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Adipurush Review: Motion Capture without Emotion

Adipurush Review: Motion Capture without Emotion

Movie: Adipurush
Rating: 2.5/5
UV Creations, T Series
Cast: Prabhas, Saif Ali Khan, Kriti Sanon, Sunny Singh, Devdatta Nage, Vatsal Seth, Trupti Toradmal, Sonal Chauhan and others
Music: Ajay-Atul
DOP: Karthik Palani
Editor: Apurva Motiwale Sahai,  Ashish Mhatre
Producers: Bhushan Kumar, Om Raut, Prasad Sutar, Rajesh Nair,
Direction: Om Raut
Release Date: June 16, 2023

As a Ramayana film, "Adipurush" has generated significant buzz, with many people curious to see how Prabhas fits into the role of Lord Ram. Consequently, the film has garnered a lot of hype in the past couple of weeks. 

Let us now examine its merits and demerits.

Raghava (Prabhas), Janaki (Kriti Sanon), and Laxman (Sunny Singh) are exiles living in a forest. When Lakshman cuts off Soorpanaka's nose, her brother Ravana (Saif Ali Khan) kidnaps Sita and takes her to Lanka.

Raghava declares war on Ravana with the assistance of Hanuman (Devadatta) and Vanara Sena.

Artistes’ Performances:
Prabhas shines in his portrayal of Raghava, also known as Lord Ram. His tall and commanding presence perfectly suits the character. Om Raut presents Lord Rama as a warrior prince, showcasing his more aggressive side, making Prabhas an ideal choice for the role.

Kriti Sanon delivers an adequate performance as Janaki. Despite having limited screen time, she performs her part well.

Saif Ali Khan initially portrays Raavana convincingly, but as the film progresses, the character's portrayal veers more towards that of a superhero rather than the traditional Raavana.

Devadatta Nage stands out as Hanuman, delivering a stellar performance that fits his character perfectly.

Sonal Chauhan makes a cameo appearance as Ravan's wife Mandodari, while Trupti Toradmal's portrayal of Soorpanaka is satisfactory.

Technical Excellence:
The outstanding songs composed by Ajay-Atul greatly contribute to the film's overall strength. The skillful implementation of the song "Jai Shri Ram" in the background score enhances the drama in numerous scenes.

The music department emerges as the greatest strength of this epic drama. However, the visual effects and 3D effects fall short, as the background and other objects appear strange. The visual effects in the war sequences during the second half are particularly disappointing.

Prabhas as Lord Ram
Background music score
First half

The lengthy war scene in the second half
Dark tone of the film
Raavana’s characterisation
Poor VFX
No devotional feel

The "Ramayana" epic is a fundamental part of Indian culture and is known by all. It is deeply ingrained in our traditions and way of life. Director Om Raut had the intention to update this epic tale to appeal to today's young audience by employing innovative cinematic approaches. However, despite his good intentions, Om Raut lacks the expertise to bring his plan to fruition.

Om Raut chose to focus on a specific section of the Valmiki Ramayanam, starting in the middle of its original telling. The film begins with the Soorpanaka tale, which occurs during Ram and Sita's exile, and concludes with the battle between Ram and Ravana. Om Raut aimed to zero in on the Ramayanam's 'Yuddhakanda' (the war episode).

The initial part highlights Raavana's admirable traits and his devotion to Lord Shiva, while the latter part depicts Soorpanaka's nose being severed, Sita's abduction, Hanuman's arrival, and Ram's construction of the sethu. Therefore, the first half of the film offers a wealth of material. Despite some cheesy CGI and a peculiar depiction of Ravana's Lanka, the first half of the film is still watchable for this reason.

However, the second half of the film devolves into a standard, action-heavy fare reminiscent of the Hollywood superhero genre. The entire second half consists of an extensive and unending battle between Ram and Ravana, lacking any emotional depth. Furthermore, the visual effects are, to put it mildly, substandard. In many instances, their poor quality hinders our ability to truly enjoy the experience.

Surprisingly, Om Raut, who typically handles VFX-heavy productions like "Tanhaji," seems to struggle in this film. The dialogues are also ineffective.

Telugu audiences have witnessed better mythological films in the past, with a long history of producing fantastic films based on the Mahabharata and Ramayana. Hence, Om Raut's depiction of Lanka and Ravana's characterization falls drastically short. Lanka's world appears as if it is from a science fiction film, and it is puzzling why Raavana walks with a limp.

While it is acceptable to reimagine a popular work and present it in a new way, Om Raut made a significant mistake by transforming a magnificent epic into a gaudy superhero film lacking emotion or intriguing material.

The highlight of the film is Prabhas and the music, but the rest of it falls short.

Overall, "Adipurush" is a distorted retelling of the Ramayana that lacks emotion. While it provides some moments of theatrical experience and Prabhas fits well as Lord Ram, it does not succeed if you are seeking a devotional feel or an experience of a VFX-rich film.

Bottom line: Hey Ram


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