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A LAYERED WAR DRAMA BUT WITH NO ‘WOW’ FACTOR : PANIPAT

Written by Prajakta Nagore

Those of you who are unaware of the Third Battle of Panipat, here’s an overview. The 3rd Battle of Panipat was fought between the forces of a northern expeditionary group of the Maratha Empire and a coalition of Ahmad Shah Abdali, Rohilla Afghans of the Doab, and Shuja-ud-Daula. It took place in the year 1761.

Now, the magnum opus of Ashutosh Gowariker, Panipat, derives its roots from historical facts yet with some creative content along the way. In short, the film toplines the battle skills, valor, and bravery of the Marathas while fighting the Afghan invaders. And all this with the notion of saving Hindustan.

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The fact that there was no meaning of Hindustan at that time is of little concern to the film. It just wants us to be filled with nationalistic fervor and have goosebumps.

Panipat is, being brutally honest, uninspiring and just not magnanimous enough. The film with terrible CGI seems almost cartoonish.

After the release of the movie’s trailer, all the comparisons of Panipat with the likes of Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Padmaavat and Bajirao Mastani were justified. It was dynamic, and we liked the look of Sanjay Dutt and looked forward to Arjun Kapoor’s portrayal of Sadashiv Rao Bhau.

But, unfortunately, even though trying very hard to deliver an excellent performance, Arjun fails to deliver what was expected of him. His speeches fail to arouse any emotion unlike Shahid Kapoor’s and Ranveer Singh’s in Padmaavat and Bajirao Mastani, respectively.

Sanjay Dutt completely owns the character he is portraying, Ahmad Shah Abdali. But his character does display a strikingly similar resemblance to Ranveer’s Alauddin Khilji. Yet he doesn’t allow Khilji to seep into Abdali.

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Kriti Sanon’s portrayal of Parvati Bai is genuine. She excels even in her relatively small role. Those who have already watched the movie will agree that her character is strong and draws strength from the pureness of her love for Sadashiv.

Lastly, Gowariker’s Drama portion of the film may not have met our expectations, but he does enthrall us with his setting of the war.

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Prajakta Nagore

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