Samrat Prithviraj (Emperor Prithviraj)

Samrat Prithviraj (Emperor Prithviraj)

Starring: Akshay Kumar, Manushi Chillar, Sanjay Dutt, Manav Vij, Sonu Sood

Director: Dr Chandraprakash Dwivedi

Historic epics created on a grand Bollywood scale guarantee sumptuous sets and costumes and this latest Akshay Kumar regal war drama set in 12th century India, now streaming on Amazon, does not disappoint on that count.

Samrat Prithviraj (Kumar) is a legendary war hero who is famous for his mastery on the battleground and also a sense of fair play as a ruler. Rendered blind by his arch enemy, Mohammed Ghori (Vij), he valiantly slays multiple lions in a gladiatorial challenge simply through his uncanny sense of sound.

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His love for Sanyogita (Chillar) is the only time he willingly shows his softer, romantic side and proves a hero in that field too. His bond with his uncle Kaka Kanha (Dutt) and close aide Chand Vardai (Sood) is what defines his character as king and warrior. Together they appear to be invincible to the world, but will their might prove enough against the ruthlessness of the invader Ghori?

If the intention when watching a historical drama such as this is to forget about the nitty-gritty of historic facts and just enjoy the sheer spectacle of the production, then this film fits right in. However, ultimately it proves light on substance and more a vanity vehicle for the lead star, who does not miss a single opportunity to show off his gym-toned physique and martial arts skills.

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The most glaring off-putting factor is the very obviously shoddy CGI effects used to depict the ferocious lions on screen, which detract from the central high drama of the gladiatorial clash. While Dutt seems to clearly relish his quirky character, there is nothing much else to make any of the other performances stand out.

All in all, this one can be dipped into only for the lavish costumes and extravagant Rajasthani backdrops as there isn’t too much else going for it.

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