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Samrat Prithviraj Movie Review: History & Her story! 2 stars




Samrat  Prithviraj

Starring Akshay Kumar, Manushi Chhillar ,Sanjay Dutt, Sonu Sood, Manav Vij, Ashutosh Rana Sakshi Tanwar

Written & Directed Chandraprakash Dwivedi

Rating: **

By the time Akshay Kumar dressed as one of Hindu India’s most valiant warriors and statesman, gallops into the frame to whisk the woman of  his dreams  off  her feet from her swayamvar, we already  know that this  film means business.Too much  of it, actually. It is so  inured in the rites of  authentic storytelling that it loses track of the  one thing that such a film must essentially posses:a soul.

Writer-director  Dwivedi has the  historical data from the 12th Century in place. But the  film wears a doleful dull look almost all through its  lengthy running-time. Even the colours in the  Holi song look dull.Maybe they are Nature-friendly colours. Since the  film bestows so many lavish  compliments  on Prithviraj, why not make him the pioneer  of eco-friendliness as well? The  more the merrier for this warrior.

Samrat Prithviraj tries hard to live up to  expectations. It  tried to get the periodicity right.The  war sequences and the opening gladiatorial  combat between  Prithviraj and  the lions should have been the  highlights  of  the intended epic show. Tacky special-effects diminish the  work’s epic aspirations completely. One wonders  what the film’s   huge budget went into.Certainly not the visual spectacle which at best serves its purpose and at worst pulls the  endeavour down to  the level of a wannabe  Bhansali.

The durbar politics rings  hollow as if the  banter was planned  beforehand. Akshay Kumar constantly conveys the  sense of rehearsed  drama, as though he were reading from a teleprinter.  Sonu Sood  as  Prithviraj’s best friend and Sanjay Dutt as  Prithviraj’s blindfolded uncle(I am still not sure why he is visually self-impaired)  fare  far better giving to their roles  a  heft lacking in the central performance.

Debutant Manushi Chhillar is graceful, but emotionally unequipped to play such a pivotal role. The well-known incident from history here Sanyukta elopes with Prithviraj during her own swayamvar could have aimed for a deeper impact. The same  goes for   film which falls short of  an epic  breadth by a wide margin.

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