An Jo on the making of a ballad on ‘Samrat Prithviraj’

On the making of a ballad on ‘Samrat Prithviraj’

What I was delighted with, and also kind of shocked was that I got the movie that I expected from Dr. Dwivedi in which he would stay true to the ‘legend’ of Prithviraj and display it exactly as one would interpret the court-poets’ written words would and visually bring it to life on the screen. This was never going to be a historical biopic [never a ‘Braveheart’, never a ‘Joan of Arc] since the history itself is subdued and there’re counts taken in this film from Chand Bardai, his court poet, especially the ‘epic poem’, Prithviraj Rasso.

The opening scene is fantastic with Sonu Sood’s Bardai praising the bravery, valor, and justice of Prithviraj—observe the scene when Ashutosh Rana’s Jaichand asks for half of the Delhi Kingdom and the king replies, exactly in that order, the virtues of Prithviraj, and then, Bardai mentions the same in the climactic gladiatorial scene. A blinded Prithviraj’s fight with lions is stupendously shot, with hardly, zero defects or ‘deficiencies’ brought out by CGI in most of our recent films, the most outrageous of some being BB2 and RRR. But they were placed in a different format, so some, in fact, many glitches, were excusable.

The film, in an almost seamless way, captures the wars fought by Prithviraj, with both the so-called Sultan mercenary Ghori and his own battles with Jaichand, representing the fraternal discomfort and disassociation that shapes bit-by-bit, which then transforms into a literal bloodthirst between Jaychand and Prithviraj after Sanyogita’s ‘apaharan’ from her ‘swayamvar.’ Surprisingly, the film talks more regarding the dis-regard of women in the Hindu culture rather than, as most of the folks on one side of the aisle wanted to, I guess, and believed, it would just be a hate-filled narrative against Mughals. Most of its middle parts are spent exploring the aftermath of Sanyogita’s kidnap. It is palace and traditional politics; the place of Hindu women in society, the refusal of the ‘samants’ to accept Prithviraj’s decision to make her an equal decision-maker in ‘nyay-darbars;’ and Manushi’s discussions with her mother Sakshi Talwar. And always, Prithviraj stands by Sanyogita side-by-side. His humanity, and his chivalry, when mocked at by his courtiers for releasing Ghori and supporting Mir Kazim, add to the above-mentioned facets of him.

Technically, the film is a delight. I was worried that Dr. Dwivedi, with his deep-rooted interest in academic research, would end up ignoring the technical production. But here, he surprises. Of course, I agree it is the technical part handled by the tech team, but where one sees his input is how he handles it, especially, in the first war between Ghori and Prithviraj. The angled platoon formations, on how to ‘strategically’ use the concept of raining arrows, and how the iron-clad soldiers immediately disperse so that the Ghori army’s raining arrows dig right flat into the earth. And the kind of presence-of-mind shown between the lieutenants and commanders, and the swift action that is undertaken just with one glimpse of the eye or just one utterance of a word, is remarkable to see. This scene raises to a crescendo when very tactfully, Sanjay’s Kaka brings the elephant down on its knees, and then, Prithviraj fights with Ghori a superb sword-fight and hand-to-hand combat: Symbolisms? Galore. Prithvi just throws him to the ground and the first thing that he could have done was to stab him in the chest. Instead, he just lifts and throws away his head-gear-one of the greatest insults for any ruler.

