Star Cast: Akshay Kumar, Sanjay Dutt, Manushi Chhillar, Manav Vij, Ashutosh Rana, Sakshi Tanwar
Director: Chandraprakash Dwivedi
What’s Good: The film is technically rich in every sense of the word, but unfortunately, the same can’t be told about the execution of its storyline
What’s Bad: In the guise of makers ‘playing safe’, it’s stories such as these that go in vain once & forever! Gone are the days when Ajay Devgn dared to clash his film against Sunny Deol’s based on the same character as Bhagat Singh
Loo Break: You’d either sit through the film or just won’t bother to watch, there’s no midway
Watch or Not?: For history? Nope. For performances? Maybe. For its technical marvel? Yes.
Available On: Theatrical Release
Runtime: 133 Minutes
Following Chand Bardai’s epic Prithviraj Raso, the story in its first phase lays the base between Samrat Prithviraj (Akshay Kumar) & Muhammad Ghori’s (Manav Vij) rivalry to become the ultimate emperor of Delhi. In a very smartly executed battle, Prithviraj clearly gets the better of Ghori, only to leave him free to realise the sins he has done.
The second key phase of the story has Prithviraj’s internal rival in Jaichand (Ashutosh Rana) also wanting to capture Delhi to prove he’s better than him. Little does he know, his daughter Sanyogita (Manushi Chhillar) is the biggest fan of Samrat Prithviraj’s heroics deciding to get married only to him and no one else. This leads to the third & final track of the film which I wouldn’t want to ruin here.
Samrat Prithviraj Movie Review: Script Analysis
The epic of Samrat Prithviraj has been portrayed in multiple different versions by different authors as per the folklore goes. Doctor sahab follows the most controversial route by depicting the story of Prithviraj Raso, a version that’s been apparently considered inaccurate by many historians. But because we can’t accurately date the versions of the story, it’s unclear which one is the true one. So, let’s judge the film as yet another version by Doctor sahab which is the same as Prithviraj Raso but with one twist towards the end.
One major issue the story faces is that it’s driving at a speed that loses the detailing in the way it’s told. The treatment of the film is just like that History professor explaining Prithviraj’s story in a hurry because he wants to finish this chapter in a single class. Apart from a few monumentally-scaled action sequences breathtakingly captured by Manush Nandan’s camerawork, the soul of this Akshay Kumar starrer is pretty weak.
Samrat Prithviraj Movie Review: Star Performance
Along with me, many were extremely sceptical of Akshay Kumar claiming to shoot the film in just around 50 days, because of obvious reasons. A character like Samrat Prithviraj needs to be nailed both physically & mentally. While the fake moustache was bothering from scene one, the makers decided to give him a perfectly trimmed, shaped thick beard in the climax in a scene he was captured for months by a certain someone in the film. I know I’m nitpicking, but that’s why a film like this requires a lot more than 50 days & 130 minutes of runtime. Don’t get me wrong, he wasn’t bad at all, Akshay did the best he could but it’s not the best this character deserved.
Sanjay Dutt, for me, remains the most entertaining factor of Samrat Prithviraj. He got the most humour of all and proved to be a seriously good comical relief. Apart from the fun part, Sanju baba also nailed the ferocious side of Kaka Kanha as well. Manushi Chhillar is a tough sell for a lot of her acts reminded immensely of Deepika Padukone’s in Padmaavat. From the side-dimpled smile to the straight-faced expressions, Manushi’s act looked more like an inspiration.
An extremely talented Manav Vij rightfully sobers down the act of Muhammad Ghori instead of going the routine exaggerated all-crazy route. Though he doesn’t get much scope to do anything remarkable. Ghori’s character was so poorly sketched, that not a single scene ever provoked a sense of fear for the hero.
Sakshi Tanwar is expressively solid in her little role as Sanyogita’s mother. The transformation she switches between a ruler’s wife and a mother is impeccable, to say the least. Ashutosh Rana continues to shout and scare at command & which helps him to create some kind of emotional connect with Jaichand.
Samrat Prithviraj Movie Review: Direction, Music
Fun fact Dr Chandraprakash Dwivedi apparently wanted Sunny Deol, and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan to lead this project but because of the budget it came with, the production house needed a face that sells tickets in abundance and hence Akshay Kumar came into the picture (pun intended!). Now that I’ve seen the film, Doctor sahab’s original casting could’ve resulted in a better result owing to how massy Sunny could’ve made Prithviraj by just getting in that costume roaring his dialogues. Dwivedi makes sure the film is technically so rich, that it at times tries to cover the rest of the flaws with it.
This could surely be counted as one of Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy’s weakest works to date. Even the title track, which seemed promising through the promos, hasn’t been optimally used to let it be the anthem of the film. Not a single other memorable track & that’s one more issue impacting the overall feel. Balhara brothers (Sanchit & Ankit) fail to register even a single set piece when they had all the scope in this world to just fill the film up with at least a couple of memorable ones.
Samrat Prithviraj Movie Review: The Last Word
All said and done, A good period film has always comprised of two good parts – the first one, of course, being the mob-swarming wars & second are the sequences that led the rulers to the battlefield. Akshay Kumar’s Samrat Prithviraj fails in having the second part in its place which leaves quite a few things half-baked.
Two and a half stars!
Samrat Prithviraj Trailer
Samrat Prithviraj releases on 03 June, 2022.
Share with us your experience of watching Samrat Prithviraj.
Not into period dramas? Read our Vikram movie review for a more thrilling ride!