Pawankhind Movie Review
Cast– Chinmayi Mandlekar as Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, Ajay Purkar as Bajiprabhu Deshpande, Mrinal Kulkarni as Jijabai, Sameer Dharmadhikari as Siddi Johar, Ankit Mohan as Shrimant Rayaji Bandal and others.
Director– Digpal Lanjekar
Release date– 18th February 2022
Popcorn score– 8 out of 10
What’s the basic storyline?
The fort of Panhala is surrounded by the army of Adil Shah II’s army, which is led by Siddi Johar and his son-in-law Siddi Masud. Johar’s plan is to trap Shivaji Maharaj and his force inside the fort and let their food source get depleted, which will eventually lead Maharaj to bow down. Maharaj, however, on the other hand, plans to secretly escape to Vishalgadh in order to arrange the source of food for his army.
Siddi Johar, who is evil-minded, has already made some of his troops keep an eye on Vishalgadh. With a strategy in mind, Shivaji Maharaj somehow manages to escape the troops led by his enemy around Panhala fort, and till he reaches Vishalgadh, Bajiprabhu Deshpande, and Bandal warriors keep Siddi Masud and the enemy troops engaged by clashing with them in a rearguard last stand, popularly known as Pawankhind (originally known as Ghod Khind).
Every single actor in Pawankhind has supported the film very well. Starting with the lead actor, Chinmay Mandlekar has once again excelled in the tough role of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. He looks confident and carries that aura in a much-improved way than Farjand and Fatteshikast (in both the films he played Maharaj).
The show stealer of Pawankhind is Ajay Purkar. We have seen him in Marathi shows and movies like Mulshi Pattern. But here, he has got a game-changer. He has built a good physique for the character of powerful Bajiprabhu Deshpande. He looks flawless with superb dialogue delivery and a confident screen presence.
Sameer Dharmadhikari is a surprise package. He looks amazingly shrewd and has a thrilling presence all throughout the film. Ankit Mohan shines in his character of Rayaji, with special mention to his ripped physique. Mrinal Kulkarni, Astad Kale, and others too have excelled in their roles.
Screenplay, direction & other departments
Pawankhind is written and directed by Digpal Lanjekar, so it’s totally the baby of Lanjekar. He has handled both departments extremely well. The film’s narrative runs in a flashback, which is actually a good option for historical dramas.
The screenplay is very engaging and has the right amount of emotions, thrill, and action. There are some relief doses of humour, making it an enjoyable flick. It’s more than just a popcorn film as it oozes inspiration throughout and sheds light on the contribution of unsung heroes of Shivaji Maharaj.
With a lot of material in hand, this film could have gone either more in the emotional zone or action zone, but Lanjekar has beautifully handled the subject.
Editing is good as it’s a crisp film with a length of 2 hours and 33 minutes. Music is situational and suits the film really well. Those who have written the dialogues deserve full marks as they seem not so superficial, instantly connect with you, and are inspiring to the core.
Action scenes are well designed and have definitely raised the standards for the Marathi film industry.
No film is perfect and this one too has some flaws. It’s a bit slow and paces up after some time in the first half. Background score causes disturbance in some scenes.
On a conclusive note…
Pawankhind is once in a while experience that is strictly needed to be witnessed in theatres. It’s inspiring to the core with a perfect dose of entertainment value.