Swatantra Veer Savarkar: An Honest Insight Into India’s Freedom Struggle From A Different Perspective

The most interesting aspect of ‘Swatantra Veer Savarkar’ is the depiction of his ideological clash with Mahatma Gandhi.
Swatantra Veer Savarkar (Hindi)
22-03-2024, Drama, Biography, 2 hours 58 minutes, U/A, Theatre
  • Main Cast: Randeep Hooda, Ankita Lokhande, Amit Sial, and Rajesh Khera
  • Director: Randeep Hooda
  • Producer: Randeep Hooda
  • Music Director: Vipin Patwa
  • Cinematography: Arvind Krishna
  • Rating: 3/5

Vinayak Damodar Savarkar is someone who does not need a particular introduction. Savarkar is a hugely polarising historical figure with more than one controversy.

He was the one who laid the foundation for the present Hindutva regime and has also been accused of having an indirect hand in killing India’s Father of the Nation — Mahatma Gandhi, the reason being the ideological differences along with Nathuram Godse being a student of Savarkar.

A biopic on a person like Savarkar is not easy to make, given his vastly turbulent life that is filled with many incidents.

Acclaimed actor Randeep Hooda not only plays the title role but also directs and co-writes the story.

The rawness of a first-time director is quite visible, particularly in the second half, but there is no denying the passion with which Randeep mounts the film.


In simple terms, the story of Swatantra Veer Savarkar is about the different stages in Savarkar’s long and turbulent life.

It starts with him losing his father at a young age. Then we see how the grown-up Savarkar decides to become a freedom fighter and does the things he does.

The major life-turning events of Savarkar are shown in great detail in the movie. This includes interaction with Gandhi, and his life imprisonment in the Andaman Islands aka Kaala Paani.

Stand out scenes

Ankita Lokhande in ‘Swatantra Veer Savarkar’. (X)

Among the many passages in the film, my favourite ones are the scenes featuring Randeep Hooda and Amit Sial as the supportive elder brother Ganesh Damodar Savarkar (Amit Sial.) The bond between the brothers comes out strongly and moves us.

For example, there is a scene in the second half when Veer Savarkar and Ganesh Damodar Savarkar unexpectedly cross paths in the Andaman jail, Damodar is surprised to see his younger brother there and, in that shock, he forgets to hug him.

The portions of how Abhinav Bharat was formed and the ideology behind it are well shown.

The most interesting aspect of Swatantra Veer Savarkar is the scenes of ideological clash with Mahatma Gandhi. Thankfully, the clash of ideologies has been handled with maturity.

There is an important scene when someone tells Savarkar that he hates Gandhi. In response, Savarkar says he doesn’t hate Gandhi but dislikes the ideology of non-violence.

We are also shown that Gandhi wrote letters to the British government seeking the release of Savarkar from the Andamans. He also praises Savarkar, though they have a different approach to the freedom movement.

When Gandhi dies, there is a genuine pain that we see. In fact, Savarkar condemns the act of Nathuram Godse and says that Godse shouldn’t have done this.

Randeep Hoods — The USP

Another major USP of Swatantra Veer Savarkar is its leading man Randeep Hooda.

Randeep Hooda has always been one of the most dependable actors going to any lengths to portray his characters with authenticity — physical and mental.

Here too, Randeep immerses himself into the role, whether it is the fiery freedom fighter of the first half or the prisoner in the long and elongated portions of Kaala Paani.

The physical transformation is, of course, brilliant. But the way he showcases the fighting spirit of Savarkar makes his performance even more admirable.

Among the other actors, Amit Sial stands out as both a supportive elder brother and a freedom fighter himself.

Ankita Lokhande does not have many dialogues but does a fine job in her limited screen time. She effectively portrays the inner strength of a freedom fighter’s wife.

Crammed narrative

Savarkar’s life is on a huge scale given the many incidents. There are times when, as viewers, you might feel that the movie is crammed with too much information and a web series would have been a better option.

The second half in particular needs some brevity. The portions of Savarkar being tortured both physically and mentally need some serious trimming.

Also, the vilification of Congress reaches the point of exhaustion. It does not add anything substantial to the narrative.

Talking about the technical departments, cinematographer Aravind Krishna does a good job of capturing the vast landscape through his lens.

The production design and the art design are also in complete sync with the era of the film.

Final take

Swatantra Veer Savarkar can be watched if you like detailed history lessons and, of course, if you are Randeep Hooda’s fan.

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