Coming to performances, I was pleasantly surprised by Akshay’s act; he looks young, and he gets the diction and emotions of a king right most of the time. God knows who was thinking what when the trailer was cut, with Akshay revealing his weaknesses in there. And also, this is quite a confident debut by Manushi Chillar, who of course, looks like a text-book-defined princess, but also acts very well, modulating her voice and her body language quite well. After a long, long time, Sanjay as Kaka Kahna comes up with one roaring performance screaming the hell out of the definition of screen-presence. Whether his standard acts of using his left hand and bending his face forwards in many of his commercial presences before, he is so much in character by shedding many, many of his known mannerisms. His drunken jests with the ‘samants’ regarding tying a knot around his eyes, or him playing the ‘older’ subordinate to Prithviraj, he simply steals your hears. He keeps asking Chand Bardai, also the ‘court-poet’ and the pundit, and goes by the surname of also ‘Bhatt’—thank God, not Mahesh Bhatt—‘Yeh Bhatte, tera jyotish kya bolta hai? Will I die the death of a warrior on the battlefield or of old age!!’ And how does one miss Manoj Vij’s performance as Ghori? He carries a straight face almost throughout but reveals the cunningness of a war-lord and a mercenary. Dr. Dwivedi doesn’t spend any time showing any of the beastly habits visually [like Bhansali did for Khilji; another marauder]; it is all about political stratagems and mingling with traitors like Jaichand. He is shown to be a merciless person in a much smaller number of scenes, with his ego intact, but still keeping the mind-map on expanding his hold in Hindustan and obsessed with Delhi. There are only two mentions of Ghori’s brutality; note, just mentioned, not shown: a) Prithviraj mentioning that he knows he destroyed Somanath and jyotirlings, but that isn’t Mir Kasim’s fault b) Of attacking Prithviraj’s cantonment in the night knowing very well that the Hindus believed in the sun-rise to sun-set battle timings based on the Ramayan and Mahabharat epic. Also, just before that deceitful massacre, there’s a question asked by one of the commanders: “Yeh Hindustaniyon ko hum kyon nahin hara sakte?’ To which he replies, “Isliye ke hamare liye Hindustan bas ek zameen ka tukda hai; unke liye, madre-zameen. Hamare liye patthar hai, lekin unke liye khuda. Isliye, agar chugalkhori se bhi harana hai, toh Delhi paane ke liye, hume unko harana hai.’

Finally, as I mentioned before, this is literally a ballad of a movie. This is not a simplified, crowd-pleasing movie, made to satisfy some political parties or people, as a trial was already conducted by some of the media and ‘historians.’ The dialogues are uttered in such, chaste, pure Hindi and rhyming quality carrying almost a styling of the ‘Haiku’ style that every reply, every question is faced with. In these times of horrible attention span of audiences, making a film like this with such kind of language when they are most interested in who prepares instant noodles better, opening their horrendous screens, am not sure how this movie would work out; and when I say, loss of attention span, talking of kids, teenagers, and 45+ years’ adults as well.

If one likes the Marathi Natya sangeet and the Yaksha Gana way of story-telling, this will be a treasure to the followers of that art form.

43 Responses to “An Jo on the making of a ballad on ‘Samrat Prithviraj’”

  1. Fantastic review Anjo, and first genuine commentary on the movie on Satyamshot.

    Like

  2. Don’t think I posted the correct version Munna/Jayshah: here’s the corrected one below

    Like


  3. On the making of a ballad on ‘Samrat Prithviraj’


    What I was delighted with, and also kind of shocked was that I got the movie that I expected from Dr. Dwivedi in which he would stay true to the ‘legend’ of Prithviraj and display it exactly as one would interpret the court-poets’ written words would and visually bring it to life on the screen. This was never going to be a historical biopic [never a ‘Braveheart’, never a ‘Joan of Arc] since the history itself is subdued and there’re counts taken in this film from Chand Bardai, his court poet, especially the ‘epic poem’, Prithviraj Rasso.


    The opening scene is fantastic with Sonu Sood’s Bardai praising the bravery, valor, and justice of Prithviraj—observe the scene when Ashutosh Rana’s Jaichand asks for half of the Delhi Kingdom and the king replies, exactly in that order, the virtues of Prithviraj, and then, Bardai mentions the same in the climactic gladiatorial scene. A blinded Prithviraj’s fight with lions is stupendously shot, with hardly, zero defects or ‘deficiencies’ brought out by CGI in most of our recent films, the most outrageous of some being BB2 and RRR. But they were placed in a different format, so some, in fact, many glitches, were excusable.


