Panipat movie review : Magnificently mounted, incredible tale of valor

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PANIPAT movie review is here. Based on the third battle of Panipat, the movie is titled PANIPAT: THE GREAT BETRAYAL and stars Arjun Kapoor, Sanjay Dutt, and Kriti Sanon in main leads. Helmed by Ashutosh Gowarikar, the war epic releases on 6 December 2019. Does it fulfills the expectations?, Let’s find out in the movie review of PANIPAT aka PANIPAT: THE GREAT BETRAYAL.

Immediate reaction when the end credits roll

The prolific Ashutosh Gowarikar finds back his roots as he salutes the great Maratha pride in this magnificently mounted, incredible tale of valor

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The Story of PANIPAT: THE GREAT BETRAYAL

It’s circa 18th century India; The Maratha Empire is ruling almost the whole of India. A dangerous threat from the Afghan King Ahmad Shah Abdali ( Sanjay Dutt) tests the courage of Maratha’s and the unity and integrity of India. Nana Saheb Peshwa (Mohnish Bahl) orders Sadashiv Rao Bhau ( Arjun Kapoor) to stop him at any cost, this leads to a deadly battle of Panipat where more than power its pride, honesty and love for your motherland at stake. Who wins and who losses and what cost?, Is told in this dramatic adaptation of one of the most epic war battles in Indian history.

Movie Review PANIPAT

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Ashutosh Gowariker’s ambitious magnum opus PANIPAT sees the prolific filmmaker back to his roots in compellingly narrating period sagas that are both entertaining and enlightening.

This time Ashutosh Gowariker’s visual symphony is in sync with the emotion, passion and the filament is woven with details and embroiled with the rich tapestry of the great Maratha pride and human conflicts – good, evil, pride, prejudice, love, greed, jealousy and sacrifice.

A magnum opus in true sense,  a period saga that the veterans use to talk about where we see flashes of masters like Kamal Amrohi, V. Shantaram, K Asif etc. Every frame is filled with grandeur.

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Nitin Chandrakant Desai’s authentic production designing and Neeta Lulla’s costume are straight out from that era. The picturisation of songs are nothing short of a spectacle and it moves with the narration. The battle scenes are fantastic and pulse rising. C.K. Muraleedharan cinematography and Stephen Gomes sound designing ads value.

Arjun Kapoor goes all out and delivers a powerful performance. Comparisons with Ranveer Singh as Bajirao in Bhansali’s BAJIRAO MASTANI will be inevitable but Arjun shows his range and wins heart.

Sanjay Dutt is menacing and he uses his body language to maximum effect.

Kriti Sanon is in one word a revelation; she comes out so strong that when the movie is over, it’s impossible to imagine PANIPAT without her.

Mohnish Bahl is competent as usual. Sahil Salathia as Shamsher Bahadur leaves his mark. Nawab Shah in the important character of Ibrahim Khan Gardi is fantastic.

Padmini Kolhapure has her moments. Other character artistes – S M Zaheer, Milind Gunaji as Dattaji Shinde, Abhishek Nigam as Vishwas Rao, Ravindra Mahajani as Malhar Rao Holkar and Suhasini Mulay as Radha Bai chip in with valuable support.

This review will be incomplete without the special mention of the legendary Zeenat Aman as Sakina Begum.

Flaws

Chandrashekhar Dhavalikar, Ranjeet Bahadur, Aditya Rawal and Ashutosh Gowariker’s adaptation however ignores the sacrifice and the debate between Ahmad Shah Abdali and Ibrahim Khan Gardi. Art is subjective and so is history but those who have read about that sequence between the injured Gardi and Abdali and what happened after that may find this omission as a ‘safe’ way to make the climax more ‘filmy’ that is designed to give the ‘hero’ Sadashiv Rao more heroisim. The build upon the said betrayal is quite weak. Ajay-Atul’s music is a major letdown.

Final words

PANIPAT is a magnificently mounted historical war movie with an impressive sweep and passionate salute to the great Maratha pride. The kind of entertaining and enthralling flourishes that has made Ashutosh Gowariker an irresistible storyteller. The movie sees Ashutosh Gowariker regain his footing after previous disappointment and that’s what we all wanted. (an extra for the comeback of the maverick)

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Critic Rating
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