By Arun Sajnani
PANIPAT – Director Ashutosh Gwarikar tries once again to to relive the magic of his previous films like “Lagaan” & “Jodha Akhbar”,to the audience with, “PANIPAT”. The film is mounted on a lavish scale, but feels like your watching a watered down version of Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s – “Bhajirao Mastani”, or rather a sequel, in ode to the Maratha warriors that protected the various kingdom states of “Hindustan”.
The length could have been trimmed, and the songs could have been eliminated. But having said that, the story has been properly researched about the third battle that took place in “Panipat” in 1761. It appeared almost like a stale mate where thousands of soldiers perished from both sides. From the “Peshwa” – Maratha soldiers, and from the Afghan side, led by Ahmed Shah Abdali, played by Sanjay Dutt.
The film tackles the theme of unity, solidarity, and being one as a nation, when India at that time,was known as a country with many kingdoms that was divided with many independent states. To ward off foreign invaders, many Kings would pay taxes and ask for protection from the Maratha community. If you are not aware of the history, then you will find it educational.
Sanjay Dutt suits the role of the Afghani Shahenshah. He suits the menacing grey shades characters with perfection. Kriti Sanon as the loyal wife, and being the anchor to her husband, Sadashiv Rao Bhau, played by Arjun Kapoor, is competent. But back to the main problem that I had with the film, is Arjun Kapoor in the lead, as the Maratha Soldier. He is so miscast, and lacks that expression and emotions that is needed to play this grand character. He looks like a marshmallow, rather that an action hero.The climax concept is similar to “Bahubali” and “Braveheart”. Why oh why copy Mr. Gwarikar? “Panipat” ends up being an average affair, and gets a 2 and a half star recommendation. Courtesy Awesome TV & BEING FILMY.