    The film, in an almost seamless way, captures the wars fought by Prithviraj, with both the so-called Sultan mercenary Ghori and his own battles with Jaichand, representing the fraternal discomfort and disassociation that shapes bit-by-bit, which then transforms into a literal bloodthirst between Jaychand and Prithviraj after Sanyogita’s ‘apaharan’ from her ‘swayamvar.’ Surprisingly, the film talks more regarding the dis-regard of women in the Hindu culture rather than, as most of the folks on one side of the aisle wanted to, I guess, and believed, it would just be a hate-filled narrative against Mughals. Most of its middle parts are spent exploring the aftermath of Sanyogita’s kidnap. It is palace and traditional politics; the place of Hindu women in society, the refusal of the ‘samants’ to accept Prithviraj’s decision to make her an equal decision-maker in ‘nyay-darbars;’ and Manushi’s discussions with her mother Sakshi Talwar. And always, Prithviraj stands by Sanyogita side-by-side. His humanity, and his chivalry, when mocked at by his courtiers for releasing Ghori and supporting Mir Kazim, add to the above-mentioned facets of him.


    Technically, the film is a delight. I was worried that Dr. Dwivedi, with his deep-rooted interest in academic research, would end up ignoring the technical production. But here, he surprises. Of course, I agree it is the technical part handled by the tech team, but where one sees his input is how he handles it, especially, in the first war between Ghori and Prithviraj. The angled platoon formations, on how to ‘strategically’ use the concept of raining arrows, and how the iron-clad soldiers immediately disperse so that the Ghori army’s raining arrows dig right flat into the earth. And the kind of presence-of-mind shown between the lieutenants and commanders, and the swift action that is undertaken just with one glimpse of the eye or just one utterance of a word, is remarkable to see. This scene raises to a crescendo when very tactfully, Sanjay’s Kaka brings the elephant down on its knees, and then, Prithviraj fights with Ghori a superb sword-fight and hand-to-hand combat: Symbolisms? Galore. Prithvi just throws him to the ground and the first thing that he could have done was to stab him in the chest. Instead, he just lifts and throws away his head-gear-one of the greatest insults for any ruler.


    Coming to performances, I was pleasantly surprised by Akshay’s act; he looks young, and he gets the diction and emotions of a king right most of the time. God knows who was thinking what when the trailer was cut, with Akshay revealing his weaknesses in there. And also, this is quite a confident debut by Manushi Chillar, who of course, looks like a text-book-defined princess, but also acts very well, modulating her voice and her body language quite well. After a long, long time, Sanjay as Kaka Kahna comes up with one roaring performance screaming the hell out of the definition of screen-presence. Whether his standard acts of using his left hand and bending his face forwards in many of his commercial presences before, he is so much in character by shedding many, many of his known mannerisms. His drunken jests with the ‘samants’ regarding tying a knot around his eyes, or him playing the ‘older’ subordinate to Prithviraj, he simply steals your hears. He keeps asking Chand Bardai, also the ‘court-poet’ and the pundit, and goes by the surname of also ‘Bhatt’—thank God, not Mahesh Bhatt—‘Yeh Bhatte, tera jyotish kya bolta hai? Will I die the death of a warrior on the battlefield or of old age!!’ And how does one miss Manoj Vij’s performance as Ghori? He carries a straight face almost throughout but reveals the cunningness of a war-lord and a mercenary. Dr. Dwivedi doesn’t spend any time showing any of the beastly habits visually [like Bhansali did for Khilji; another marauder]; it is all about political stratagems and mingling with traitors like Jaichand. He is shown to be a merciless person in a much smaller number of scenes, with his ego intact, but still keeping the mind-map on expanding his hold in Hindustan and obsessed with Delhi. There are only two mentions of Ghori’s brutality; note, just mentioned, not shown: a) Prithviraj mentioning that he knows he destroyed Somanath and jyotirlings, but that isn’t Mir Kasim’s fault b) Of attacking Prithviraj’s cantonment in the night knowing very well that the Hindus believed in the sun-rise to sun-set battle timings based on the Ramayan and Mahabharat epic. Also, just before that deceitful massacre, there’s a question asked by one of the commanders: “Yeh Hindustaniyon ko hum kyon nahin hara sakte?’ To which he replies, “Isliye ke hamare liye Hindustan bas ek zameen ka tukda hai; unke liye, madre-zameen. Hamare liye patthar hai, lekin unke liye khuda. Isliye, agar chugalkhori se bhi harana hai, toh Delhi paane ke liye, hume unko harana hai.’


