Known for his larger-than-life period dramas, Ashutosh Gowarikar has been MIA since his 2016 historical drama Mohenjo Daro. Even with just eight films in his kitty, this filmmaker has had a mighty impact on Bollywood with films like Lagaan, Swades, and Jodhaa Akbar. While Mohenjo Daro was not as well-received as these films, his latest period drama could be the director’s greatest comeback ever. Featuring Kriti Sanon, Sanjay Dutt, and Arjun Kapoor in pivotal roles, Gowarikar’s next period drama titled Panipat revisits the greatest battle in Indian history. The story is based on the Third Battle of Panipat and revolves around the theme of vengeance, as mentioned in its tagline – The Great Betrayal.
The first teaser poster of the film was revealed in March last year and the cast and crew have been busy with this film ever since. Only recently, we got a glimpse of every actor in their character posters, which were shared across social media pages. We see Arjun Kapoor as Sadashiv Rao Bhau, son of Chimaji Appa who served as the Commander-in-Chief of the Maratha army during the battle. Kriti Sanon plays his second wife Parvati Bai. It is popularly known that she refused to acknowledge her husband’s death in the battle as his body was never found. Sanjay Dutt takes on the role of Ahmad Shah Abdali, founder of the Durrani Empire who fights the Maratha forces at Panipat. The battle had resulted in the victory of the Afghan forces, re-establishing their control over Northern India.
There are many instances in the Panipat trailer that remind us of Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s magnum opus Padmaavat. Like Rani Padmavati, Parvati Bai has been given a lot of prominence and scenes even show her fighting for herself while her husband takes on the battlefield. She shares a close relationship with Sadashiv Rao, who loves her dearly. Arjun Kapoor’s character also seems to be styled around Ranveer Singh’s Bajirao from yet another SLB film. Sanjay Dutt’s Ahmad Shah Abdali bears a close resemblance to Singh’s Khilji as both the characters have been depicted in similar dark tones. Besides the lead cast, Mohnish Bahl seems to have an important role as his character hands over the fate of the Marathas to Sadashiv Rao. From the trailer, it is evident that Panipat is all about glorifying the might of the Marathas even in their defeat.
Panipat hits theatres on the 6th of December, clashing with Pati Patni Aur Woh at the box office. The star power and grandiose that this movie brings might just make it emerge as the winner but we might have to wait another month to know for sure. Until then, click on the ‘Interested’ button below for the latest updates on Panipat.