The trailer for Ajay Devgn’s period film Tanhaji - The Unsung Warrior has released. To bring you up to speed, the film stars Ajay Devgn, Saif Ali Khan and Kajol. Set in 1670, it is based on the life of Tanhaji Malusare (Ajay), a military leader in the army of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. According to legend, he was enlisted by Shivaji to recapture the Kondana fort from the Mughals in what came to be known as the Battle of Sinhagad.
Seems simple enough, you’d think. But we’ve watched the trailer multiple times and we still have several questions.
1. Was Lack of Paper the Real Reason for the Downfall of the Mughal Empire?
At the beginning of the trailer, Saif strolls into the Mughal court and steps onto a rug decorated with what looks like a map of 17th century Asia. Did they not have paper back then? We’re not expecting Google Maps and GPS, but it seems very inconvenient to have to unroll a whole carpet every time you need to figure out where to go.
2. Did the Marathas Make Weird Flexes Before It Was Cool?
When the Maratha matriarch finds out that the region of Kondhana has been usurped by the Mughals, she bravely resolves to go... barefoot (?) until the fort has been recaptured. Is this the 17th century version of ‘weird flex but okay’? However, it is refreshing to see a period drama where the women aren’t forced to immediately prepare to launch themselves into a bonfire at the slightest provocation.
3. Why Are the Elephants All Giant?
I know, I know, cinematography, cameras add ten pounds, etc., etc., ... but *how* big were those Maratha elephants?
4. Is Zip Lining With Swords the Worst Adventure Sport Ever™?
I’ll admit that zip lining between cliffs seems like a pretty efficient way to get places (Hi BMC, are you taking notes?). But adding giant swords to the mix seems like a terrible idea. On second thought, maybe not. But my point still stands in the context of a battle where the entire objective is to stay alive and avoid plummeting to your death at all costs. It’s kind of like pulling the pin off a grenade and then deciding to scratch your nose at the last minute because YOLO.
5. Is Tanhaji Also a Naagin?
Well, is he? How else do you explain what’s going on here?
6. How Much Did Saif Get Paid for This?
Look Saif, I know Sacred Games 2 and Laal Kaptan got a lukewarm reception but there’s really no excuse to allow someone to turn you into the human embodiment of a Spongebob meme.
P.S.: Please never let Taimur see this, otherwise that’s the last time you’ll ever be taken seriously as a parent.
7. Why Is Tanhaji so Mad at That Horse?
Far be it from me to tell soldiers how to do their job, but shoving yourself into an innocent equine just because you’re losing seems like terrible battle etiquette.
8. Did Saif Just Push a Man to His Death With the Power of His Voice?
...or was it bad breath?
9. Why Is Everyone Rubbish at Fighting?
Look, I can’t even win at Battleship but even I know that if you’re at one end of the battle ground (with no horse, may I add) and your enemy is so far across on the other side that you’re not even sure it’s him – could be your mother for all you know – taking a flying leap into the air while brandishing your sword at nothing doesn’t make you look as cool as you think it does.
10. Does Kajal Steal Kajol’s Thunder in the Film?
This is a terrible pun but we have bigger problems. Once again, Tanhaji seems to be doing what most Bollywood period films enjoy doing – making sure the audience does not mistake who’s the bad guy here. Just like Ranveer’s Khilji in Padmaavat and Sanjay Dutt’s Ahmed Shah Abdali in Panipat, Saif Ali Khan – who plays a Rajput enlisted by the Mughals to defeat the Marathas – is dressed head-to-toe in black with layers of kajal. In the producers’ defence, maybe they just couldn’t get all the kajal off Saif’s eyes after he finished shooting for Laal Kaptaan.
P.S.: When Did the Battle of Sinhagad Turn Into a Surgical Strike?
This is less of a question and more of a PSA. We’re all for making history relevant but everything doesn’t have to be called a surgical strike to illustrate its national significance.
It’s really easy to do. Just look to me for inspiration – I ate a banana really fast this morning, but I didn’t go around bragging about how I conducted a surgical strike on my fruit bowl. Calm down.