Onto the final new release of the weekend and I have finished watching the new Marathi film Pawankhind which has premiered on Amazon Prime today. This after the film has completed a successful theatrical run(in fact there are still a few shows which are running to packed houses). A film that I have heard only praises about and a film which has been recommended to me atleast a dozen times over the various social media platforms. So naturally I was curious about the hype around the film and grab my opportunity as soon as it premiered on OTT. So then is Pawankhind worth your time, stay tuned.
Story & Screenplay
Set in 1660, Pawankhind follows the land stand between the Maratha warriors and the Adilshah sultenate in the mountain pass near fort Vishalgad. This episode was a part of our history textbooks but before starting the film, I decided to brush up some of it over the internet. The story is goosebumps worthy and quite fabulous to witness. The screenplay gives us a bit of a background about the events leading up to this chapter. And I am a fan of History so I was into the film from the word go! There is considerable buildup which follows as you are introduced to the warriors from both parties. The minor conflicts leading upto the politics behind the scenes kept me interested during this period. What I was skeptical about was that after considerable amount of buildup, the actual battle had to be impactful. If that was not the case then the film would be reduced to rubble. But to my surprise, almost the entire last hour was dedicated to the eventual battle. The events leading up to the battle had varied emotions – from heart filled dramatic moments to the adrenaline pumping ones. And once the actual battle begins, you just standup and take notice of it. It is amazing to witness the final stand off with so many goosebumps worthy scenes. He entire combat sequence of a warrior being slit yet continuing to fight fills you up with a lot of emotions. This culminates or rather crescendoes into a rousing final act which aptly sums up the screenplay which is just so well written.
Dialogues, Music & Direction
The dialogues are slightly melodramatic but they leave a desired impact. The music is good and the BGM is rousing. I had a little problem with the appearances of the Adilshah sultenate with several dark shades being applied to make them look villain-ish. This has been a norm(almost like a typecast) and a minor detail which can be modified going forward. The action sequences are well choreographed and extremely well short. The VFX are a bit of a suspect but I will let that pass. Director Digpal Lanjekar who completes his trilogy with this film, has done a stupendous job. He maintains a grip on the narrative and commands your attention throughout.
The performances are honestly top notch. Kshitee Jog as Badi Begum is excellent in an extended cameo and she truly looks her part. Mrinal Kulkarni as Rajmata Jijabai is exceptional with a few good combat sequences as well. Ruchi Savarn, Prajakta Mali, Surabhi Bhave, Madhvi Nimkar and Dipti Ketkar all have their moments to shine and all of them have done a swell job. Ajinkya Nanaware as Narwir Shiva Kashid is brilliant and he really makes you feel for his character towards the end. Harish Dhudhade as Bahirji Naik is pretty good with a rousing speech in the film. Rishi Saxena as Rustom and Sushrut Mankani as Fazar Khan are intimidating. Sameer Dharmadhikari as Siddi Johar looks menacing and has done a good job. Ankit Mohan as Shrimant Rayajirao Bandal has such a magnetic screen presence and he excels in many combat sequences. Ajay Purkar as Baji Prabhu Deshpande is the star of the show here. Not only is he fabulous in dramatic scenes but his several combat scenes towards the end with give you goosebumps. Chinmay Mandlekar as Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj is absolutely brilliant. It was only last week when I saw him in a brutal role in The Kashmir Files. These are two separate characters which defines the range if a performer and he comes out with flying colours.
Pawankhind is goosebumps worthy and worth every bit of your time. Available on Amazon Prime and Highly Recommended.