An Epic Bore!
- Cast: Prabhas, Kriti Sanon, Saif Ali Khan, and Sunny Singh
- Direction: Om Raut
- Producers: Bhushan Kumar, Krishnan Kumar, and Om Raut
- Music: Ajay Atul and Sachet Parampara
- Runtime: 2 hours and 59 minutes
Prabahs-starrer Adipurush was one of the most keenly anticipated movies of this year. It was expected to be a mega-comeback for the actor.
However, since the release of its teaser, it has been hitting the headlines for the wrong reasons more often than for the right ones.
Only the songs have managed to create some buzz. Unfortunately for Prabhas, Adipurush is going to be another severe setback after Saaho (2019) and Radhe Shyam (2022).
A subpar film
In spite of all the resources available, director Om Raut has delivered an absolutely subpar film that makes a mockery of the Ramayana.
Om Raut made a smashing Bollywood debut with his first film Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior (2020). Ajay Devgn played the title role in it.
Saif Ali Khan was the chief antagonist, playing Aurangzeb’s trusted guard Udaybhan Singh Rathore.
In spite of its hyper-nationalism, Tanhaji still worked primarily because of the performances, and also the scale on which Om Raut mounted the film.
I won’t go into the story of Adipurush as Ramayana is an epic that needs no introduction. So, let’s delve straight into the analysis.
Before getting into the negatives, it is necessary to mention the few positives that Adipurush has.
To give credit where it is due, the music and the background score do manage to pump in the much-required emotions.
The movie begins with the wonderful song “Ram Siya Ram“. Manoj Muntashir’s lyrics coupled with his singing make the track an absolute winner.
“Jai Shri Ram” has a robust energy which makes the audience sit up.
The background score done by Ajay-Atul and Sachet-Parampara is rousing.
A particular mention must be made of the background score whenever Saif Ali Khan’s Raavan comes on screen.
Saif as Raavan
Saif Ali Khan clearly has a ball playing Raavan and it shows in every scene. Thanks to his strong screen presence, the actor brings a certain energy that uplifts the film considerably.
Yes, the part does remind you of Ranveer Singh’s Allauddin Khilji in Padmaavat (2018) and also Saif’s own Udaybhan Singh Rathore. But still, there is no denying the impact of Saif.
Saif has always been at his best when not playing the typical hero and this thunderous performance is proof of that.
Vatsal Seth as Indrajeet deserves a mention. He makes a striking impact in spite of his limited screen time.
Too many flaws
Coming to the shortcomings, Prabhas and Kriti Sanon are easily the weakest links of Adipurush.
The success of the Baahubali films (2015 & 2017) has changed the fortunes of Prabhas, both positively and negatively.
On one hand, it has opened new doors for the actor. But the expectations have also risen many folds.
An important part of his success has always been his magnetic screen presence but that charisma was nowhere visible in both Saaho and Radhe Shyam, particularly the former.
Here, too, Prabhas comes across as rather dull. At no point does he succeed in making the audiences feel that he is Rama, the Ideal Man/God that crores of people in this country worship.
It is very clear that the actor has treated this role as any other mainstream character. At no point does he get into the headspace of Rama.
Kriti Sanon as Sita
Kriti Sanon, on the other hand, does suffer from a sketchy characterisation. She is largely absent in the second half. Even when she is there, she comes across as bland.
Much like Prabhas, Kriti has also failed to internalise her character.
The chemistry required between Prabhas and Kriti Sanon is completely absent.
The characterisations of the “Vanar Sena” also leave a lot to be desired. The accent of Devdatta Nage’s Hanuman, in particular, is rather jarring.
Om Raut has tried to give Hanuman a modern touch, but the dialogues are completely out of sync with what viewers generally expect from Hanuman.
The VFX is another big disaster. Adipurush is a film that is supposed to have been made on a budget of ₹600 crore. But as viewers, you wonder where the budget went.
In spite of the flaws in the story, Brahmastra (2022) was at least a visual spectacle. But the graphics in Adipurush seems to have been designed by amateurs.
The battle scenes, in particular, are both laughable and exhausting. They test the viewers’ patience to the optimum. One wishes to see the end as quickly as possible.
A runtime of almost three hours makes things worse for Adipurush. Instead of being an epic tale, it turns out to be an epic bore.
(Views expressed are personal.)