Samrat Prithviraj is a historical epic directed by Chadraprakash Dwivedi. He is well-known for the television series Chanakya. He also directed a few films that received critical recognition. The majority of his works are inspired by literature.
In Samrat Prithviraj, he attempts to reconstruct the epic tale of the famous Indian king Prithviraj, partially based on the poem Prithviraj Rasso and other northern Indian folklore. They made this film with a wide range of age groups in mind, with a focus on making it more kid-friendly. Many aspects of the conflicts and internal politics were reduced in the process, resulting in characters that were relatively one-dimensional. Prithviraj, played by Akshay Kumar, is our good hero and Mohammed Ghori, played by Manav Vij, is our terrible villain.
There are more theatrics in the writing than cinematic elements. Samrat Prithviraj, like theatrical plays, contains one long scene followed by another with a lot of talking. It’s what we’d refer to as “old school.” But it still works now in some way. The large sets, costumes, and visuals are all quite appealing. There is a particular cadence to the dialogues. There are some terrific action sequences as well.
Samrat Prithviraj works as a spectacle with a simplified narrative. It’s a two-hour war epic since they don’t go into detail on the events shown in the film. As the warrior king, Akshay Kumar offers a strong performance, however it isn’t consistent throughout the film. He looks slender as a warrior king, defying the cliches of period film casting. Sonu Sood and Sanjay Dutt are convincing in their portrayals. Manushi Chhillar looks very ameture, while an experienced actor like Sakshi Tanwar is completely wasted. Ashutosh Rana’s Jaichand appears confused, while Manav Vij’s Ghori is monotonous.
Chadraprakash Dwivedi ensures that the art team does not overlook any details, yet he fails to tackle the continuity issues himself. There are several timelines that are abruptly omitted throughout the film. It’s because they take a simplified approach to situations that are inherently complicated.
In general, Samrat Prithviraj is a simplified version of the epic. It’s a good big-screen extravaganza with several high points, especially a strong climax. Several attempts to adapt Prithviraj for the big screen have been made in the past, but they never received the funding necessary to realise their vision. In terms of technical brilliance, Samrat Prithviraj is the best attempt to tell the story on the big screen.
We tried to analyse the film on its own merits, however there is something we would want to address. Chadraprakash Dwivedi and Akshay Kumar speak about history a lot while marketing the film. They even appeal to the Ministry of Education, requesting that something be balanced in the history books. If they truly intend it, it becomes extremely problematic since the film itself simplifies everything and leaves out the political complexities. Many incidents were omitted since they did not fit into their simplistic narrative. If all of this chatter is merely a publicity stunt, it has to be the worst way to promote a film.