Starring – Arjun Kapoor, Sanjay Dutt, Kriti Sanon, Mohnish Bahl, Padmini Kolhapure
Directed By Ashutosh Gowariker
India is going through a phase where a lot of people are gaining access to the real history of our country. So much so that what was supposed to be taught and researched upon in schools and colleges many years ago is being revealed to us through films. On a personal front, I know that the history that I was taught in school was not even 2 % of what our country actually is. India is not only rich with culture and heritage, we were… and are blessed with the bravest of heroes that ever walked on this blessed soil of ours.
The film talks about the 3rd battle of Panipat which happened on 14th January, 1761. The Marathas were at the pinnacle of their rule with most parts of India under their control. However, this increasing foothold of theirs in not taken lightly by a lot. Delhi and its surrounding parts are still under the control of the Mughals but with the Mughal dynasty in decline, the Marathas are eyeing that region.
This news reaches the Afghan King, Ahmad Shah Abdali (Sanjay Dutt) who plans to invade India in order to not only retrieve his lost territories but also take control of entire country. He attacks and captures the Punjab region and this news reaches Nana Saheb Peshwa.
Nana Saheb Peshwa orders a counsel among his generals. They plan to stop the afghans before they can invade more parts of the country but are skeptical as to how the plans can be carried out considering their battles in the past have led to depleted resources and reserves.
Sadashiv Rao Bhau, however, takes the responsibility of taking around 40000 soldiers with limited resources with him in an attempt to increase this number by joining hands with all other surrounding kingdoms. Perhaps, one of the few brave attempts anyone has taken during that time for a unified hindostan.
How Sadashiv Bhau is able to unite all the kingdoms and use their power and resources to defeat the Afghan King Abdali forms the rest of the movie.
When it comes to period films, we all expect to see the world as it was during those times and mind you, Ashutosh Gowariker is definitely one of the few directors who goes to great lengths in this regard. You not only get the feel of grandeur but also the mentality of the Marathas, the afghans and other kingdom during that time. I should say, this should have been released in 3d.
All the actors have done a great job, it is easy (if not so difficult) to portray a fictional character but when portraying someone who existed, that is when things get complicated. For people, especially historians, are looking at you and one small mistake, you are facing the gallows.
Ashutosh Gowariker is also one of the few directors who knows how to utilize ground breaking visual effects techniques, however, I have been critical about the action sequences in his past movies especially Jodha Akbar and Mohenjo Daro. It is almost like, he hates violence and therefore, tries to keep it clean. However, this movie is a surprise. The director has literally up the scaled in terms of visual effects and action sequences.
We are not dealing with modern warfare in these movies, the warriors are not using assault rifles or shotguns or pistols that can lead to a clean kill with a headshot. We are dealing with warriors carrying swords, daggers, and knives. Cannon warfare is still in practice. Muskets were seeing the first light of the day but were still ineffective for you can see the enemy laughing at you for bringing a ‘bringing a gun that takes 3-5 minutes to reload’ to a ‘sword battle’.
What’s more, this is the 3rd battle of Panipat, one of the bloodiest battles in Indian History that resulted in heavy casualties on both sides. Wikipedia tells you who won the battle but after watching the movie, you might think otherwise.
Only one if you ask me. The length of the movie, it is over 3 hours long. Can’t blame anyone for this for this was a battle of wits from both sides. A game of cat and mouse, 2 brave warriors commanding an army of close to 100000, you surely want to know that as a leader what were they thinking before coming to Panipat… or were they even thinking at all.
Score – 9/10
This is a must watch. Don’t look at it as a boring history lesson but look at it as a story of courage, valor and honor. We all need the motivation and the belief that heroes do exist. This is the story of a man who fought for a dream of a unified India. It is time, we carry forward the legacy.
Love to read and write. I am also a gaming freak.