Riteish Deshmukh to star and direct in ‘Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj’ biopic titled Raja Shivaji

The cinematic chronicles of India’s revered Maratha monarch, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, are set to grow as the actor and filmmaker Riteish Deshmukh embraces the director’s chair for the second time with a biographical epic ‘Raja Shivaji’. Following in the footsteps of his successful directorial debut with the 2022 blockbuster “Ved”, Deshmukh has now set his sights on portraying the monumental life and legacy of the legendary king who reshaped the Maratha empire and bravely confronted the powers of the extensive Mughal rule.

The announcement of ‘Raja Shivaji’, made in conjunction with Mukesh Ambani’s Jio Studios and Deshmukh’s own production house, Mumbai Film Company, comes ahead of the 394th birth anniversary of Shivaji Maharaj, celebrated annually as Shivaji Jayanti on February 19th. This historic film’s development unveils alongside another announced project by filmmaker Sandeep Ssingh titled ‘The Pride of Bharat- Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj’. It becomes clear that filmmakers are eager to delve into recounting the valorous narratives of one of India’s paramount historical figures.

In an industry where tales of heroism and grandeur resonate with millions, ‘Raja Shivaji’ aims to rise among the pantheon of India’s epic filmography. Adapting the history for the silver screen, the film promises to skillfully intertwine entertainment with education, cementing the inspirational ethos that Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj embodied. With meticulous attention to detail, the film’s narrative will encapsulate the ascent of young Shivaji, his battles against dominating forces, and his subsequent crowning as Chhatrapati.

Revealed in a report by Variety, the project will be a linguistic duality, being simultaneously shot in Hindi and Marathi. Gifted with the responsibility of both directing and portraying the central character, Riteish Deshmukh is poised to employ his artistic vision to honour the tale of a king who left an indelible mark on the annals of Indian history. Aiding him in this cinematic venture will be the renowned cinematographer Santosh Sivan, known for his work on the 2023 Rotterdam title “Moha”, and the celebrated music duo Ajay-Atul, whose contribution can be heard in “Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior”.

Genelia Deshmukh, in conversation with Variety, communicated the profound resolve that fuels this cinematic endeavor. “We embark on a noble quest, not merely to produce a film, but to weave a narrative thread that enriches the tapestry of our culture and history,” she stated. Expressing the couple’s passion project as their ‘biggest dream’, she applauded the collaboration with Jio Studios and the leadership of Jyoti Deshpande for sharing their vision of realizing the unthinkable.

Riteish Deshmukh, reflecting on the project with a poetic reverence, reflected, “Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj is not a mere historical figure; he is an emotion, a timeless saga of valor, and a beacon of hope that has illuminated hearts for over three and a half centuries.” Deshmukh’s intent to construct more than just a film, but an everlasting tribute, signifies his dedication to retell the storied past of a boy who ignited the flames of Swarajya, a term meaning self-rule, coined by Shivaji himself during his battle against the Mughals. Shivaji was not just a sovereign who governed territories; he was a leader who captivated the affections of people and enshrined a legacy that would transcend time.

In a realm where cinema acts as a mirror to society’s past, present, and future, ‘Raja Shivaji’ aims to reflect the valor and unyielding spirit of one of India’s most heroic sons. As audiences await the film’s arrival, a glimpse into the veneration with which the film is being crafted is palpable through the team’s homage to the king whose tale they are about to unfold – a tale of a ruler whose reign was saddled not by conquest, but by the immutable love of his subjects.

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