Balasaheb Thackeray was larger than life figure who dominated the political scene in Maharashtra for close to five decades. He was a controversial leader, but everybody will agree that he was a firebrand leader who was never scared to articulate his views. Sanjay Raut has now produced a biopic on the life of Balasaheb. The role of Balasaheb is assayed by Nawazuddin Siddiqui, and critics feel this is one of his most excellent performances. India Today has however been very uncharitable and commented that the Film had nothing special and given it just one star out of five.

Thackeray release

The film "Thackeray" was released on Friday, and it clashed with Kangana Raut's "Manikarnika; the Queen of Jhansi," which is doing very well at the box office. Despite this, the film has done reasonably well and will more than recover its cost. The film is shot in both Hindi and Marathi, and there is every chance that the Marathi version will be a success.

The film is directed by Abhijit Panse. He has done a great job, and the best part is that he has not tried to adulterate any aspect of the life of the Siv Sena leader. He has also taken some smart cinematic decisions and presented the film in both black and white and colour. The first half of the film is in black and white.

This helps to relate to the period of the sixties and seventies when Balasaheb began targetting South Indians. The latter part (second half) is in colour.

Censor Board

The film had run into a problem with the Indian Censor Board which wanted some "offensive" dialogues to be deleted, but the Shiv Sena leaders stuck to their guns and the film has been released without any cuts.

The film had a good opening and by the second day collected Rs 16 crores (£1.7 million).

Nawazuddin Siddiqui

"Thackeray" is facing cut-throat competition from "Uri", "The Accidental Prime minister," which have done well and "Manikarnika." Though the film is a political statement of the Shiv Sena yet, it is made interesting by the performance of Nawazuddin Siddiqui.

It's a tribute to the acting ability of Nawazuddin that he was selected for the role though he is a Muslim. BalaSaheb in the later part of his life had become a staunch protagonist of Hindutava and frequently resorted to bashing Muslim for their loyalty to India which he considered suspect.

Nawazuddin the winner

Amrita Arora plays the role of Thackeray's wife but the entire film revolves around Nawazuddin who has proved that he is an actor par excellence. Many will like to compare him with Amitabh Bachchan who had done a similar role based on the life of Bala Saheb in "Sarkar". In my view, Nawazuddin is the winner.