Director- Ashutosh Gowarikar
Writers- Ashutosh Gowarikar, Ashok Chakradhar, Chandrashekhar Dhavalikar, Ranjeet Bahadur, Aditya Rawal
Cast- Arjun Kapoor, Kriti Sanon, Sanjay Dutt, Mohnish Bahl, Padmini Kolhapure, Mir sawar, Kunal Kapoor, Milind Gunaji
In a nutshell:
Panipat is a pure unadulterated battle epic that brings to us the story of third battle of Panipat, an important chapter of our history and of the glorious Maratha empire and their valour.
The plot :
The story revolves around Sadashiv Rao(Arjun), a brave and skilled warrior, who is cousin to Peshwa Nana Saheb(Mohnish Bahl) and extremely loyal to him.He aims to fulfill Chhatrapati Shivaji’s dream of unifying Hindustan under Marathas while not keeping any political ambitions for himself.
When a conniving Najib-ud Daulah(a Rohilla serving the seat of weak Mughal Empire in Dehli )invites Ahmad Shah Abdali, the Afgan King (Dutt) to invade Dehli , Sadashiv leads the Maratha army against the massive invasion.
On the sidelines, we are shown his marriage to spunky, loving and brave Parvati Bai( Kriti) who accompanies Sadashiv during the battle.
We are also given a deep peep into the political adversaries and the equations during that time.
Interestingly,almost like a sequel to Bajirao Mastani , we get to see all important characters of that story. Nana Saheb (who ordered Mastani to be executed) is now the Peshwa. Shamsher Bahadur ( Mastani’s son) is like a brother to Sadashiv. Raghu ( Kashibai’s son) also holds a seat in the court and is seemingly jealous of Sadashiv’s growing clout.
The Analysis :
I think Ashutosh Gowarikar has done a wonderful job of bringing to life the final battle and the events leading to it. While he introduces all major stakeholders of the then story, and also induces the love angle in Sadashiv’s life , the focus clearly remains on the political events and then the battle.
The sets, locations,looks and costumes all look authentic and grand. The battle field sequences have been done well.In spite of the lengthy run time of 2 hr 50 min , the film engages you and by the end ,manages to overwhelm you with pride and respect for such brave warriors.
What could have been better :
While the film manages to engage us ,but does not take us on the adrenaline highs and emotional lows until almost the climax .
The film is clearly a great effort, has come out well but does not take the historical genre any higher. In the sense, doesn’t boast of anything new or wow factor.
First and the foremost,I would like to mention Kriti, who looks beautiful, has her accent and Marathi bang on and is superb in all the shades that her character needs. She shines with her portrayal of liveliness, love, worry, maturity and courage.
Arjun manages to hold fort and looks convincing and good. (Keeping comparisons aside)
Sanjay Dutt is just about average in his small but significant role.
Padmini Kolhapure was good as scheming wife of Peshwa.
Song” Sach hai ya sapna” by Ajay Atul was melodious and beautiful.
But the battle field background score seems very heard of.
The film is an honest and good portrayal of the event and its prelude.I loved it. I think it’s a good watch for all and a must watch for those who love historicals.
Score 8 on 10