Starring: Prabhas, Kriti Sanon, Saif Ali Khan, Sunny Singh, Devdatta Nage, Vatsal Sheth, Sonal Chauhan, Trupti Toradmal
Director: Om Raut
Producers: Bhushan Kumar, Krishan Kumar, Om Raut, Prasad Sutar, Rajesh Nair, Vamsi, Pramod
Music Directors: Ajay-Atul, Sanchit Balhara, Ankit Balhara
Cinematography: Karthik Palani
Editor: Ashish Mhatre, Apurva Motiwale Sahai
If there is any film that has created mayhem in recent times, it is undoubtedly Prabhas starrer Adipurush. The movie is based on the Indian epic Ramayana and is directed by Om Raut of Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior fame. Kriti Sanon played Sita, while Bollywood star hero Saif Ali Khan played the demon king Ravanasura. T-Series and Retrophiles backed this magnum opus. Amidst unprecedented hype and fan frenzy, Adipurush hit the screens today. Let’s see whether the film lived up to the hype or not.
Adipurush showcases the Yuddha Kanda in Ramayana. The movie begins with Lord Rama, aka Raghava (Prabhas), getting banished from his kingdom Ayodhya for 14 years at the decree of his father, Dasaratha. It is Bharata’s mother and Dasaradha’s younger wife, Kaikeyi, who demands that Lord Rama be sent to the forest so that her son be crowned. Sita, aka Janaki (Kriti Sanon), and Seshu, aka Lakshmana (Sunny Singh), accompany Lord Rama in exile. One day, the demon king Ravana (Saif Ali Khan) abducts Sita by diverting Rama and Seshu with a magical deer. Later, Rama meets Hanuman (Devdatte Naga), and the rest of the movie is about how Lord Rama won over Ravana and brought back Sita.
Very few actors in the current generation can pull off mythological or periodic roles with ease and conviction, and Prabhas is one among them. The actor has an unmatched aura and royalty, and Adipurush couldn’t have been any better if some other actor had played Lord Sri Rama. The PAN-India star amazes big time with his charisma, body language, and dialogue delivery, and he fits the bill perfectly as Lord Rama. The way he utters lengthy dialogues and his screen presence are indomitable.
One more best thing to have happened to Adipurush is Saif Ali Khan. The team had an uphill task of casting an actor who could match Prabhas, and they indeed did a great job by casting Saif Ali Khan. The star actor makes the film even fiery with his incredible performance as Lankesh, i.e., Ravanasura. Saif Ali Khan performs it to the tee and has scored brownie points too.
Sita character is definitely a challenge for someone like Kriti Sanon, who mostly played glamorous roles in her career, but boy, she is perfect as Janaki, aka Sita. Kriti’s divine looks and her mature performance adds depth to the proceedings. Devdatte Nage, the Marathi actor, breathed life into the role of Lord Hanuman. Sunny Singh, Vatsal Sheth, and Sonal Chauhan pass muster.
Om Raut’s strength lies in showcasing the drama, and he handled the first half in a very neat manner. There are many well-executed sequences in the first hour, including the Jatayu – Ravana fight, Hanuman meeting Rama for the first time, the face-off between Sugriva and Vaali, and Hanuman setting Lanka on fire. These aspects are something that are very familiar to the audience, but the way Om Raut has presented them intrigues one. Ajay-Atul duo’s songs are superb, to say the least, and the background score has lifted the movie in many areas.
While the first half was pretty engaging, the second half failed to continue the momentum. It starts on a dull note as the proceedings showcased look bland here. The final battle takes the lion’s share of the screen time, becoming an exhaustive watch after a point of time. The editing team should have reduced the length by 10 minutes to make things better.
All the fears about the VFX have come true, sadly. The teaser received severe flak from one and all, and hence the team reworked on the VFX works for a long time. But the end result is unsatisfactory in this aspect. For a movie of 500 crore budget, the visual effects are substandard.
One more drawback of Adipurush is that it is mostly shot in Hindi. Most of the time, we see actors mouthing Hindi dialogues, and this surely is a major disappointment as the makers stated that it is a Telugu-Hindi bilingual. The impact got bogged down at times due to this issue. The Ravanasura’s look, the way Lanka world has been designed may not go well with many. The makers took some cinematic liberties, and a few scenes look exaggerated.
Telugu dialogues written by Bheem Sreenivas are good. The Telugu lyrics penned by Ramajogayya Sastry gelled well with the music composed by the Ajay-Atul duo. Shivoham and Jai Shree Ram songs stand out and are sure to evoke goosebumps. The background score by Sanchit Balhara and Ankit Balhara is magnificent.
The costumes designed by Nachiket Barve give the movie a modern touch. The production design created by Priya Suhass and Nishanth Jogdand may receive mixed reactions as the Lanka world has been showcased in a different manner. The 3D effects are good in a few scenes.
The makers have gone all out and spent heavily on the movie, but VFX-wise, the movie disappoints. Karthik Palani’s cinematography is neat. The movie needs some serious editing, especially as far as the second half is concerned. The choreography of action set pieces is ordinary, and they don’t create any excitement.
Coming to the director, Om Raut, he did a decent job with the movie. The way things are handled in the first half looks good, but he should have taken more care regarding the second half. In his first Hindi outing, Tanhaji, Om Raut focused more on emotions, but here more concentration was on special effects. Better second half could have made Adipurush a great outing.
On the whole, Adipurush is a modernized version of Ramayana that majorly benefits from the performances of Prabhas, Saif Ali Khan, and Devdatte Nage. The movie has a neat first half and a below-par second half. The background score and songs come in handy, and they make it up for the substandard VFX works. Om Raut manages to infuse some good moments despite the familiar tale. The box office prospects of the movie will depend on how the family audiences will receive this updated version of the Indian epic. If you could ignore the slow-paced second half, Adipurush will be a decent watch this weekend.
Overall Rating: 2/5