Prassthanam Movie Review: A compelling political drama that turns out to be average fare

Updated: Sep 23, 2019, 08:52 IST | Sonil Dedhia |

At 2 hours and roughly 20 minutes in running time, Prassthanam feels long and at times demands much patience on your part

Poster of Prassthanam
Poster of Prassthanam

Prassthanam
U/A; Drama, Action
Director: Deva Katta
Cast: Sanjay Dutt, Jackie Shroff, Ali Fazal, Manisha Koirala, Chunkey Panday, Satyajeet Dubey, Amyra Dastur
Rating: Rating

On the face of it, Prassthanam is a compelling drama about a family in politics. It's about the extent people will go to, driven by a greed for power and a thirst for revenge. Look closer though, and you will see the underlying tragedy in the tale of Baldev Pratap Singh [played by Sanjay Dutt], a political heavyweight in UP who gets played even as he thinks he holds all the cards. A remake of a 2010 Telugu film of the same name, the film is thrilling in most of the parts but with more plot twists than the hairpin bends on a mountain road, it loses steam and ultimately turns out to be an average fare.

Amidst continual character introductions, technical political procedures and several subplots, it takes a while for you to grasp the scheme of things in the initial reels. Here's an attempt to summarize the multilayered story Baldev has two stepchildren Aayush (Ali Fazal) who is being groomed to take over the political reins and Palak (Chahat Khanna) and a biological son Vivaan (Satyajeet Dubey), a rebellious guy who wants to come into power. Married to Manisha Koirala, who was actually his murdered brother's widow, this patriarch rules with an iron hand but is a gentle father and a politician with scruples. However, Baldev is a complex guy. He believes in keeping his family together but plays the power games well with the help of a his loyal man Badshah (Jackie Shroff.)

Written and directed by Deva Katta, inspiration from the Ramayana and the Mahabharata. With the premise that politics corrupts every soul, almost every central character in the film is sketched with shades of grey. So much so that till a point you are puzzled on who's the protagonist and who's the antagonist. The drama building up through the political one-upmanship between Fazal and Dubey is done well but it takes up the entire first half. It is in the second half when the film picks up pace and adds to the vengeance story. The unnecessary sub-plots and the forced songs slowdown the narrative.

At 2 hours and roughly 20 minutes in running time, Prassthanam feels long and at times demands much patience on your part. But it is backed by a string of credible performances. Sanjay Dutt is in top-form and brings back the old 'Baba' that was missing in his recent releases. The most mature performance comes from Fazal, who at times you feel has the Guddu 'bhaiya' syndrome from Mirzapur but seems amazingly confident. Dubey as the rich-brat is convincing but there are times when he goes overboard. Chunkey Pandey, Jackie Shroff, Manisha Koirala plays their parts well. As a thriller, it's pacy and yet, distinctly half-baked and stiff. Despite its rousing moments, the film leaves you feeling unfulfilled.

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Prassthanam Movie Review

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