At the start of the year 2020, we had witnessed a spectacle of sorts in the movie Tanhaji The Unsung Warrior. Not only were the special effects outstanding but it also had a captivating story that had the audience rooting for their hero till the very end. But there was another movie that had released in 2019(and on OTT this weekend), Fatteshikast, that narrates a lesser known event in the life of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj and I have just finished watching it. Is it as effective as Tanhaji, stay tuned.
Fatteshikast us the story of the encounter of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj with Subedaar Shaista Khan at Lal Mahal in Pune. The story is pretty decent. The narrative structure(screenplay) is somewhat similar to that of Tanhaji but the good part is that it is layered and almost unfolds like a thriller. It is fast paced and definitely engages you. You also get that rush at the end but you wish it could have continued that wee longer. The dialogues are extremely effective. Music is a weaklink here and it also breaks the narrative in many parts. Director Digpal Lanjekar has done a fantastic job. At no point did I feel that I was watching a small film, it has been lavishly shot, also maintaining the tempo very well!
Rishi Saxena in a cameo as Fatteh Khan and Ashwini Kumar as Badi Begum have their moments. Mrinal Kulkarni as Rajmata Jijabai has delivered a powerful performance. Ruchi Suvarn as Soyarabai and Nakshatraa Medhekar as Bahu Begum are both excellent. Ajay Pukar as Tanhaji Malusare and the director himself Digpal as Sardar Baaji Sarjerao Jedhe both are pretty good. Harish Dudhade as Naik is superb. The one to stand out is Ankit Mohan as Sarsenapati Yesaji Kank. Mrunmayee Deshpande as Phulwanti has tremendous screen presence and is outstanding. Sameer Dharmadhikari as Naamdaar Khan invokes that fear. Anup Soni as Shaista Khan is menacing. Chinmay Mandlekar as Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj is outstanding. He is fully in control here and that pre finale speech definitely gives you goosebumps.
Fatteshikast is devoid of the chest thumping jingoism which is a big positive! It is probably as good as Tanhaji The Unsung Warrior if not better. Available on Zee5 and Highly Highly Recommended.