Subhedar Movie Review

The fifth entry in the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Octet, Subhedar, is yet another glaring retelling of the legends of Mawlas and Swarajya. This time, the film revolves around the tenacious Tanaji Malusare who roared like a lion during the battle of Kondhana and sacrificed his life to win back the fort. The same fort is now known as Sinhgad!

Burdened by the tyranny of Mughal Sultans, Aausaheb and Shivaji Raje decide to win back Kondhana, meanwhile appointing Tanaji Malhusare as the Subhedar of the Maratha Clan.

Directed and Written by – Digpal Lanjekar
Star Cast – Chinmay Mandlekar, Mrinal Kulkarni, Ajay Purkar, Sameer Dharmadhikari
Cinematography By – Priyanka Mayekar
Edited By – Sagar Shinde and Vinay Shinde
Music By – Devdatta Baji
Production Design – Pratik Redij


The film starts with the oppressions faced by the locals in and around Mawal. Siddi Johar’s soldiers are on a run to destroy all the temples and sacred places, raiding villages and selling young girls. Shivaji Maharaj helps rebuild one of the temples but is humbled when he gets to know about the real truths.

Such atrocious incidents reminds him of his friend from Umartha, Tanaji Malusare. He calls him to Raigad and amazed by his sword wielding skills, appoints him as the Subhedar. Then begins the quest to win back forts to secure a healthy position in setting up the Swarajya. Post Shivaji Maharaj’s Agra escape, the warfare for Kondhana begins.

Coming to the technicalities, the screenplay could have been so so much better. The first half drags itself a lot, but the last hour of the film is easily one of the most heartbreaking climaxes I have ever seen in Marathi Cinema. The last hour is pure goosebumps, a lot of tears and pride rushing through your veins altogether.

I am glad it is a more accurate representation of the events. The first half lags so much because it basically feels like a page torn straight out of numerous TV Soaps we have seen for so many years. The writing and the presentation could have been better for the first half.

After a sort of setback in the previous entry, Digpal delivers big time in this one. His ability to deal with emotional scenes is brilliant. The cinematography is pretty mediocre. The background music just didn’t work for me. The action scenes in the climax are praise worthy.

The performance by Ajay Purkar as Tanaji is ferocious and electric. He gets the lion’s share literally. We have seen both Chinmay Mandlekar and Mrinal Kulkarni in the previous parts so they have nothing new to offer. The rest of the cast especially Abhijeet Shwetchandra as Suriya, Tanaji’s brother does a good job.

All in all, Subhedar is a solid entry in the Shivraj Ashtak. The first half will test your patience but nothing can stop the teary energetic last hour. Definitely recommending you to watch it in cinemas. Pawankhind still remains the best entry from the series.

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