    Finally, as I mentioned before, this is literally a ballad of a movie. This is not a simplified, crowd-pleasing movie, made to satisfy some political parties or people, as a trial was already conducted by some of the media and ‘historians.’ The dialogues are uttered in such, chaste, pure Hindi and rhyming quality carrying almost a styling of the ‘Haiku’ style that every reply, every question is faced with. In these times of horrible attention span of audiences, making a film like this with such kind of language when they are most interested in who prepares instant noodles better, opening their horrendous screens, am not sure how this movie would work out; and when I say, loss of attention span, talking of kids, teenagers, and 45+ years’ adults as well.


    If one likes the Marathi Natya sangeet and the Yaksha Gana way of story-telling, this will be a treasure to the followers of that art form.

    Like

    • tonymontana Says:

      Fabulous read, AJ

      Liked by 1 person

      • Brilliant comment. The MAIN problem of this movie is, it just doesn’t cater to ANYONE; not the lunatic liberals, nor the right-wing nuts. And that’s blown the lid off this pressure-cooker. It’s a goddamn sad day, instead of appreciating a film that’s stayed away so much from the societal pressures, and is so true to the POETIC nature of this film, is inflicted with so much of vile and hatred. The glee with which it not doing well is enjoyed is a sad part on the the cinematic appreciation culture that we have: Even a 3rd rate person like KRK and a 7th rate site like BOI is now being used as…the word stays — by the way, one of the minor mistakes that Aibak makes when he uses the word ‘vaishya’, being an Afghan…

        Liked by 1 person

      • Shivaay Says:

        “He simply is superb in his dialog delivery, action and raises right emotions of awe and respect for Samrat Prithviraj” – what a complete mess! One of the most irresponsible and shabby portrayals of an emperor on the big screen (barring a couple of action scenes). Sorry to say but this time around Akshay’s pretty much managed to bring an otherwise decent film down all by himself along with Shankar-Ehsaan & Loy. Like I said, Baby’s Ajay Singh Rathore in a Rajput fancy dress. Only difference being he was a lot more suitable & displayed far more aggressive body language in Baby.

        Like

        • Shivaay, that was the exact impression I had when I watched the trailer. But it changed after watching the movie. I am not at all saying that there couldn’t have been somebody else. But who else? We know how SRK made a mess of a terrific chance with ASOKA. Ranveer Singh? Of Bhansali fame: ” Jaa ghoshth le aaa khaane ke bahut talap lagi hai?” Or Hrithik, the only time he shone in JA was when his eyes were furious with wrath when he asks his soldiers to bring an enemy upto the terrace and throw him twice or thrice down till he screams in agony and dies? The rest of the ‘great’ AG’s film was a sexual fantasy between Jodhaa and Akbar; two poor actors, at that point in time, of which, Ash still continues to be – only HR reedemd himself with Super 30 and WAR.. [WAR was anyway, right down his territory]

          And I am not saying Akki got everything right. There were surely 2-3 scenes where he slipped into his ‘Akki’ mode of Bell Bottom. But mostly, at least in 75% of the film, he’s done a good job…

          Liked by 1 person

        • The first scene of the movie set up Akshay for me. He gets into the character straight away. He played Prithviraj better than the way Shahid played his princely role in Padmavat. I would have liked as a commerical movie lover to see him doing heroic things like Bajirao but don’t think Dr Dwivedi had that vision at all. His historical is more calmed down.

          There can be great points for editing to keep the movie crisp but downsize is there is no scope for character development.

          The childhood experiences of Prithviraj, why Kaka Kanha remains blindfolded , why Sood and Akshay are so close as friends, etc could have been covered but at the cost of derailing the pace.

          Songs were a big let down which has been the case with YRF since last few years. Last good music from them was for the SRK/ Anushka starrer. Holi song could have been significantly better. Movie needed one superhit song which was missing.

