Art & Entertainment

‘Swatantrya Veer Savarkar’ Movie Review: Randeep Hooda Squanders A Great Opportunity To Make A True-To-Life Biopic

Outlook Rating:
2.5 / 5

After a massive delay, ‘Swatantrya Veer Savarkar’ has finally released in theatres. Is the Randeep Hooda directorial worth your time? Or can you simply skip it? Read the full movie review to find out.

A Still From ‘Swatantrya Veer Savarkar’ Photo: Instagram

A biopic on the life and times of Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, more popularly known as Veer Savarkar was announced a few years back. The film went into production with Mahesh Manjrekar as the director, but within a few days the ace director walked away sighting difference with the lead actor, Randeep Hooda, who was also one of the main producers of the film. It was reported that Randeep Hooda was interfering too much into the way Mahesh Manjrekar was trying to make the film, which eventually led to him walking out of the project. Soon afterwards, Randeep Hooda took over the directorial reigns. The film however has been in the making for a really long time, and therefore the buzz around it was also minimal. It had a quiet release in theatres this Friday with no big publicity done.

‘Swatantrya Veer Savarkar’: Story

The film’s storyline revolves around the life journey of Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, who is more popular in today’s times as Veer Savarkar. Time and again, he has been credited as the creator of Hindutva ideology in India. He is the one who founded the secret society Abhinav Bharat Society and one of the disciples of Shyamji Krishna Varma who founded the India House. The film revolves around the life of Veer Savarkar and his ideologies and his way of taking on the Indian freedom struggle.

‘Swatantrya Veer Savarkar’: Performances

Randeep Hooda has time and again proved his mettle as a fine actor and he is able to do so once again. He brings in the necessary firepower to the character as the entire weight of the film rests on his shoulders. Right from getting into the physicality of the character to making the ideologies feel like his own, Randeep Hooda has put in his heart and soul into the performance. What’s slightly concerning is that you’re able to see him and him alone in the entire film, as the other characters get very overshadowed by his act.

Ankita Lokhande could have been given a much tighter role to play. Her character has quite a big significance in real-life and therefore demanded a much higher screen time. Even if Ankita Lokhande has put in her best foot forward, it still feels that the character could have had much more depth to it, and could have had a more detailed backstory. Sadly, it wasn’t there.

Someone like Amit Sial eats up into the other characters whenever he is there on screen. We have seen that happen in numerous of his web series. However, in ‘Swatantrya Veer Savarkar’, he isn’t able to bring in that level of conviction to overpower the other characters. On the contrary, it was Randeep Hooda’s character itself which was overshadowing even Amit Sial’s character. Not to forget, his performance too could have had a bigger screen time.

‘Swatantrya Veer Savarkar’: Script, Direction & Technical Aspects

Randeep Hooda as a director faulters. Despite being able to pull of such a great performance, it seems more so like a one-man act. As the captain of the ship, you’re not just looking into your own performance as the lead, but also giving equal and important weightage to other prime characters. That was slightly missing. Add to that the route that he has taken to showcase the conflict of ideas between Mahatma Gandhi and Veer Savarkar is something that isn’t a popular choice, which is why he needed to be more convincing in his ideas and overall direction of the film. He however, should have considered the possibility of pushing the film to either release in parts or turn it into a web series because the narrative seems to have abrupt cuts at places which start to intrigue you, and they’re not even given a proper closure at the end in some cases. So, you end up feeling that while walking out of the theatre.

The writing of the film by Randeep Hooda and Utkarsh Naithani is a plus point when it comes to narrating a part if history that not many people are aware of. While there might be discrepancies in the storyline and every book or every historian might have a slightly different way of representing the history of that time, but overall, Randeep Hooda and Utkarsh Naithani have been able to give a detailed presentation of the pre-independence times. While there are good things about the writing, what hurts a bit is that the writers haven’t given much thought to develop and present the other important characters in India’s freedom struggle that prominently. They’ve just passed by them, and not gone too deep into making sure that those characters also stand out vividly in audience’s eyes alongside the character of Veer Savarkar.

Arvind Krishna’s cinematography is the best thing about the film without a doubt. He has been able to capture the film’s essence every well through his lens. He has sort of given a sepia filter to the entire film, which helps to give you the perfect feel of the pre-independence era. But he has not overdone it, which many patriotic period films end up doing. Also, he hasn’t shied away from using new-age technique to capture shots, which probably were taken in the green room. It’s a tricky part to anyways create an entire greenroom with the necessary effect from the time period in which the movie is set and in that also trying to use techniques that are too detailed and need proper precision is a tough task to carry. Drone shots and trolley shots are a few examples which help you get a different feel to the entire narrative.

Kamesh Karna and Rajesh G. Pandey’s editing is definitely a low point in the film. Anyways the film has been cut too long, and even in that you end up feeling that there are characters that should have been presented in a much better way with bigger screen time. Ideally, with a story this complex, the editors should have discussed the idea of releasing the film in parts like a ‘Gangs Of Wasseypur’ or probably shifted it to as web series format with 4 episodes of probably an hour each, like ‘The Railway Men’. That possibility should have been brought to the table by the editors and discussed intently with the director. The inconsistencies in the editing makes the story feel a lot of disoriented that the writing is actually.


‘Swatantrya Veer Savarkar’: Cast & Crew

Director: Randeep Hooda

Cast: Randeep Hooda, Varun Buddhadev, Ankita Lokhande, Amit Sial, Chetan Swaroop, Rajesh Khera, Lokesh Mittal, Brajesh Jha, Santosh Ojha, Rahul Kulkarni, Sanjay Sharma, Mrinal Dutt, Anjali Hooda, Jay Patel, Chirag Pandya, Balkrishna Mishra, Bhushan S.R., Nitesh Thakur, Palle Singh, Apinderdeep Singh, Gary John, James Murphy, Sal Yusuf, Ryan Walters, Hella Stichlmair, Richard B. Klein, Raymond Francisco

Available In: Theatres

Duration: 2 Hours 56 Minutes

‘Swatantrya Veer Savarkar’: Can Kids Watch It?


Outlook’s Verdict

‘Swatantrya Veer Savarkar’ is a wasted effort to be honest. The performances of the other characters could have been lifted and given much more weightage than it currently got. Not to forget that its already too long and yet you feel that there are many angles that have been missed out. So, a possibility of having the film releasing two parts or probably as a web series would have been better. That hurts the film badly. Also, Randeep Hooda’s focus as a director more on the lead character while trying to give little time to develop and enhance the other characters is also another thing that sticks out as a sore thumb. The only thing that works in the film is Randeep Hooda’s immense dedication to make this character come out well, and to the brilliance of Arvind Krishna behind the camera. Overall, it’s an Average watch. I am going with 2.5 stars.