‘Swatantrya Veer Savarkar’ movie review: Randeep Hooda roars in this puff piece on the Hindutva ideologue

Mar22,2024


Randeep Hooda in 'Swatantrya Veer Savarkar'

Randeep Hooda in 'Swatantrya Veer Savarkar'

Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, one of the most polarizing figures in modern Indian history, gets a new lease of life in the election season as Randeep Hooda is making a sharp biopic on the Hindutva ideologue. The film, composed and performed with conviction, allows Huda to provide a tender ideological backbone to a complex figure who is loved and hated in equal measure.

Fueled by half-truths, assumptions and opinions that the right-wing ecosystem has been propagating for almost a century, this 178-minute reductive exercise spins a series of conspiracy theories to present Savarkar as the father of those freedom fighters. who believed that an armed rebellion would sooner usher in Indian independence than pursuing a non-violent path. And, it portrays the Congress as the conspiratorial villain of the piece that denied Savarkar the deserved glory.

The film is silent on the monthly allowance he received from the British government after his release from prison and there is no mention of who awarded him the title of Veer (courageous). For a man so engaged in self-glorification, Huda has delivered a carefully crafted puff that has something for critics and disciples to chew on.

Evaluating the divisive figure, the film presents the young Savarkar as a rationalist who loved his seafood and documented the 1857 rebellion, which he called the first war of Indian independence. The devotion of the Savarkar brothers to the nationalist cause and their work in providing the ideological foundation to the independent Indian society is depicted in detail.

However, it minimizes their communal twist by obscuring or deleting historical facts and creating new facts such as imagining a meeting between Savarkar and Bhagat Singh. His childhood story of vandalizing a mosque is missing as it would have made his first struggle for independence clearer when read as a communal alignment of Hindus and Muslims against Christians. His rapprochement with the colonial masters to outwit the Muslim leadership in the game of power once again took on communal overtones, but in the film it was presented as some grand strategic move rooted in pragmatism in response to Gandhi's support of the Khilafat movement. Has been done

Swatantra Veer Savarkar (Hindi)

director:Randeep Hooda

mold:Randeep Hooda, Ankita Lokhande, Amit Sial, Rajesh Kheda

run-time: 176 minutes

Story: The life story of Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, the Hindutva thinker and reformer who inspired young revolutionaries to take up armed rebellion against the British.

In his view of India, there is no room for communities that do not consider India as their sacred land and this echoes present-day India where political representation for Muslims is decreasing. The film shows him facing constant torture in Kala Pani (Cellular Jail), but does not care to mention how the nature of his mercy petitions kept changing according to the reforms on the mainland.

With a mesmerizing interplay of light and shadow, the film portrays Savarkar as a man who was close to the radicals in the Congress and who inspired young minds from Madanlal Dhingra and Bhagat Singh to Subhash Chandra Bose to liberate India from slavery. Inspired to develop an alternative approach to free. colonial rule. The painful torture he has to undergo in the cellular jail is emotionally hilarious. At the same time, the film, with the benefit of hindsight, raises questions about what could have been achieved if the country had not followed the non-violent path shown by the Mahatma.

From the similarity in the size of their glasses and education to the stark difference in their food preferences and the irony of how they met their end, the film constantly juxtaposes the two personalities and inspires the audience to choose the better visionary. This film has been made to glorify Savarkar; The Gandhian approach has been ignored both in terms of gaze and grammar. However, in its few honest moments, it offers insight into the desperation of a man who held grudges, but also counterculture, towards Gandhi for appeasing Muslims, supporting the caste system, and being soft towards the British. point. Strangely, after attacking Gandhi, at the end, the film politely distanced Savarkar from his assassination.

Huda, who is multitasking as the lead, director and co-producer, has done some serious work in keeping the narrative in cinematic territory. Known for physically transforming his characters, Huda brings out Savarkar's determination. She gets good support from Ankita Lokhande who plays Savarkar's strong wife Yamuna Bai and Amit Sial who plays his elder brother Ganesh. Rajesh Kheda as Gandhi has been given the task of presenting him as a conspiratorial figure. He keeps the artistry on the surface.

Moving away from the episodic nature of a biopic, Hooda, along with cinematographer Arvind Krishna, lets the characters and scenes breathe as he captures those moments in a freedom fighter's life when sacrifices seem in vain.

His depiction of the barbaric cruelty inflicted upon the natural beauty of Port Blair is disturbing even to his harshest critics. Similarly, the scene where he comes out of Ratnagiri jail after years of imprisonment, hoping to get a hero's welcome but only finds his elder brother Ganesh waiting for him, reflects Manthan's understanding of his politics. Provides. When he learns that in the interim Gandhi has written to his masters on his behalf, the disappointment and frustration in his reaction reflects what made him jealous of Gandhi and Nehru and puts them on the same level as Jinnah. Gave. When Hindu Mahasabha and Muslim League together ran coalition governments after the Quit India Movement, both of them had joined hands. Hopefully the film is silent on this.

Swatantra Veer Savarkar is currently running in theaters

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