Movie Name: Samrat Prithviraj
Cast: Akshay Kumar
Director: Dr Chandraprakash Dwivedi
A day before the release of Samrat Prithviraj, the movie, Akshay Kumar requested his fans to watch this ‘historical film’ but not give spoilers. He insisted that it is because the film is based on several unknown facets of King Prithviraj Chauhan’s life, and revealing spoilers would deprive others of this ‘cinematic experience’. After watching the colossal snoozefest that is Dr Chandraprakash Dwivedi’s Samrat Prithviraj, Akshay Kumar and Yash Raj Film’s first-ever attempt at a historical drama, we ask — what cinematic experience?
Akshay Kumar’s Samrat Prithviraj is based on Chand Bardai’s Prithviraj Raso, an epic poem traced back to the 13th century, which gained major popularity in the 19th century. Points for picking something that would blow with the winds of today. That it would blow over was perhaps not intended, and precisely what leaves us disappointed as we walk out of the theatre. It is a film about war and valour, both of which require less sloganeering and more fighting. If you aren’t put to sleep by the dialogue-baazi and manage to stay awake for the scanty fight scenes to appear, you will be put off by the terrible CGI waiting to greet you there. To think that this is a YRF production!
In Samrat Prithviraj, Sonu Sood plays the putative bard. It is ironic that despite emerging as the mass messiah off screen, Bollywood still brings in Sonu to sing songs of the real heroic hero on screen — Akshay Kumar. It isn’t a solo act though. A blindfolded Sanjay Dutt as the warrior kaka, no connection to Mahabhrarata’s Dhritarashtra although he is the father-figure, whose akhand pratigya is to behead anyone who twirls his moustache before the king, also joins in here and there. While Sonu becomes Akshay’s Bran Stark, foreseeing the future in flashes and, like a soothsayer, warning all around not to meddle with vidhi ka vidhaan. Sanjay resorts to his Munnabhai ways, which sticks out like a sore thumb. By the interval, you wish you could borrow Dutt’s blindfold.
Watch the trailer here:
Manushi Chillar’s Sanyogita is the most lacklustre princess we’ve ever seen in a historical drama. Like the overall look and feel of the film, Manushi appears like a faded photograph. There is much talk of women’s empowerment through Sanyogita, and a sly jibe at ‘Dilli ki gaddi mein pehli aurat’, but… we’re sorry, we dosed off. Moving on to Akshay Kumar now.
Akshay’s Prithviraj is less Chauhan and more Kapoor, and his pitch when he growls ‘Qutubuddin Aibak’ is perfectly in sync with that of the first representative of the Kapoor Clan in Bollywood when he yelled ‘Saleeeeeem’ in Mughal-E-Azam (1960)! The totems that scream power — metaphorically and literally — haven’t changed in the cinematic world. Here, it rests on Akshay Kumar’s broad but stooping shoulders. No amount of growling, however, is going to save this epic… You fill in the blank.
If Bollywood’s fate rests on Samrat Prithviraj, the future is blank. Where’s our blindfold?
We’re going with 2.5 out of 5 stars.