Genre: Epic War Film
Duration: 2 hours 51 minutes
Panipat is based on the third battle of Panipat in the 18th century India. It attempts to chronicle the war that took place between the Marathas, who had the most powerful empire in India and the Afghan King Abdul Shah Abdali, who had plans to conquer India. A typical Ashutosh Gowarikar magnum opus, the movie bears stylistic resemblance to the Oscar-nominated director's previous historical narratives around Jodhaa Akbar and Mohenja Daro.
Shadashivrao Bhau, the protagonist is played by Arjun Kapoor. He is ordered to try and stop Abdul Shah Abdali, played by Sanjay Dutt, from trying to take over India. From the very outset, this film has been compared to previous period dramas like Bajirao Mastani and Padmaavat. Living up to Ranveer Singh, who completely owned the screen, Kapoor didn’t have the same poise and wit about him. Nevertheless, Kapoor should be credited for working on the look of his character. Right from bulking up on his muscles to appear like a cold-blooded warrior to shaving his head, Kapoor is dressed to the nines for his character. Whilst Sanjay Dutt successfully pulls off his role of the fierce King one feels sorry for Kriti Sanon. Although, Sanon's efforts are laudable for attempting to play a dated character, she fails to cast a distinct performance from her predecessors. It is difficult to change the look or feel of the role but her clothing and style is starkly similar to that of Priyanka Chopra in Bajirao Mastani.
There are only three songs in the movie and the music appears to be rather restricted off the pomp and grandeur that is usually evident in Gowarikar's sequences. 'Mann Mein Shiva' is very well put together and Kapoor mixes up some of the moves of Hrithik Roshan in Jashn-E-Bahara with that of Singh in Malhari. But, Sanon in Mard Maratha has nothing on Padukone and Priyanka in Pinga. It is a shame that Gowarikar didn not give Sanon a more hard-hitting song to perform especially considering how she demonstrated her moves and grace in her previous performances. Sapna Hai Sach Hai beautifully showcased a traditional Maharashtrian wedding between Sadashiv Rao and Paravatibai and really showed the love between the two.
I feel overall the film has been shot well just like we would want with Gowarikar as a director, although the Computer-Generated Imagery (CGI) could have used a little more work and it definitely deserves a watch on the big screen to capture the essence of the surround sound music score that aids the battles.