Following the epic of Prithviraj Raso by Chand Bardai, the initial phase of the story sets the foundation for the rivalry between Samrat Prithviraj (Akshay Kumar) and Muhammad Ghori (Manav Vij) as they vie to become the ultimate emperor of Delhi. In a cleverly executed battle, Prithviraj gains the upper hand over Ghori but spares his life, allowing him to reflect on his wrongdoings.
The second phase introduces Prithviraj’s internal rival, Jaichand (Ashutosh Rana), who also seeks to capture Delhi to prove his superiority over Prithviraj. Unaware of his daughter Sanyogita’s (Manushi Chhillar) admiration for Samrat Prithviraj and her desire to marry him exclusively, Jaichand unknowingly becomes entangled in the unfolding drama. This leads to the third and final track of the film, which will not be spoiled here.
“Samrat Prithviraj” delivers a script co-written by Doctor sahab that follows a controversial version of Prithviraj Raso, which has been debated by historians for its accuracy. Judging it as another version of the tale, the film loses its detailing and rushes through the narrative, akin to a History professor trying to cover a chapter in a single class. While the film boasts monumental action sequences captured brilliantly by Manush Nandan’s cinematography, the overall soul of this Akshay Kumar starrer feels weak.
In terms of performances, Akshay Kumar portrays Samrat Prithviraj with dedication, despite limitations in the character’s portrayal. Sanjay Dutt shines as a comical relief, skillfully balancing humor with the ferocity of his character, Kaka Kanha. Manushi Chhillar’s act bears resemblances to Deepika Padukone’s in “Padmaavat,” while Manav Vij skillfully underplays the role of Muhammad Ghori, despite lacking significant scope in his character’s development. Sakshi Tanwar impressively switches between her roles as a ruler’s wife and a mother, while Ashutosh Rana brings depth to Jaichand’s character.
Director Chandraprakash Dwivedi’s technical finesse enriches the film, but it fails to fully compensate for other flaws. The music by Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy and Balhara brothers does not leave a lasting impact, weakening the overall experience.
In conclusion, “Samrat Prithviraj” delivers grand battle sequences but lacks a well-rounded narrative, leaving some aspects half-baked in this period film.