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Reader Review: Panipat

By ANU GOPINATH
December 10, 2019 17:30 IST

A cheap version of his opus Jodhaa Akbar, Ashutosh Gowariker's Panipat falls flat on its face at every end, with lacklustre writing and terrible character definition proving to be the movie's ultimate undoing, feels Rediff reader Anu Gopinath.

We asked readers to send in their reviews of Panipat, and we got quite a few!

Here's a look at what reader Anu Gopinath thought about the film:

Long lost are the days when Ashutosh Gowariker held the power of box office with his ventures and told meaningful stories that focused on various social issues and cultural stigmas that prevailed in Indian society. 

Mr Gowariker's movies always captured the imagination of the nation and his characters evoked sympathy, courage and patriotism in the hearts of the common man. We related to the stories and the nation always lent a pair of patient ears. 

Armed with an array of new generation talents and a few old war horses, the director's new venture portrays the belligerence and courage of the valiant Marathas against the invading force of the Afghans. 

In his hurry to set the tone of the movie, Gowariker forgets the most important rule -- making the connect with the audience.

The instant disconnect between his characters and audience is quite evident and the utter incompetence of his lead actors doesn't help his cause either.

 

The movie portrays the events leading to war of Panipat and though presented with an absolute peach of an opportunity to showcase his prowess, Gowariker presents us with the bits and pieces of moments reminiscent to Jodhaa Akbar. 

A cheap version of his opus Jodhaa Akbar, the movie falls flat on its face at every end, with lacklustre writing and terrible character definition proving to be the movie's ultimate undoing. 

The art work and cinematography brings nothing new to the table other than what we have seen before in the attempts made by Sanjay Leela Bhansali in Bajirao Mastani and Padmavaat.

The crew should take a leaf out of the technical work done in the Saif Ali Khan-revenge drama Lal Kaptaan. Though a flop, the movie will become the benchmark against which the best works done by technical departments will be weighed, measured and judged, in the coming years.

The sheer incompetence of Arjun Kapoor to emote and the below average works of the technical department, including the music and background score, makes Bhansali's attempts look like timeless classics. 

By the time, Sanjay Dutt's Ahmed Shah Abdali is introduced, one has reached the nadir of his patience and wonders about the futility of this rigmarole. 

It is the brave work of Kriti Sanon, who holds her own in the male-dominated drama that brings a modicum of respectability to the acting department.

Sanjay Dutt and Arjun Kapoor fail spectacularly in their attempts to give the showman of modern cinema, Mr Ranveer Singh, a run for his money, since both of their characters rub shoulders with characters portrayed by Ranveer Singh in Bajirao Mastani And Padmavaat. Mr Singh trumps both of them and how! 

The sheer screen presence of Nawab Shah, in whatever little time he's given, makes one wonder why he wasn't given the opportunity to work on the character of Ahmed Shah Abdali. Talk about casting debacle! 

Sanjay Dutt sleep walks through his role as the antagonist. He does not possess the screen presence of the good old times nor is he author-backed to do anything noteworthy.

So the acting department, except Kriti Sanon, is in absolute shambles and the mediocre work of the technical department already weighing down, one reaches the climax, which can be considered as the forte of Mr Gowariker -- war.

And boy, does he fail!

Reckless, lacklustre and shoddy CGI and action choreography result in the climax failing to live up to the expectations and leaves the audience high and dry. 

Ultimately, when the character of Arjun Kapoor meets his valiant end, one can only sigh of relief and pity the fall of a director, who was once considered a flag-bearer of progressive cinema.

I give this film one and a half stars out of five.

 

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ANU GOPINATH
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