Panipat (2019) – Movie Review

Panipat is an epic period war-drama film directed by Ashutosh Gowarikar. The film depicts the events leading to the Third Battle of Panipat.

The film sets in 1758 when the Maratha Empire has reached its peak under the leadership of Peshwa Nana Saheb (Mohnish Behl). Maratha Army has three commanders Raghunath Rao (Kashyap Parulekar), the Peshwa’s brother, Shamsher Bahadur (Sahil Salathia), the Peshwa’s half-brother, and Sadashiv Rao Bhau (Arjun Kapoor), the Peshwa’s cousin. Feeling worthless under the Maratha Empire, Najib-ud-Daula (Mantra Mugdh), chieftain of Rohilla clan, allies himself with Ahmad Shah Abdali (Sanjay Dutt), a powerful ruler of Afganistan. And invites him to invade Delhi. When the news of this formidable alliance reaches to Marathas, Nana Saheb appoints Sadashiv as the commander-in-chief of the Maratha army to march north to stop Abdali.

The Third Battle of Panipat took place on 14 January 1761 at Panipat, between the Maratha Empire and the invading Afghan army of the King of Afghans, Ahmad Shah Abdali. The battle is considered one of the greatest and most important fought in the 18th century, and it has perhaps the largest number of fatalities in a single day reported in a classic formation battle between two armies. This film is informative about a significant chapter in history, which is one of the two good points to watch this film. The second is the portrayal of Ahmad Shah Abdali by Sanjay Dutt. His screen presence is very commanding and convincing. During the complete runtime of the film, I was just waiting for him to come on screen.

The film can be considered as the Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Bajirao Mastani (2015). But the film is nowhere near to the grandeur created by Bhansali. The set design is grand with an ensemble cast, but the terrible CGI and unimpactful cinematography fail this solid attempt. Honestly, Ashutosh Gowarikar is well-known for the period and gripping drama films, but this film is disappointing. The last battle portion of the film does not give the look and feel of the greatness of the battle of Panipat. The major drawback of the film is its lead actor Arjun Kapoor. I mean how he can give the same emotionless expression in all the scenes. Kriti Sanon as Parvati Bai, wife of Sadashiv Rao Bhau, took some efforts but is also a big misfit like Arjun Kapoor for these heavyweight roles. In some places, the subplot of their marriage stirs the film away from the main plot.

Verdict : The film is a one-time watch if you are ready to tolerate Arjun Kapoor. Otherwise, it is an informative war drama film about an important chapter in history.

Rating : 3/5

Check the trailer here :

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