Subhedar Movie Review Rating:

Star Cast: Chinmay Mandlekar, Ajay Purkar, Mrinal Kulkarni, Smita Shewale, Abhijeet Shwetachandra,

Director: Digpal Lanjekar.

Subhedar Movie Review
Subhedar Movie Review (Picture Credit: IMDB)

What’s Good: It is an entirely varied gang of great actors coming together to retell a story of the most revered King and his friend and Commander In Chief. Alka Kubal makes a cameo, so now you know the gang I am talking about. Also, the music!

What’s Bad: It does get a bit too loud in parts and also very abrupt in its structure in parts. Also, the war choreography feels off.

Loo Break: These are some great acting performances that you might not like to miss.

Watch or Not?: A filmmaker is trying to build his cinematic universe around Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. If you have seen the rest and loved it, you will buy that ticket. If not, you can give it a try.

Language: Marathi (with subtitles).

Available On: Theatres Near You!

Runtime: 154 Minutes.

User Rating:

Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj is under stress to reclaim the lost provinces and build Swarajya, where everyone flourishes equally. He meets Tanaji Malusare, who is ready to fight for his king and the motherland. Years prove that Tanaji is the Lion that this country deserved and a loyal friend who stood by the King like a pillar. He finally goes to war to reclaim Kondana and even wins, but…

Subhedar Movie Review
Subhedar Movie Review (Picture Credit: Youtube)

Subhedar Movie Review: Script Analysis

For every Maharashtrian individual and one who has had a keen interest in history, the stories of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj and his bravery are a part of our growing up. We build miniatures of his forts to celebrate Diwali; his birth anniversary is a day to remember his teachings, and this particular story was a part of our fourth standard curriculum. So when a filmmaker decides to build an entire universe out of his stories, there is indeed excitement. But can there be a saturation due to the repetitive occurrence? Can’t deny it. Let’s dissect.

Subhedar, tells us the story of Tanaji Malusare and how he fought the till the last breath of his life to win Fort Kondana. While this is a story of bravery and the victory of the Marathas, for me, if has always been about one of the most iconic tales of friendships and bonds. Subhedar, written by Digpal Lanjekar, captures that and manages to show that bond in the most beautiful light. The first important scene of the movie has Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj accepting Tanaji not just as his soldier but also a friend, and the bond only strengthens.

Nothing about this story is unknown to us. Ajay Devgn made a hit movie with Om Raut (Adipurush) on the same story. So, the job that Subhedar has is to make us marvel at its scale of it. Because there is no suspense. You know Tanaji will eventually lose his life in the battle for Kondana. Subhedar even manages to marvel us at many aspects. I am in love with how Digpal shapes the women in this world, which is about the men. Rajmata Jijabai was the epitome of bravery, and she was eventually the nurturer of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, so when she yields her sword to take down men who disrespect women, you certainly know where Maharaj’s ideals came from.

Similarly, all other women in Digpal’s script have a voice, which has been a rare occurrence in movies that talk of the war. Be it Tanaji’s wife, played by the amazing Smita Shewale, or Alka Kubal and Mrumayee Deshpande in cameos, these are not one-tone patriarchal ladies serving men but have things to say and ideas to offer. Such a good part to highlight.

The movie falters with its blueprint, though. The screenplay is abruptly cut from one sequence to the other, jumping through years without any announcement, which makes keeping track of the timeline difficult. The tonality, too, becomes too loud in parts, and that weakens the movie-watching experience.

Subhedar Movie Review: Star Performance

Chinmay Mandlekar is now Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj for the Marathi audience, and there is no going back. For an actor who played a terrorist in The Kashmir Files (a supremely manipulative movie), he has got a range. The actor has so far played Maharaj in all three movies Digpal has made.

Ajay Purkar understands the responsibility of playing the titular character and serves a very good performances. He transforms from a naive man, to a confident commander through the film, and there is so much ease with which he does it. The fact that he is not a superstar with abs and chiseled muscles makes him even more believable.

Mrinal Kulkarni has defined our childhood as Son Pari, and as Jijabai, she again proves what makes her relevant even in today’s time. The power she still holds with her screen presence is so good that you will only see her when she is in the frame. Fun fact, the movie also stars her real-life son Virajas Kulkarni and his wife Shivani Rangole Kulkarni.

Subhedar Movie Review
Subhedar Movie Review (Picture Credit: Youtube)

Subhedar Movie Review: Direction, Music

Digpal Lanjekar’s direction is interesting but also very compressed. He doesn’t look at things in a wide angle much, and this genre demands exactly what he doesn’t do. Too many close-ups make the aesthetics of his world look dull, and even the detail goes for a toss. Talking of details, the art and costume team needs more research because multiple times the clothes look like their were bought from Dadar market and a model of Kondana in the centre of the court seems like it was made today.

The music by Devdutta Manisha Baji is so fresh. The songs are not stereotypical but made with every aspect of the movie in mind. Every music piece is detailed and laced with era-appropriate vocals and tunes. A Sant Tukaram abhanga gets a rendition and a very powerful one. Would love to see more of Baji’s work.

Subhedar Movie Review: The Last Word

Subhedar does get dull, but nothing can take away the merit the movie holds. Go for it if this is your genre.

Subhedar Trailer

Subhedar releases on 25 August, 2023.

Share with us your experience of watching Subhedar.

For more recommendations, read our Sarsenapati Hambirrao Movie Review here.

Must Read: Har Har Mahadev Movie Review: Subodh Bhave-Sharad Kelkar Starrer Focuses More On The Human Side Of A Warrior & It’s A Welcoming Change!

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