing justice to his stardom. He needed the right film to pull it off and he pulled it off in supreme style. Ajay Devgn is a superstar in the truest sense. His solo films were either niche, badly made or clashed. Tanhaji clashed too, but bulldozed the opposition. Doing historical business in Maharashtra.
Ajay Devgn has a huge following across the country and all he needed was a right film to come along. It is a pleasure to see him deliver these numbers in a solo film. Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior, did two things it paid Tanhaji the national respect he deserved as a fitting cinematic tribute. Secondly it gave Ajay Devgn the boxoffice respect that this huge superstar deserves.