Orange was the colour of the day when Taj Lands End, Mumbai, was transformed into Thackeray Land with the Shiv Sena Supremo Balasaheb Thackeray, looking down at us with grace, infusing courage and raw energy. Cheerful faces in orange fetas, pretty women in nine-yard sarees, the sound of tutaris and the vibrance of Nashik dhol resonated the hall as the thunderous applause of the audience, surprised by the flash mob, followed.
‘Aaya Re Thackeray’, the song that heralds the arrival of the Roaring Tiger Thackeray took the stage and the nation by storm. The contagious energy of the Shiv Sena Supremo who transformed the common man into superman took over. The Marathi version Apale Saheb Thackeray was equally powerful. The next song, Saheb Tu took the audience on a journey into the times of Balasaheb.
Said MP – Rajya Sabha, eminent journalist and filmmaker, Sanjay Raut, “When both Uddhav Thackeray and Aaditya Thackeray heard Saheb Tu, they were both very emotional as much as they enjoyed the song. At one point, they just were totally into the song, such was the depth that all else we felt was nothingness. They saw Balasaheb in his true spirit standing in front of them… Uddhav Saheb kept getting emotional as the song moved forward. And the first thing that he said after the song was over is these lyrics are so powerful.”
Shiv Sena Chief Uddhav Thackeray laughed at how Sanjay Raut had sneaked him a mobile recorded version of the song in its initial stages. Uddhav Thackeray stated how the song floored him completely! “Anyone who listens to Aaya re Thackeray will not be able to resist grooving to the tune. At the same time, the lyrics are very intense and meaningful. It moved me. I felt the presence of Balasaheb.” The audience couldn’t agree more!
Ajit Andhare, COO – Viacom18 Studios declared that the film will release with the highest number of screens in the history of Marathi cinema. “There are many reasons for us to be associated with Thackeray — the character and the subject is amazing, our unified vision with Sanjay Raut and most importantly, it is our milestone film, being our 75th Hindi film and 10th Marathi film. We are called the biopic factory, but this is something completely different. Thackeray doesn’t make you nervous; it scares you as you want to do cinematic justice to his persona. At the same time, the excitement element overrides all else.”
Dr.Shrikant Bhasi, Chairman & Founder, Carnival Group, added the film has received an amazing reception worldwide, including the Middle East. Enthused he, “We have screens in Bahrain, Qatar, Saudi Arabia– in fact more than 200 screens. That is bigger than the biggest blockbusters of 2018. We will also have over 500-600 screens all over Asia including Singapore and Malaysia except China.”
Actor Nawazuddin Siddiqui expressed that he was astounded by the picturization of the song Aaya Re Thackeray that captured the essence of Balasaheb, while Amrita Rao shared the incident where on the first day of shoot, she encountered Nawazuddin Siddiqui on the sets and he did not recognize. “Nawaz was standing right next to me. But he did not recognize me as I was Meenatai at 60!”
Aaditya Thackeray echoed the sentiments of everyone in the hall as he expressed, “Thackeray is the biggest film of 2019.” Touche!
Thackeray, presented by Sanjay Raut, produced by Raut’ers Entertainment LLP, Viacom18 Motion Pictures and Carnival Motion Pictures and is directed by Abhijit Panse. The music is by young composer-duo Rohan-Rohan with lyrics by Padma Shri Sunil Jogi (Aaya Re Thackeray), Manoj Yadav (Saheb Tu) and Mandar Cholkar (Apale Saheb Thackeray) with music production by Aditya Paudwal, set to voice by Nakash Aziz (Aaya Re Thackeray), Sukhwinder Singh (Saheb Tu) and Avadhoot Gupte (Apale Saheb Thackeray). The special song Aaya Re Thackeray has been choreographed by Ahmed Khan.