Balasaheb Thackeray is a name that needs no introduction, he was one of the most influential leader. His one roar would shake the whole of Maharashtra, but there are so many aspects of his life that we were not aware of. Thackeray the film based on his life gives us glimpses into the person he was and the person he became.
The biopic is an interesting insight into his early life as a cartoonist, artist and a journalist and also his rise in politics and his political life. It gives us glimpses of how Bal Keshav Thackeray went on to become the much loved leader Balasaheb Thackeray. What’s interesting is that the film has both the positive and negative aspects of his political life and doesn’t stress only on the positive.While being a much loved leader, he was also a very controversial one, one who gave some very powerful speeches.The film covers his life as a journalist with the Free Press Journal in the late 60s and follows it right up to his rise in politics till the 90s. Most of his early years have been interestingly been shown in monochromes. The film also shows how unapologetically bold and fearless he was.
What truly makes the film work is Nawazuddin Siddiqui performance as Balasaheb Thackeray. He does not do a caricature mimicking by trying to change his accent or voice to match with Balasaheb but at the same time is very convincing in the role.What he does add are the tiny nuances that makes him believable.At an interview Nawazuddin had stated that he was worried whether he would do justice to the role of Balasaheb in the film, must say there is no doubt that he has. He has completely nailed it.
Amrita Rao as Thackeray’s wife, Meenatai didn’t have much to do in the film. But the actors who played the characters of some political leaders like Sharad Pawar, George Fernandes, etc were very good and impactful even in their limited screen space.
The film does have some flaws especially in the screenplay, the pace is sometimes a little slow, there could have been more masala dialogues but Nawazuddin’s performance overshadows it all.
It’s a good watch if you want to know more about the life and times of the Tiger of Maharashtra!