The trailer of Ashutosh Gowariker’s much awaited magnum opus ‘Panipat – The Great Betrayal’ was unveiled yesterday. Starring Sanjay Dutt, Mohnish Bahl, Arjun Kapoor, Kriti Sanon, etc. in principal roles, this movie will depict the 3rd Battle of Panipat that took place in 1761 and will hit the screens on 6th of December.
For the unaware, the 3rd Battle of Panipat was fought between the Marathas and the joint forces of Afghans led by Ahmad Shah Abdali / Durrani, the Rohilla kingmakers of the Mughals led by Najib ud Daula and Nawab Shuja ud Daulah of Awadh. Following Ahmad Shah Abdali’s invasion of India, a large force of Marathas led by Sadashivrao Bhau, cousin of the then Peshwa, Balaji Baji Rao, was sent in order to counter him.
While Ahmad Shah Abdali had the support of the Rohillas and the Nawab of Awadh, the Marathas fought the battle all alone. Moreover, Sadashiv Rao Bhau, the Maratha commander leading the Maratha forces, was completely unaware of the geographical, as well as the political situation of the Northern India. Moreover, he had no alliances with powerful Hindu forces such as the Jats, who were then led by Suraj Mal. Consequently, despite having almost won the war, the Marathas were defeated by the Afghans.
The release of the trailer has evoked positive reactions. Since this is the first film from Ashutosh Gowariker following his disastrous venture ‘Mohenjo Daro’ which tanked at the box office in 2016, people have lots of expectations from him. To be fair, Ashutosh has left no stone unturned in bringing forward the era of that time on the silver screen. The grandeur of the movie, lavish sets, elegant costumes, all indicate a promising film for which Ashutosh has received accolades on the social media as well.
However, the casting of Panipat has evoked mixed reactions on social media. While Ashutosh was sensible enough to choose Sanjay Dutt for the menacing role of the barbarian Ahmad Shah Abdali, his choice of casting Arjun Kapoor as Sadashiv Rao Bhau is really weird. Arjun Kapoor looked completely unconvincing as Sadashivrao Bhau. Twitter users were quick to point that.
— bakchod kalakaar (@KalakaarBakchod) November 6, 2019
#BOLLYWOOD: Arjun Kapoor trolled for Panipat and the memes are LIT! Netizens can’t help but point out that Panipat is strangely reminiscent of Ranveer Singh-starrer Bajirao Mastani & Arjun Kapoor is being served! .
See more on our website!#BOLLYWOOD: Arjun Kapoor trolled for… pic.twitter.com/duqDjE8rGz
— Indian Spice (@spiceofi) November 6, 2019
MOTA BHAI DID BETTER THAN
Credit: HouseHumor9 pic.twitter.com/zyXC2uW2oE
— Muskan Rajput🇮🇳 (@____muskan____) November 6, 2019
Sanjay Dutt is a fantastic actor and has a phenomenal screen persona while Arjun Kapoor struggles in both the departments. The hero is supposed to outperform the villain in intensity, as well as ferocity. Arjun Kapoor, being stone faced actor that he is a disaster as the Maratha hero. Kapoor single-handedly destroyed India’s Most Wanted, in which he portrayed the role of an intelligence officer out on a mission to capture notorious terrorist Yasin Bhatkal. Funnily thousands of people thanked him on the social media for not agreeing to do the titular role in the Bollywood blockbuster ‘Kabir Singh’, which became a rage, thanks to an excellent portrayal by the lead actor, Shahid Kapoor.
Sadashivrao Bhau, irrespective was a brave and charismatic warrior. As such, there was a need of an intense actor, who would not only do justice to the role, but also match the antagonist in every aspect.
Ajay Devgn is all set to bring forth the life of the legendary Maratha commander Tanaji Malusare on screen in Om Raut’s ‘Tanhaji – The Unsung Warrior’. Moreover, if Ajay was cast as Sadashiv Rao Bhau, he would’ve been an equal match to the intensity of Sanjay Dutt.
Another interesting choice for Sadashivrao Bhau would’ve been Shahid Kapoor himself, who had almost equaled the aura of Ranveer Singh in ‘Padmaavat’, while the script clearly favored Singh. The poise, the impulsiveness of the titular character that cost both his life as well as the Maratha Empire was something that Shahid would’ve pulled off with finesse, had he been cast as the lead actor.
However, one of the best choices for the role of Sadashiv Rao Bhau would’ve been none other than Prabhas, the man who made ‘Baahubali’ a household name. The role of Sadashiv Rao Bhau would’ve been tailor made for a man like him, who would’ve not only stood up to the might of Sanjay Dutt’s character, but also give him a run for the money.
Casting is a very crucial part of any movie; it can make or break the film with the choice of actors. A good cast can work wonders, like it did with Baahubali. However, the way Ashutosh Gowariker has supervised the casting of ‘Paanipat’, it seems as if he is headed towards another disaster, all thanks to the uneven match of Arjun Kapoor and Sanjay Dutt in the opposite roles.