THACKERAY Movie Review

The movie review of THACKERAY - one of the most eagerly awaited biopic of one of India’s most powerful and Maharashtra’s most influential political figure - Balasaheb Thackeray

Critics review

The movie review of THACKERAY – one of the most eagerly awaited biopic of one of India’s most powerful and Maharashtra’s most influential political figure – Balasaheb Thackeray starring Nawazuddin Siddiqui.

Let’s find out whether India’s King of biopic Nawazuddin Siddiqui nails it as Shiv Sena supremo and whether the biopic directed by Abhijit Panse and written and produced by Sanjay Raut – MP Rajya Sabha and a member of the Shiv Sena along with Viacom18 Motion Pictures and Carnival Motion Pictures, takes us to the remarkable journey of Bal Keshav Thackeray in THACKERAY movie review.

Everlasting moments in the movie THACKERAY
Young Bal Thackrey as a cartoonist at Free Press Journal submits his resignation on the spot with a funny cartoon. On the eve of victory of Wamanrao Mahadik – Shiv Sena’s first elected MLA, a lasting image of Nawazuddin Siddiqui as Thackrey shaping his garden as we see a flower blossoming, hinting at the beginning of a new era in Maharashtra politics


What is the story/plotline of THACKERAY?
Sanjay Raut’s story traces the journey of cartoonist Bal Keshav Thackeray to the founder of Shiv Sena and his regime. The movie takes a look at the belief system of the powerful and influential leader affectionately called BalaSaheb, how he gained the command over the city of Mumbai, how he influenced Marathi people in the name of Maratha pride and adopted means that were many times not acceptable in the eyes of law. Drawing was his passion, better life and pride for Marathi manoos was his dream, he was open in his choices and preferences, never minced words and he loved his mug of beer and pipe. The screenplay by Arvind Jagtap is easy flowing and Manoj Yadav’s dialogues pack solid punch.

The movie begins during the mid 60’s and travels till 90’s. The controversies surrounding in public domain are taken into account like the revolt against south Indians from where it all started to the mandir masjid movement to Indo Pak cricket. Liberties are taken, and in order to depict the larger than life, mass hero persona of Thackeray, some facts like the Court verdict on his voting rights, etc. are omitted.

Nawazuddin Siddiqui as Balasaheb Thackeray
Right from the first scene till the last frame, Nawazuddin Siddiqui gives a performance that will be remembered for long.


Direction of Abhijit Panse in Thackeray
Abhijit Panse does a commendable job and most astonishing part is the depiction of Mumbai during the late 60’s it’s authentic. Abhijit Panse maintains the interest and keeps it engrossing.

Other plus
Amrita Rao as Meenatai Thackeray lends good support, there’s a certain silence between her and Nawaz, which adds to their chemistry which is pious.

Major flaws
Thackeray’s views and idea’s always remain a topic of debate and here the movie openly supports the leader’s political idea. Many may take it as a propaganda movie by Sanjay Raut. The movie lacks the foundation on how Thackeray cemented his political beliefs. You need to have the knowledge of Maharashtra politics to have a better understanding. References to politicians like Sharad Pawar, Morarji Desai, Indira Gandhi, George Fernandez, Vasant Rao Naik, Dattaji Salvi, etc becomes interesting if you have a prior understanding that the Marathi Manoos movement traces way back and Thackeray’s father Keshav Sitaram Thackeray a.k.a. Prabodhankar Thackeray’s Samyukta Maharashtra Samiti vouched for the linguistic state of Maharashtra before Shiv Sena came into existence.


Technical analysis
Sandeep Ravade’s production designing is apt. Sudeep Chatterjee’s cinematography is fine. Production values are excellent.

Surprise element
Thackeray’s lighter side and voiceover artiste Chetan Shashital in the Marathi version as this review is written after watching the Marathi version, which was a necessity to get the feel and understand the impact.

Final words
THACKERAY starring Nawazuddin Siddiqui may have its reasons for coming on screen and the maker has hinted a sequel as well. So this is the first movie on the life of Balasaheb Thackeray – the leader who gains supremacy in Mumbai, a political leader who never fought any election and never went to parliament was influential in deciding the fate of Maharashtra. BalaSaheb had an undeniable charisma as a leader, which a politician dreams to have and Nawazuddin Siddiqui recreates it on screen.