          Commerically i dont think any other star would have got the double digit opening for Prithviraj. This was always going to be a political movie and Akshay handled the politics really well to get a smooth release. He reached out to all parties and rightly said that history is one sided. He built the best narrative for the movie which at this moment in India, only he can do.

          Like

        • Shivaay Says:

          @AnJo :My opinions are after viewing the film. And yes I’d have preferred Akshay to devote at least 6 months to get the body language and look right (like Roshan & Ranveer did in JA and Bajirao, now sexual fantasies are upto AG & Bhansali, doesn’t have anything to do with the actors). Akshay’s dialogue delivery is anyways questionable barring the action-comedy genre but a royal look and body language makes a huge difference like it did with HR and Ranveer. Plus Akshay’s obvious age gap with Manushi didn’t make it better. I still believe this role ought to have gone to Ranveer, Vicky K, Ram Charan or HR (in the worst case with no younger options). And for a guy charging 2 Cr per day to be on the sets, not bothering to grow even a real mushtach to play veer Prithviraj is the heights of unprofessionalism 😉 Feeling sorry for Dr Dwivedi and Manushi who gave their heart out!

          Liked by 1 person

        • But that’s a compromise right? Who would’ve ever thought that muscle-flexing Deol would have played a foul-mouth pandit after playing Arjun Pandit?

          I am fine that you didn’t like AK’s performance. I, for one, posted the carvan link of Bachchan recites Bachchan. But Ranveer with his hyper-metabolism, HR with a huge risk of being repetitive of his JA act — a very ordinary one, in my view anyway — who else is left? NONE of the younger lot, as you mentioned would have made a mark. Now VK, yes, that is an interesting choice, It could have gone both ways; but yes, I agree with you, would have been challenging.

          But all I am saying is, AK is not that bad, at least in this film, as the Samrat; a) his physicality b) the confident stride.

          These 2 things mattered to me at least. I mean, we had a film that had of all ‘men’, Arjun Kapoor play a Maratha warrior!!!!

          Liked by 1 person

      • omrocky786 Says:

        Naveen , I think the pre interval did not have the flair it should have had.. the BGM, the action, the dialogbazi was missing.
        Climax was amazing.
        I agreed with a reviewer that they showed Ghori asking for death, whereas in actuality ( Popular folklore ) he begged for his life. The music was not good at all.
        I am in between AnJo , yours- and BR’s reviews.
        BR made a good point that he made it in Chanakya format , too verbose and repetitive .
        Akshay was totally fitting the role . The only other hero I can think of doing the role would be Ramcharan post RRR.

        Liked by 1 person

        • What flair would you be expecting? Were you disappointed that it is a non-chronological movie with a blinded Prithviraj mentioning Samyukta and then that it takes a straight path? Fair point. Is that the only point of disagreement?

          But why does it so happen? Chand Bardai is a poet standing next to a horribly wounded and blinded Prithviraj? And of course, who does Prithvi remembers? Sanyogita, and remembers her!! Not a glorified one! He remembers her as one with blinded eyes; and observe, she fell in love with him with ‘imagined’ paintings’…

          The triangle of sight between Chand, Prithivi, and Samyukta might join, but at the joints, there’s hell a lot of emotions involved…

          Like

        • omrocky786 Says:

          No , I meant the buildup, the music, the entry when Samrat comes to get Samyukta needed a bit more drama , more panache , more elan, with great bgm
          I think Ajay Atul would have been perfect music directors for this movie, but then again they had zero and TOH.

          Liked by 1 person

        • omrocky786 Says:

          I just remembered two main things from my childhood of Samrat Prithviraj, The swaymabar and the shabd bhedi baan.
          The climax was pretty close, the swayambar , since most people would have remembered should have been extraordinary. It was good, but not extraordinary.

          Like

        • But Rocky, there are many versions of those; of making that dramatic. If you carefully observe that scene, when Prithvi is introduced behind the statue, the camera doesn’t focus on his face, but on his hand – he carries a leather covering. NO Hindu king carried a leather king – which indicates, as exactly in RASSO, that he played the role of a doorman…of course, it wasn’t explicit..

