Ajay Devgn is a busy man these days, promoting his upcoming movie ‘Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior’, a period drama delving into the life of Tanhaji Malusare, a leader in Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj’s Maratha army.
However, not more than a paragraph can be found about Tanhaji in history books. And that’s exactly the reason why Devgn has chosen to make a film on him in his anticipated ‘Unsung Warriors’ series.
“That is the whole idea that’s why we have started this series called ‘Unsung Warriors’. Tanhaji is limited to Maharashtra but he has fought for the whole country. There are such people in Punjab, in Bengal, in Rajasthan and other parts of the country who have made big sacrifices but they are limited to their states. There are great stories which need to be told. The idea is to bring these people out and make them known pan India because they have sacrificed for the entire country and not just for their state,” Devgn said.
Period dramas are currently a popular trend in Bollywood. However, the actor claims that he did not make ‘Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior’ to follow a trend.
“I don’t know if there is a trend but you hear good stories and you want to tell them. I think, people are getting educated by finding out good stories because they want to make good films. So, that’s how it has happened. The research of this film started four years back. That time there was no trend. It just happens sometimes,” he said.
Indian cinema is currently witnessing a historical change; a change from the tradition of the hero-worship of film stars to the prime focus being shifted to content.
“Of course, it is changing. I think now stars are becoming…it depends from film to film. However big you are as an actor, if the film is not good it has its limitations. It will open big maybe but stop at a point. So, content has become very important. Audience does not want to waste money to see rubbish and that is very good for us because it keeps us on our toes,” Devgn continued.
Many Bollywood industry giants feel web platforms are giving tough competition to mainstream cinema because the audience, especially millennials, are hooked online these days.
However, Devgn disagrees.
“It has become a competition but it is helping us a lot also. OTT platforms are increasing the shelf life of our films. Otherwise, once it was out of the theatre, you never remembered that this film was there. Now, people remember. They can keep going back and watch it again and again. Even people who have missed it [in theatres] can watch it,” he says.
‘Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior’ is directed by Om Raut and also stars his wife Kajol, Saif Ali Khan, Sharad Kelkar and Luke Kenny.
Soon after this production, Devgn will reprise his iconic character, DCP Bajirao Singham, for the Akshay Kumar-led ‘Sooryavanshi’, set to release this year. A third instalment of ‘Singham 3’ is also in the works, Devgn confirms.
“Yes, it will happen but right now we are doing ‘Golmaal’ first. Then maybe after that, we will do ‘Singham’. When you see ‘Sooryavanshi’, you will get the answer. The answer is there in that film.”
‘Sooryavanshi’, the next instalment in Rohit Shetty’s cop drama universe, hits theatres in March.
Don’t miss it!
‘Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior’ is out in UAE cinemas on January 9.