Panipat Movie Review: Ashutosh Gowariker made a good attempt by potraying the epic battle of Panipat in big screen.
Last Modified On: 06 December 2019 | Reviewed By: Saurabh S Nair
The film is nearly 3 hours long which will make you tedious at some point but the second half and the climax battle sequence will give you an adrenaline rush.
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Cast: Arjun Kapoor, Sanjay Dutt, Kriti Sanon
Director: Ashutosh Gowariker
The Third Battle Of Panipat fought on January 14, 1761, is considered one of the epic and deadliest battles in Indian history. It is also interesting how the war strategies were used back then because nobody was born in that era. So to make a film about an epic war happened in the bygone era you need to research a lot and here Ashutosh Gowariker excels.
As Maratha forces take on the Afghan invader Ahmad Shah Abdali (Sanjay Dutt), they are led by the commander-in-chief Sadashivrao Bhau (Arjun Kapoor), along with the Peshwa heir and his nephew Vishwasrao (Abhishek Nigam), his cousin Shamsher Bahadur (Sahil Salathia) and a Muslim aide Ibrahim Khan Gardi (Nawab Shah). Abdali, meanwhile, is being supported by Najib ud-Daula (Mantra). To ensure there is no historical inaccuracy, Gowarikar keeps as close to the facts as possible, taking only a few cinematic liberties.
Gowariker always aces to give proper grandeur to epicness in the silver screen. He might lack aesthetic quality but the man knows how to shoot war and it is visible in the climatic war scene. Panipat balances the war and political manipulations with beautifully choreographed and well-synchronized dance sequences.
The first half of the film is slightly boring and tedious but the second half picks up and gives you goosebumps in the war scene.
Song and dance sequences at some time look, misfit but Ajay-Atul's excellent soundtrack especially Mard Maratha and CK Muraleedharan’s cinematography especially the aerial shots during the dance sequences and the final war scene leave you speechless. The visual effect at some point is tacky and editing could have been better.
Now, we move on to performance. When Panipat's trailer was released people criticized Gowariker to cast Arjun Kapoor who is heavily panned by moviegoers for his choice of role and past bad performance. People were skeptical about his performance because he has given a character who should be strong and should like a warrior. Arjun Kapoor has put effort but he is not brilliant which at least the actor should expect he has his limitation has an actor which is seen in his performance.
Kriti, on the other hand, looks a tad too over-the-top. Being a Delhi girl, the Marathi accent and dialect doesn’t suit her and sounds fake and forced. The only good part here is that her character is well-etched and gels well with the story.
Sanjay Dutt as barbaric Ahmad Shah Abdali has given an earnest performance and his screen presence gives extra energy to the grandeur of the film. Though his character strikingly similar to Ranveer Singh's character Khilji in Padmavat but Dutt manages to be different from Ranveer's character.
The supporting cast has also given a good performance such as Padmini Kolhapure and Mohnish Behl but their screen space is little. Gowariker is known for giving his supporting cast also equal importance has the main lead but here it is lacking.
Amid all this, the biggest problem with the film is its length. While Gowarikar may feel he needs 173 minutes to justify his magnum opus war drama, the film lacks pace, especially the first half that’s a yawn-fest with the story taking its sweet time to build up.
Panipat is not a bad film and can be thoroughly enjoyed in theatres but if Gowariker would have used some other actor instead of Arjun Kapoor it might be a different experience.
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