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Samrat Prithviraj review: Incredible supporting performances overshadow Akshay Kumar’s iteration of the great warrior

Samrat Prithviraj has all of the characteristics that make it worthwhile to watch, and sure, the trailer does not do the film credit. Despite being the star, we can't overlook the fact that Akshay Kumar is the weakest.

2.5rating
  • Aishwarya Vasudevan

Last Updated: 09.29 AM, Jun 03, 2022

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Samrat Prithviraj review: Incredible supporting performances overshadow Akshay Kumar’s iteration of the great warrior
Story:

The film Samrat Prithviraj is based on the life and bravery of the fearless and excellent Samrat Prithviraj Chauhan played by Akshay Kumar. Historians and traditions portray him as a fearless monarch who stood up to the savage Muhammad of Ghor and his ruthless Indian invasion. Samrat Prithviraj Chauhan's daring and valour in the face of Muhammad of Ghor made him a renowned king and freedom warrior in India. Manushi Chhillar plays Princess Sanyogita, Prithviraj's love of life, who is an ethereal beauty. Sanjay Dutt and Sonu Sood both star in the film.

Review:

Prior to the release of the film, Akshay Kumar put up a disclaimer stating that people watching it should refrain from revealing any spoilers. One might think what might be spoiled from a period drama. Lo and behold! The first frame of Samrat Prithviraj gives instant goosebumps, which one can only imagine. Dr Chandraprakash Dwivedi's research is commendable as it's something that can be called a true blue visual spectacle.

The film doesn't waste time on jumping into the childhood of Samrat Prithviraj and how he became one of the bravest warriors of Hindustan. The movie mainly focuses on how the love story between him and Princess Sanyogita changed the history of the country.

Yes, the film parallelly runs between the two stories of Prithviraj and Sanyogita, showing how they are interlinked and finally become one. But only one of them delivers an astounding performance, and you will be surprised to know who!

Debutante Manushi Chhillar is excellent in her debut vehicle, and she just lights up the screen the moment the camera pans on her. Not just her performance, but her dancing skills will also leave an impressive mark. The newcomer understood the assignment so well, with her dancing and also with her dialogue delivery.

Akshay Kumar, despite playing the titular role, is miscast in this role. His performance is the weakest of all. We know that de-ageing has been done on him and has had no effect on his looks. Adding to that is the nearly three-decade age gap between him and Manushi, which is quite visible in most sequences, and that makes the entire experience quite jarring.

Samrat Prithviraj has all the elements which are craved by the audience nowadays: great supporting cast, masala elements, and great music. The heightened drama deserves a thumbs up, but it's something that seemed like not a cup of tea to be served by Akshay. Well, this was his first time playing a historical character, and there were no flying colours.

On the other hand, the impeccable supporting cast makes it worth watching. One of the best actors to watch out for is Sonu Sood, who plays Chand Bardai, a sort of Prithviraj's twin as they were born on the same day. He is seen as an astrologer as he could predict everything that surrounded Prithviraj's life. The actor brings stability to his character, and even his walk is impressive to see as it shows he is also a man of power.

Meanwhile, Sanjay Dutt, as Kaka Kanha, is seen as Prithviraj's uncle, who has looked after him since his childhood. The actor brings a lot of comical moments, which give lighter sequences in the film. Well, the actor, in some instances, can remind you of his popular Tharak Chokro song from PK, but can call it negligible.

Manav Vij, as Ghurid king Muhammad Ghori, tries to look menacing with minimal dialogue and more glances, but creates less impact as the main antagonist. The typical kohl-eyed Sultan doesn’t offer anything new to the table.

Once again, a Sultan as a savage dressed in dull colours, while Prithviraj is shown in brighter light and colour schemes. It’s high time we expect the mainstream cinema to rise above the stereotypical portrayal of the invaders (Muslim antagonists in period dramas).

Sakshi Tanwar, as Manushi's onscreen mother, plays her part beautifully, and it just proves that she is one of the best actors we have. Ashutosh Rana as Raja Jayachandra is also fantastic, and it's not a surprise.

The heavy dialogues by Dwivedi are delivered well by the supporting cast as well as Manushi. However, sadly, it's Akshay who just couldn't match up in any way and seems mismatched in every way.

Another highlight of Samrat Prithviraj is the heart-thumping music composed by Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy with beautiful lyrics by Varun Grover. They go well with the screenplay, especially making the film a musical in a sense.

Not just Akshay, there are a few points to be talked about in Samrat Prithviraj. It emphasises more on the Hindu Dharma and the freeing of Hindustan from the shackles of invaders from the neighbouring countries. However, it becomes kind of preachy with dialogues being repeated for every character possible.

After Samrat Prithviraj ends, there's an epilogue reading Prithviraj Chauhan's being the last Hindu King of Hindustan, and it's after 1947, India finally got freedom from all rulers and invaders.

Dwivedi's research has become fruitful in the two-hour sixteen-minute long film, and so, say, there are hardly any sequences which can be called drag.

But, we have seen better by many filmmakers in the recent past with Bhansali’s period dramas like Bajirao Mastani and also Ashutosh Gowariker’s Jodhaa Akbar.

We cannot neglect the fact that Akshay has mentioned this film being screened in schools to learn more about Prithviraj Chauhan. Well, I disagree with it. Maybe the script of the film can be offered to students for better knowledge, but not the screen translation.

Verdict:

Samrat Prithviraj has all the elements making it worth a watch, and yes, the trailer didn't do justice to the film. However, we cannot ignore the fact that Akshay Kumar is the weakest despite being the star of the show.

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