Critic’s Rating : 3.0 / 5
Sarsenapati Hambirrao Movie Review : Gashmeer Mahajani and Pravin Tarde command the screen in this historical
The film begins with the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb congratulating Sarja Khan, a former Adilshahi general now working for the Mughals, on killing Sarsenapati Hambirrao. “How did he die,” asks Aurangzeb, and the audience is taken into flashback. What unfolds then is the story of Sarsenapati Hambirrao, his bravery, loyalty to Hindavi Swarajya, his unflinching respect for Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj and then to the king’s elder son Chhatrapati Sambhaji Maharaj. The rest, as they say, is history.
There are numerous incidents from Maratha history that can be turned into interesting films, and that’s exactly what Marathi filmmakers are doing. However, since the stories are so widely known, there’s not much that makers can do in terms of suspense. What they can work on is the presentation. Compared to other similar films in the recent past, Sarsenapati Hambirrao is a tad better in this aspect. The action is better too, and the rousing background score takes care of the rest. But the film, somehow, doesn’t make an impact as a package. It holds your attention in parts. The dialogues are bound to draw whistles and cheers in cinemas, Pravin has scored points there. Interestingly, the filmmaker has also brought in some level of drama through the politics of the royal hall and families.
With an ensemble cast that also has actors like Upendra Limaye, Sunil Abhyankar, Shruti Marathe, Kiran Yadnyopavit, Devendra Gaikwad, Ramesh Pardeshi and Snehal Tarde, there is enough sheen in the acting department to help the film sail through. Pravin Tarde and Gashmeer Mahajani (in a double role) understandably get the most screen time. Though Pravin plays the titular role and stands out in many scenes, it is Gashmeer who steals the show as the poised Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj and ferocious Chhatrapati Sambhaji Maharaj. Raqesh Bapat as Sarja Khan is alright too.
The film is based on a story that many are already familiar with. So, you won’t get an edge-of-the-seat entertainer here. But, if a page from history is what you are looking to unfold, Sarsenapati Hambirrao would be a safe bet for you this weekend.