MUMBAI: At a time when the entire nation is going through a political turmoil over the government's imposition of the Citizenship Amendment Act 2019 or CAA, "Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior" director Om Raut feels the general environment of the country is that of pride and patriotism.
"I think this is a time when the general atmosphere of our country is of pride, the environment is of a very strong feeling of being an Indian, of patriotism. The entire environment is such. Cinema and filmmakers are only a reflection and part of society. We represent a society and are also influenced by it. Whatever the environment in the country is today, is of tremendous pride of being an Indian. A very natural reflection of that is happening in cinema. I hope, we keep feeling proud about who we are and what we do and bring our nation forward," said Raut.
"Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior" is a period drama based on the life of Maratha warrior Tanaji Malusare, who was a trusted military leader of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. The film stars Ajay Devgn in the title role.
With Bollywood delivering quite a few period dramas over the past few years, Does he think this is the perfect time to release another period drama? "We have had a tradition of talking about history. Recently there have been quite a few films dealing with historical subjects," he replied.
Raut has researched over the subject over the past five years after he made up his mind way back in 2006 that he wants to make a film on Tanaji Malusare, his favourite historical character since his childhood. He has co-written the script along with Prakash Kapadia.
Talking about the same, the filmmaker told IANS: "I was influenced by this man Tanaji Malusare as a child. I was told about his life by my grandparents. We had a very small chapter in our history book on him. His bravery, selflessness all of which were told to me in the form of stories by my family, attracted me. In 2006-07 I finally decided that I want to make a film on him but then I got busy with other work. In 2015, I started researching on the subject for the film."
Raut feels nobody could have pulled off the historical character better than superstar Ajay Devgn. "Look at the type of personality that Mr Devgn has and the depth of his performance. There wouldn't be anybody other than him to play this part according to me. He is the most perfect choice for the role," he said.
"Tanaji Malusare was a mesmerizing personality, he was huge, he was a brilliant strategist. The Guerrilla warfare which the Marathas are famous for, Tanaji Malusare was a champion of that. It was actually a war strategy of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj and Tanaji Malusare was one of his strongest lieutenants to pull that off. He was a huge asset to the Maratha empire. There is a calm and aggression in Mr Devgn's personality which makes him the best choice for this role. And I'm lucky to have him playing the part," added the filmmaker.
"Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior" hits theatres on January 10. The film stars Ajay Devgn, Kajol, Saif Ali Khan, Sharad Kelkar and Luke Kenny in significant roles.