          Liked by 1 person

        • omrocky786 Says:

          Scenes like the the Rakhi and her finding of cash in Ram Lakhan, like Dilip Sahab throwing color on Raj Kumar in Saudagar, like Sanjay Dutt in subway in Naam .
          Matlab Wah kya scene hain nahee nikla zubaan sey..
          bas aa gaye, and ley gaye ..there we so many possibilities.
          He took liberty to deviate from Raaso at so many other places, could have taken a bit here too.

          Like

        • “Scenes like the the Rakhi and her finding of cash in Ram Lakhan, like Dilip Sahab throwing color on Raj Kumar in Saudagar, like Sanjay Dutt in subway in Naam .
          Matlab Wah kya scene hain nahee nikla zubaan sey..
          bas aa gaye, and ley gaye ..there we so many possibilities.
          He took liberty to deviate from Raaso at so many other places, could have taken a bit here too.”

          Yes but Dr. Dwivedi didn’t say objectively that his only source was RASSO! It was mainly based on Rasso, there are very many epic poems written on that. If it were to be based on just one epic poem, I would agree with you. The fundamental problem lies there; there wasn’t left an opportunity by the Marxist historians to compile this ‘gatha’ into one complex history. He did take many liberties, but that’s because that’s what’s on the plate – no pun intended!

          This is no Iliad or Odessey – how many interpretations do they have?

          I hate quoting wikipedia; but here it is – look at the sources – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prithviraj_Chauhan

          He might have chosen the best of among all the sources; so what?

          Like

        • And let me tell you one more thing sir, there’s a scene where both Prithvi and Sanjukta go to a village and enjoy the food prepared by an old woman. That was the norm; Krishnadevaraya, of the Mysore Kingdom, always used to do that – go dressed as an ordinary citizen, just to ‘guage’ the mood of the state. It was for a reason, that the princely state of Mysore, never, ever, had their doors locked…

          Liked by 1 person

        • omrocky786 Says:

          Yes that was a great scene. and actually there were many good snippets in the movie like the entry scene of some of the soldiers in the mourning sabha with colors and bhagwa cholas and tell the mourning soldiers that we should celebrate their sacrifice.
          completely unexpected, brilliant staging and hits you in your gut.

          Like

  4. omrocky786 Says:

    Great read AnJo. I am not only NOT canceling my tickets for the show today but am taking my daughters too to watch the movie.

    Liked by 1 person

    • omrocky786 Says:

      We all liked the movie a lot and also did not have problems with Akhshay at all. The major letdown were the songs.
      The dialogs were really good . Sonu Sood ka screen presence was impressive.
      Manushi is too skinny to be a princess, but her dialog delivery is very good.
      Overall good watch.

      Liked by 2 people

  5. https://satyamshot.wordpress.com/2022/06/02/samrat-prithviraj-major-vikramhitlist-and-the-rest-of-the-box-office/#comment-748418

    Agree with Shivaay’s comments as well: actually, I agree with both sides in the sense of expectation and what was provided. If anybody was expecting to be provided an adrenaline-pumping, crowd-pleasing historic epic, I am so glad that Dr. Dwivedi has smashed the dreams, on both sides of the aisle, so that it could be utilized for wrong political purposes.

    Goddamn, we are so hypocritical, unimaginable, I wrote a piece on HAIDER, praising the film to hilt, though the film is completely, a complete anti-Indian-state film, and I laughed at the bitchiness of Bharadwaj when he put in a disclaimer at the end saying, ‘we are thankful to the Indian forces for supporting the Kashmiris during the devastating floods – nobody asked for their religion when they were given a hand from the helicopters did they?’

    There was this famous NRI troll from ‘Bandra’ who was trolling me throughout: am not able to get the link – since it says it is deleted – and it said this, exactly:

    https://satyamshot.wordpress.com/2014/10/03/an-jo-on-haider/

    This was on October 6, 2014 at at 8:25 AM.

    VB left the field open to you to run with your ideas. Make the movie on Kashmir and or Hamlet you want. This is the movie he made.

