Swatantrya Veer Savarkar movie review

5 Min Read

Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, a prominent thinker and orator propagating Hindu ideology, lived a life and times depicted in this biography film exactly as promised: a nuanced, highly engaging perspective unfolding a story hidden behind staunch beliefs and complete confidence in his understanding of the world – that he was right, and those who disagreed, including Mahatma Gandhi, were wrong. Randeep Hooda portrays Savarkar’s character in the film, and he does it excellently. The Swatantrya Veer Savarkar movie was released on March 23, 2024.

Director: Randeep Hooda

Movie: Swatantra Veer Savarkar

Movie Cast: Randeep Hooda, Ankita Lokhande, Amit Sial, Rajesh Khera

Swatantrya Veer Savarkar Movie Review

Narrating chapters of a polarising historical figure’s life isn’t an easy feat. Nonetheless, Randeep Hooda’s ‘Savarkar: Vinayak Damodar Savarkar,’ a biopic, takes on the challenge, attempting to dissect and elaborate on the major events of his life, presenting a three-hour long biographical film that works in parts and struggles to hold you throughout.

From 1857 to 1966, spanning over a century, including the pre- and post-independence eras, this film narrates the story entirely from the perspective of its controversial protagonist. And in doing so, it doesn’t miss a beat, especially when establishing him as a revered figure, a path many might not have initially agreed with but ultimately had to accept. As a result, Savarkar ends up as a one-sided narrative, not caring much about presenting a balanced perspective on his contributions to India’s freedom struggle.

Veer Savarkar, a politician, activist, and writer who advocated for Hindu nationalism and the ideology of Akhand Bharat (Undivided India), believed in an armed revolution to free India from British rule, contrary to Mahatma Gandhi’s principles of non-violence. However, the film neither supports nor condemns violence, which was a relief.

It sheds light on the contributions and sacrifices of the armed revolutionaries, which are often overlooked, as it’s commonly believed that India’s independence was solely achieved through non-violence. Utilising bold headlines from newspapers to highlight Savarkar’s rise and fall, the film’s aim is clear: to acquaint us with his early life, his time in England, where he associated with India House and the Free India Society, his arrest, his time spent in prison, and his relentless pleas as a political prisoner in front of British officials.

How fascinating is Savarkar’s life? From being called a patriot to being labelled as a violent instigator, many conspiracy theories surrounded him, leading to his acquittal. What makes Savarkar’s life so intriguing is his sacrifice and contribution to India’s freedom struggle, and the film wastes no time unfolding the pages of his life. In the first part, we see a young Savarkar portrayed as a devoted child to his elder brother, a loyal husband to his wife Yamunabai, and an attractive and confident law student. Unfortunately, the second part is disappointing in both storytelling and direction. Somewhere along the way, it loses track and wanders aimlessly, unable to figure out how to piece things back together.

Randeep stands out throughout the film. Despite its flaws, what unequivocally shines is Hooda’s portrayal in the lead role, who’s also credited as the film’s director, co-writer, and co-producer. His remarkable physical transformation (losing 30 kilos), along with scenes depicting relentless beatings during his imprisonment in the infamous Cellular Jail in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, followed by numerous agonising moments in solitary confinement, grips you every time. From embodying a fearless leader to a helpless prisoner, he impresses in both roles. His physical language, dialogue delivery, and even his voice modulation seamlessly blend into Savarkar’s character, proving his acting prowess yet again.

In conclusion, the film’s biggest flaw is its length and editing. At two hours and fifty-eight minutes, it spins more than expected. While Randeep Hooda shines as an actor, as a director, he has much to tell, and in trying to do so within this runtime, he struggles to keep your attention engaged.

With so much material available and extensive research and understanding on the subject, I wouldn’t mind if Savarkar’s life were portrayed in a longer episodic series that doesn’t lose direction and retains our interest throughout. Nevertheless, while fulfilling this role, Randeep Hooda’s flawed performance and unwavering confidence saved it to some extent.

Share This Article
Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *