Adipurush Review: A Visually Ambitious Mythological Saga That Falls Short of its Epic Potential
Adipurush Movie Review: Details Analysis
Imagine stepping into a cinematic buffet where the worlds of Avengers and Lord of the Rings intertwine, sprinkled with a dash of Game of Thrones, and topped off with the adrenaline rush of Temple Run. This unique concoction is none other than Adipurush, a dish that dares to recreate an epic tale. However, crafting such a masterpiece is no simple task. Director Om Raut takes on this challenge armed with extensive research and abundant source material, drawing inspiration from Tulsidas’ Ramcharitmanas and Valmiki’s Ramayana. Yet, in experiencing this contemporary rendition, we find ourselves compelled to revisit the original masterpiece in all its resplendent glory, seeking to restore our sense of sanity.Adipurush, though undoubtedly a Bollywood-infused adaptation, is derived from one of the most magnificent sagas ever known. Yet, if we set the story aside, for its essence is already familiar to most, we encounter a perplexing blend of excessive CGI and passable VFX in its execution. To exacerbate matters, we are confronted with dialogues that, in their pursuit of humor, feel woefully out of place within this tender and mythological narrative.
In the realm of storytelling, Adipurush takes a swift approach, sparing no time for elaborate character development or the intricate unfolding of Ayodhya’s history. Within the opening credits, the film deftly establishes that Ram (Prabhas as Raghav), Lakshman (Sunny Singh as Shesh), and Sita (Kriti Sanon as Janaki) embark on a 14-year exile. However, their journey is abruptly disrupted when Raavan (Saif Ali Khan as Lankesh), disguised as a holy sage, kidnaps Janaki.
Amidst this brisk narrative, essential fragments of the Ramayana surface, leaving a lasting impact. Shurpanakha (Raavan’s sister) suffers the severing of her nose as she attempts to attack Janaki and entice Raghav. The episode with Shabri and her offering of berries showcases Raghav’s encounter with an elderly woman, who becomes his guide in seeking assistance from Sugriva and his formidable army of vanaras. Furthermore, the meeting between Bajrang (Devdatta Nage as Hanuman) and Ram in the jungle sets the stage for their joint effort to rescue Janaki from the clutches of Raavan.
The initial half of the film languishes in its pacing, failing to engross the audience in the characters or ignite anticipation for what lies ahead. The screenplay remains trapped in a state of lethargic storytelling, its dialogues veering towards mediocrity. However, a change of tides occurs in the second half when Raghav, with his army, undertakes the construction of Ram Setu and embarks on the journey to Lanka. It is during this phase that the narrative gains momentum. The subsequent action sequences, featuring CGI armies locked in battle, emerge as the film’s crowning moments, certain to elicit diverse and passionate reactions from viewers.
It’s worth noting that this grand cinematic endeavor was brought to life with a staggering budget of ₹600 crore. Just imagine the possibilities that could have been achieved with a mere fraction of that astronomical sum. Director Raut undeniably accomplishes his goal of creating a visually impressive spectacle that matches his grand vision. However, he falls short when it comes to infusing his characters with depth and avoiding a cartoonish portrayal.
While Prabhas undoubtedly displays immense dedication in portraying Lord Ram, his expressions often come across as wooden and lacking in variation. Comparing his portrayal to the original Ramayana, there is a distinct charm in the personas of Ram and Sita. Even in still images, their countenances radiate warmth and joy. Unfortunately, Prabhas fails to bring the same level of versatility to his performance, remaining consistently devoid of expression, be it happiness, sadness, anger, or confusion.
On the other hand, Kriti delivers a commendable performance as Sita, exuding a captivating on-screen presence. Her confrontation scene with Raavan is skillfully written and executed, adding depth to her character. Despite having limited screen time, Sunny Singh shines in his action sequences alongside Vatsal Seth as Meghnath, which prove to be truly spectacular.
Sonal Chauhan’s portrayal of Raavan’s wife Mandodri is limited to just two brief scenes and a single line, leaving much to be desired. However, the standout performance undoubtedly belongs to Devadatta as Hanuman. Through impressive CGI, he breathes life into the character, commanding a larger-than-life presence that adds a sense of gravitas to the film.
Meanwhile, Saif Ali Khan emerges as the saving grace in Adipurush. While not necessarily delivering a stellar performance, he manages to surpass the other characters in terms of expression and evoking emotions on screen. It’s important, though, to overlook the portions featuring his nine other heads, as they remain a perplexing and challenging aspect to articulate.
The soul of Adipurush lies within its mesmerizing music, brought to life by the talented composers Ajay-Atul and Sachet-Parampara. Every time the iconic chant of “Jai Shri Ram” resonates in the background, it sends shivers down your spine, invoking a powerful emotional response. Equally enchanting is the track “Ram Siya Ram,” capturing the essence of devotion and love. Furthermore, the visually stunning spectacle of Lankesh, portrayed through the track “Shivoham,” as he sits in his den and skillfully plays a musical instrument, adds an extra layer of allure to the film.
Undoubtedly, Adipurush can be deemed as one of the boldest undertakings in recent memory. However, akin to Brahmastra, it tends to go overboard in certain instances, losing touch with the essence one would anticipate in an epic mythological narrative. Even if it aims to cater to a younger audience, there seems to be no justification for presenting them with a lackluster adaptation when the heartwarming original story still holds its relevance.
Despite its flaws, watching Adipurush on the big screen offers an opportunity to appreciate its grand scale and immersive 3D experience. While the main actors may appear somewhat one-dimensional, there is still enjoyment to be found in the visual spectacle it presents!