    Check what this troll says. Now that TKF and Prithviraj have been made, would love to hear the answer from this troll; who knows, this troll might be existing here with some different name…am not disrespecting any of my friends here…but there are men here who have dressed as women…history is proof

    And this was in response to Master’s and Tony’s concern that irrespective of the fact that the movie has literally, much, much little to say about the war-lords — who might be Sultans in their areas — the movie is deliberately being subjected to such religious quarters…

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Prasad Bhojak Says:

    I watched the movie last night. It strictly an average fare. Here’s how things are changed in terms of viewing mindset as per me;

    The direct comparison of Prithviraj is with say likes of Bajirao (warrior hindu prince), Tanhaji (warrior and great collab for Shivaji). However this movie had poor music not justifying the scale. For e.g. hadd karde song was only released as a teaser and on screen after first mukhda fell flat on face.

    I felt the opening scene was well done and hooked the movie for me but my focus went straight to Manav Viz as to how weak he has been depicted.

    Honestly, Akshay Kumar didnt put much effort in the role. SS Rajamouli has changed has to how leading men are perceived and everything is big is better now. Akshay should have taken atleast a 1 year break to put in physicality in the role. The Hindu Samrat needs to look the part.

    The movie is not a visual spectacle as lot of scenes are made as talkies, i felt Dr. Dwivedi is a great researcher but this format deserves someone of SLB or SS Rajam. to enthrall the audience.

    What went wrong with the movie is weird promotion strategy by YRF and Akshay using politics to promote the movie. Just didnt create the buzz as the market for historical warrior figures has changed.

    Like

    • The HINDU SAMRAT needs to look the part.

      1> Prithviraj, was a stout person. Would you want Saurabh Shrivastav to play the part? Would folks have thronged to the theaters then?

      2> Jodha Akbar – Akbar, per historical recordings, was 4′ 9″ – I meant his body’s height. Would you have thronged the theaters? If it were not for HR? It would be wonderful to see the sexually implicit scene of Jodhaa putting her pooja plate to the side to just watch a 4′ 9″ ‘man’ sword-practicing…there would be wolf-whistles in the theaters

      Keeping the above 2 points aside, one has to take the audiences’ reaction; but ALSO remember that they are not always right.

      Audiences need to be educated; not in the formal sense I meant – but actually view a movie through the originator’s lenses. Pray, if this were made EXACTLY the way a Bhansali, who sets each and everything in Bhansalipur, then the audience’s complaint would be:

      a) Kya yaar, saala novel ka kuch kadar hi nahin; this is the same person who made Madz and Ash in DEVDAS; Deepika and Priyanka dance in a song in Bajirao…’creative’ imagination.

      b) Show Ghori the war-lord trampling on the Jyotirlings and marauding the Somnath, and the liberals yelling: ‘What’s happened to this country? How far are they going to go to rescratch the wounds??

      The biggest flaw of this film is Dr. Dwivedi relied hell a lot on the intelligence of the audiences, and he fell flat on his face at that.

      Viewers have changed, for the worse, since the times of MEA, since the times of CLEOPATRA and BENHUR. And they are quite cunning actually; they will accept morphed films if it suits their purpose, but if a film is a honest interpretation of a ballad, then, there’s a ‘boring’ problem.

      It is a lack of reading, of understanding that a writer/director’s vision need NOT match what you want to see, but what you want to get, is the malaise. Art form is not like a Pani Puri, where you go, ‘Thoda theeka kar do yaar’

      And the lack of interest in reading and trying to understand history, I am not blaming at all on all, I myself, am a part of it. I just don’t have the time left any longer. The last book I read, was in 2007 – THE LIFE OF PI – from start to end. I haven’t read a single novel since then. That’s what society’s become; and tib-bits of news and editorials, are what conquer and get immediate attention; apart from of course, the disgusting social media…

      So yes, as Master said, the blame lies on YRF not understanding what the audience wants, and to decipher, whether it is worth handing a 200 crore deal to someone like Dr. Dwivedi…

      Feel bad, but nothing new – Hollywood has faced it; now it’s the turn of Bollywood…

