There are trailers which make you want to go to the theatres the very first day and then there are trailers that disappoint you to an extent that you don’t even feel like watching the actual films completely. Unfortunately, for me the latter was the case for “Samrat Prithviraj”.
Finally “Samrat Prithviraj” released in theatres and well the film is an apt example of the saying, ‘First impression is the last impression’. The writer and director Dr. Chandraprakash Dwivedi who claims to research the film for 18 long years, fails to present it on the screen. The feeling which you want to experience while watching historical dramas is found nowhere.
Though he has avoided going over-the-top by adding unnecessary patriotic-looking scenes which is appreciable, but then he also missed out on including moments defining Prithviraj’s saga of valour and bravery in true sense. Prithviraj is directly shown as the unbeatable, unflinching emperor. The screenplay would have worked better if it had included a little of his childhood and how he became one of the bravest Kings ever. For the audience who don’t know much about him, it would have been a great experience.
When you watch periodic dramas you expect goosebump inducing moments that spark the feeling of pride within your heart, but ”Samrat Prithviraj” doesn’t have much of it. Infact, except for the climax scene there’s nothing in the film which redeems the reputation of someone like Prithviraj. And for that, the cast too is to be blamed equally.
Samrat Prithviraj is that one name from Indian History whose mere mention fills our heart with pride and courage but Akshay Kumar fails to do justice to a king of such a grand stature. There’s no trace of vulnerability or even valor in his personality or dialogue delivery. It seems like the actor continues to play an iteration of every character he’s played before- sometimes ‘Bala’ and sometimes ‘Housefull’- but never Prithviraj.
Former Miss World Manushi Chillar, who makes her debut with “Prithviraj Prithviraj” is seen in the role of Princess Sanyogita, Prithviraj’s love interest who goes against her father Jaichand (Ashutosh Rana) for him. The romance sprouting sequences and events between the two seem half baked and the age difference between Akshay and Manushi is quite evident (let alone problematic) on the celluloid and as a result, the audience fails to connect. Personally, I felt Sanyogita’s character is defined in a far better way than Prithviraj himself and Manushi too did a fair job in the role. A lot of social messages have been tried to be given through her character but alas all in vain as ultimately the film adds onto the list of films glorifying Jauhar as some act of bravery.
I’ve watched quite a good number of periodic dramas but never have I seen a villain as one noted as Manav Vij. He is essaying the role of Sultan Mohammad Ghori but not even once you get intimidated by him. And then I think about Ranveer’s Khilji who left a terror in our hearts and how! Acting wise it’s actually Sanjay Dutt and Sonu Sood who impressed me the most. Dutt as Kaka Kanha, Prithviraj’s uncle adds some light moments to the film through his humor whereas Sonu Sood is excellent as Chand Vardai- an astrologer who warns Prithviraj of every mishap in the future.
The one thing that you’ll realise after watching the film is, no amount of big budgets and a grand star cast can ever substitute for a good performance and storytelling. Overall, “Samrat Prithviraj” is an average periodic drama which won’t be remembered for a long time.
“Samrat Prithviraj” is currently running in theaters near you.