Among the January 10 Bollywood releases, who won in the battle between valour and valour? Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior, starring Ajay Devgn and directed by Om Raut, was the clear victor over rival Chhapaak. Tanhaji was distributed more widely than Chhapaak – it was released in Hindi and Marathi in 2D and 3D on an estimated 3,880 screens, compared to a reported 1,700 screens for Chhapaak. According to industry sources, the Devgn FFilms and T Series production reported an opening weekend haul of between Rs 60 and Rs 61 crore (the producers have released the figure of Rs 61.93 crore). Chhapaak, on the other hand, has made between Rs 18 and Rs 20 crore.

Both films are biopics and both explore instances of personal bravery. Tanhaji is the tale of Tanaji Malusare, the warrior in Shivaji’s army who fought to the death to protect a crucial fort from Rajput commander Udaybhan Rathod. The cast includes Saif Ali Khan, Kajol and Sharad Kelkar, and the production boasts of slick action scenes and nationalistic sentiment.

Meghna Gulzar’s Chhapaak is inspired by acid attack survivor Laxmi Agarwal, and uses her story to raise awareness about the easy availability of the corrosive substance. Chhapaak has been designed as a message movie, with less conventionally acceptable entertainment value than Tanhaji.

Shankara Re Shankara, Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior (2020).

Among the spillover titles, Good Newzz continues to ring in the good news for its makers. The December 27 release, directed by Raj Mehta and starring Akshay Kumar, Kareena Kapoor, Diljit Dosanjh and Kiara Advani, has reportedly earned between Rs 185 crore and Rs 190 crore. The sperm-swap comedy appears to have struck a chord because of its unusual but also relevant subject, smooth narrative, and strong performances.

Sauda Khara Khara, Good Newzz (2019).