Panipat Film Review – Highly Researched Hugely Mounted War Spectacle
Film – Panipat
Produced – Sunita Gowariker, Rohit Shelatkar ,
Directed – Ashutosh Gowarikar
Cast – Sanjay Dutt , Arjun Kapoor, Kriti Sanon ,
Rating – ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️Stars
Ashutosh Gowarikar ‘s penchant for larger than life extravaganza takes him a step further in his endeavour to recreate one of most talked about but yet untold story of the third battle of Panipat involving the Peshwas Marathas , Mughals and Afghans led by Ahmad Shah Abdali.
By far one of the best and most researched historical war saga with detailed graphics and strategies which went into making of the battle of Panipat.
Director Ashutosh has maintained the war sequences with utmost precision. Battle of Panipat becomes unique because an Army of 40,000 Marathas under Peshwa Sadashivrao Bhau played by Arjun Kapoor as the valiant Sardar Senapati traveled from Pune up North 1000 kilometres to fight and stop the Afghan army more than double of theirs led by Ahmad Shah Abdali played by Sanjay Dutt, all on foot and riding horses was indeed a rarity in those times, with the female folk and the paraphernalia for camps and food and survival kits and baggages looked like a huge caravan getting bigger and bigger as their allies joined them on way. Indeed a visual delight as they embark on their mission travelling parallel to the Yamuna Waters.
In the history of wars fought the battle of Panipat stands out because it was a one day battle dated 14th January 1761 from morning to sunset.
Sadashivrao was known for his skill to take the decision on the spot and had the guts and brute force to take the enemy heads on. He kept on getting the support from various Kings en route his journey to strengthen the force of Marathas in tackling the Afghanis.
It goes to the credit of the director to put it in a little less than 3 hour capsule one of the most remarkable chapters in the history . Every character who is part of the historical war is so immaculately sketched out that you see the Marathas, Mughals and Afghanis in their elements during those time, period and geography. All credit goes to the costume designer Neeta Lulla for making the whole canvas look and act befitting the era 200 -300 years down the line. Justifying the many kingdoms and empires, army regiments , infantry, cavalry, camel riders , elephant army , artillery, different uniforms, jewellery and maintaining the look is very much evident and lends that extra grandeur to lift the film. Given his penchant for perfection Ashutosh has left no stone unturned given the detailing which has gone into every aspect of creating this magnum opus. Every character look their part and add to the overall narrative resulting in the epic war.
Arjun Kapoor as the Maratha leader looks and acts strong and sturdy but all the same excels in soft scenes before marriage and especially with Kriti where she comes in pretty handy tackling Sakina Begum to help them.
Parvatibai played by Kriti Sanon who marries the Peshwa leader of Maratha comes across with tremendous impact. She has her winning moments and comes handy like a warrior queen and puts in a brave front and looks every bit a tough fighter without losing out on the charm and her vulnerable moments.
Sanjay Dutt looks every bit the strong, brave and powerful Afghani King Ahmad Shah Abdali ! His human side and his merciless image are vividly captured and you could virtually see it in his eyes.
Rest of the ensemble cast Mohnish Bahl as Nana Saheb Peshwa, Ravindra Mahajani as Malhar Rao Holkar , Zeenat Aman as Sakina Begum , Kunal Kapoor as Shuja Ud Daula , Gashmeer Mahajani as Jankoji Shinde , Abhishek Nigam as Vishwasrao Peshwa, Mantra as Najim Ud Daula , Nawab Shah as Ibrahim Khan Gardi , Sahil Salathia as Shamsher Bahadur brave son of Bajirao and Mastani and cousin of Sadashivrao Bhau all put in their best and make it an all consuming warfare happening right in front of you on the celluloid screen.
The magic of the whole film watching is embedded in its detailing and the historical representation of an imminent War fought by the most valiant and brave Marathas replete with stories of betrayal and deception beautifully and most diligently picturised , edited with adequate sound effects, Music and the biggest weapon comprising VFX Effects !!!!!