      Liked by 1 person

      • If anyone’s interested…

        In regard to assessing the quality of the history presented in films, historians offer widely diverging opinions. Some are still very skeptical of history presented on the screen, whether it is from Hollywood dramatists or from documentary makers. Commercial motion pictures particularly trouble them; they complain about manipulation, invention, distortion, misrepresentation, and simplification in movies like Mississippi Burning, Gandhi, and 1492: The Conquest of Paradise. Other scholars, such as Robert Rosenstone, welcome innovative approaches to history-based filmmaking, praise avant-garde efforts to experiment with nonlinear stories, and urge us to consider ways in which history through film is not the same as history through a book. Rosenstone’s enthusiasm for bold efforts to “revision” the past is commendable, but some of the films he finds appealing will almost always remain on the periphery of public interest in the movies (such as the “postmodern” Walker [1987], which juxtaposes the present and the past, showing Zippo lighters and helicopters in a story about U.S. intervention in Nicaragua in the 19th century).

        https://www.historians.org/publications-and-directories/perspectives-on-history/april-1996/the-historian-and-film-challenges-ahead

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  7. omrocky786 Says:

    Liked by 1 person

    • Finished part 1; if you had posted it before, I never needed to write anything and bore the folks…Joking. Thanks for this. Most of which, exactly, I gathered after watching the film…especially as to why it wouldn’t please the mass audiences…It has nothing to do with the usual crap of : Akbar has a chapter; Prithviraj has 2 paragraphs. NO. I categorically deny that. This is NOT a new statement. This has been uttered since many, many years. And, if this, is, still true, the onus of idiocy lies on the audience, not on the scholar…

      Liked by 2 people

    • omrocky786 Says:

      While I agree on your first part, but the onus on the filmmaker is also to entertain, period.
      There is a reason 83, Jhund and now Prithviraj did not do as per expectations and Tanha jee did wonders.
      i do also agree and believe that Samrat Prithviraj will be remembered as and considered a classic in future.
      Dr sahab himself said in this interview that not too many people watched Chanakya since it was too traditional.

      Like

      • If the intent of the movie was to be a commercial success, which required an Akshay Kumar, then the movie should have had the more thrills the way climax was, more dramas around the death of Kaka, prithvi’s arrest, ghori’s arrest to name a few key moments.

        Sometimes the fallacy of doing a histrorical is how true you need to be. Tanhaji took the liberty and despite being a colossal hit in Maharashtra, it still did not do hit business in other parts of India.

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        • Shivaay Says:

          Tanhaji did about 125 Cr of its total 275 in Maharashtra implying another 150+ in non Maharashtra circuits which is a solid number for an Ajay Devgn film compared to his earlier track record. The only circuits where it gave an Average performance was Bihar, Delhi-UP-Rajasthan & Panjab. The circuit wise trajectory and performance was similar to Pushpa, at a much higher level (something you might witness with Pushpa 2). As for Samrat, Dr. Dwivedi is not a commercial director by any angle. He’s more of a cultural folk film maker whose best when either making television programs or small low budget content cinema like Pinjar. A 250 Cr magnum opus commercial film with Akshay in the lead was too much of an ask from him. I do hope he gets to realize his vision of a Prithviraj Samrat on one of the OTT platforms with a 5-10 part mini series if possible.

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  8. omrocky786 Says:

    Like

  9. omrocky786 Says:

    AnJo, Naveen and Shivay …this was a brilliant and comprehensive watch on Samrat Prithviraj by Dr. Dwivedi .
    Do watch !!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Shivaay Says:

      Dr. Dwivedi is a very learned man which is exactly why I feel sorry for his extensive research being produced into a half baked sham of a commercial film. He deserved a lot better than a Yash Raj or a disinterested Akshay for all his efforts.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. omrocky786 Says:

    Like

  11. omrocky786 Says:

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  12. omrocky786 Says:

    Another two good interviews . He seems to be really hurt with the right wing boycott of the movie.
    He also says in both interviews that Aditya Chopra told him he is proud of the movie and and will not go by the audience verdict.
    he defends Urdu and also defends comparing Samrat Prithviraj with Raavan.

    Liked by 2 people

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