By Nilesh P. Khandare(27 Aug 2010)
Prabhats expensively mounted historical set at a contentious period of the Maratha empire is a biographical or Ramashastri Prabhune (1720- 89), chief justice at the court of Madhavarao and later of Nana Phadnavis, and a major figure in the development of an indigenous legal code. The period of the Peshwai (i.e. the council of ministers established by Shivaji, which was by the 18th C. the real power behind the ceremonial throne occupied by his descendents) follows the death of the Peshwa (Prime Minister) Madhavarao in 1772 when Rahoba seized power by killing Narayanarao, the official heir and his own nephew. The film adheres to the legendary version of this episode eleborated in K.P. Khadilkars Marathi play Bhaubandhaki (1902), balming Raghobas ambitious and calculating wife Anandibai (Pawar) for the murder. The idealised figure of Ramshastri (Jagirdar) is presented as truth incarnate. Struggling for an education, he eventually becomes the popular chief justice at Madhavraos court and is the only influential figure in the realm willing to stand up to Raghoba and to denounce his usurapation of the throne. After an intricate palace intrigue, he resigns his judicial post.