After all the anti-immigrant sentiment propagated during his life, one would expect a Marathi actor to portray Bal Thackeray in his biopic (the trailer even shows Thackeray taking down a Hindi film from a theatre only to replace it with a Marathi one). In Nawazuddin Siddiqui, the makers of the movie have found a non-Marathi, Muslim actor to play the Shiv Sena founder.
As one begins to awe at the inclusive nature shown by the makers, the trailer shuts down hope with the depiction of the demolition of Babri Masjid and Thackeray’s justification for the same. Being real-life incidents, the decision to depict these events is entirely justified; but the accompanying glorification could have been done without. The rousing soundtrack and the tiger roar signal nothing but this.
If the Hindi version is not revolting enough, the Marathi version has more hatred in store. South Indian actor Siddharth has found certain sections of this trailer especially troubling. A particular scene involves Thackeray mouthing the line “uthao lungi, bajao pungi!” about South Indians.
Nawazuddin has repeated 'Uthao lungi bajao pungi' (lift the lungi and *'#$ him) in the film #Thackeray. Clearly hate speech against South Indians… In a film glorifying the person who said it! Are you planning to make money out of this propaganda? Stop selling hate! Scary stuff!
— Siddharth (@Actor_Siddharth) December 26, 2018
About these portions, writer and producer, Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut has said in a TNM report “Balasaheb was controversial, but his thoughts gave direction to the country. We show him as he was. It is not a love story, right?” Though the CBFC has raised objections to portions of trailer, Raut said that they haven’t thought about making any cuts.
In spite of all this, it’s both relieving and refreshing to see Siddiqui take on this role with the use of minimum prosthetics. Fresh off from playing Hassan Saadat Manto in Nandita Das’ Manto this year, Thackeray adds to Siddiqui’s long list of real-life personalities that include the serial killer Raman Raghav from Anurag Kashyap’s Raman Raghav 2.0 (2016), Dashrath Manjhi from Ketan Mehta’s Manjhi – The Mountain Man (2015) and Chand Nawab from Kabir Khan’s Bajrangi Bhaijaan (2015).
Directed by Abhijit Pansare, and also starring Amrita Rao, Thackeray is set to release on January 25 along with Kangana Ranaut’s Manikarnika – The Queen of Jhansi.
Watch the trailer of the movie here:
Image Courtesy: Times Now