For those of you who are following my reviews regularly, know that I am a fan of history and culture. Even while at school, I was fascinated by the subject which has so much to offer in terms of stories and lessons. I feel Ashutosh Gowarikar is likewise in this aspect with films like Jodha Akbar and Mohenjodaro in his repertoire. This week he brings to us another one of his history lessons-Panipat. Well its trailer did grab a few eyeballs although it was met with its fair share of criticism as well….is the victorious in its battlefield or does it die a silent death…lets find out.
While many wars have been fought in Panipat, this movie brings to us the third war fought in 1761 between the Marathas led by Sadashiv Rao Peshwa and the Afghanis led by Ahmed Shah Abdali. The story is quite good and engaging. The screenplay though lacks the punch and is a 3 hour long history lesson. To be fair it does have its moments while a few others could have been left out(love angle) to shorten its length. The first hour is a slow burn while things speed up(reasonably) in the second hour. The dialogues are well written. The music by Ajay Atul is good though a few songs further slacken the pace of the drama. It is 2019 and if you don’t get the VFX right then you are in for some criticism. VFX was strictly average! Ashutosh Gowarikar who last directed the forgettable Mohenjodaro is in decent form here, his major drawback being that the proceedings just don’t give you that high of watching a war film!
Mohnish Behl, Padmini Kolhapuri, Zeenat Aman and Nawab Shah shine in their cameos. Mantra is quite good in his first negative role. Kriti Sanon looks pretty and has done a commendable job though her track seems a bit stretched. Arjun Kapoor blows hot and cold. In some scenes he is good while a lot is desired in a few others. The impact was clearly missing though he has put it commendable effort in his role. The screen stealer is Sanjay Dutt who clearly has found some form. Amazing performance(though it falls short of the Khilji act by Ranveer Singh).
Panipat is a decent watch. It will be appreciated by history lovers while a certain section of you will just want to revisit your NCERT text book of history. Go watch it if you must!!