Thackeray is an Indian bilingual biographical film written and directed by Abhijit Panse. The movie was made simultaneously in Marathi and Hindi. The film stars Nawazuddin Siddiqui and the story revolves around Balasaheb Thackeray, the founder of Indian political party Shiv Sena. Amrita Rao has been cast as Balasaheb Thackeray’s wife. The film has been released on January 25th, 2019, on the 93rd birth anniversary of Balasaheb Thackeray.
In the movie Thackeray, everything is shown through the eyes of Balasaheb Thackeray, an outspoken cartoonist who went on to form the Indian political party Shiv Sena, whose ‘reactions against actions’ helped change the face of the nation. The film opens with Balasaheb Thackeray facing trial in a court-room which has a judge with a South Indian accent, and a lawyer who asks tough questions, so that Balasaheb Thackeray should shut him up with smart replies. Balasaheb Thackeray’s point of view has been termed as the only truth, he has been termed as the ‘Hitler of Maharashtra’, and that he was the only one with the best interests of ‘his people’ at heart.
Almost every moment in the movie is the slow death of irony, including Nawazuddin Siddiqui who is an outsider to this community and religion. Nawazuddin Siddiqui is known for playing gangsters and psychopaths and just doesn’t fit right for the character of Balasaheb Tackeray. He wears big glasses and get the mannerisms right, but lacks the leading persona of the Balasaheb Thackeray and never attempts to speak with his distinctive tones. The movie makes out a hero of a man who normalized politics based on division. The movie is a self-aware film, a confession, celebrating the legacy of violence.