Prassthanam movie review: Sanjay Dutt, Ali Fazal shine in a tale too stale and dated... 1

Prassthanam movie review: Sanjay Dutt and Ali Fazal plays father-son duo in the film.

Film: Prassthanam
Cast: Sanjay Dutt, Ali Fazal, Manisha Koirala, Jackie Shroff, Chunky Panday
Director: Deva Katta

Power drives you crazy — you forget the difference between good and evil, and don’t think twice before harming your loved ones. That’s Prassthanam in a nutshell for you. Starring an ensemble cast of Sanjay Dutt, Ali Fazal, Satyajeet Dubey, Manisha Koirala, Jackie Shroff and Chunky Panday among others, it’s a remake of a 2010 Telugu film by the same name, and helmed by the same director, Deva Katta.

There are moments when you wonder how is the film even relevant after almost a decade. But that’s with political dramas; they never fail to impress. Prasthanam is a classic case of old wine in new bottle — the plot is the same and faces are new.

The film opens with a son asking his stepfather if it’s okay to kill someone and during the course of the film, you see many references to mythological tales of Ramayana and Mahabharata. Set in a political family, the story is about Baldev Pratap Singh (Sanjay Dutt) who marries a widow Sukmini (Manisha Koirala) and becomes stepfather to Aayush (Ali Fazal) and Palak (Chahat Khanna). They soon have their biological child, Vivaan (Satyajeet Dubey). When Dutt hints that Fazal would be groomed to take care of his political empire, that’s when the story picks pace and Dubey is shown resorting to all unfair means and crimes one possibly can think of. Does he manage to get away and convince Dutt to support him and betray Fazal? Does he succeed in becoming the heir of the family? All these questions find answers in a rather predictable yet somewhat shocking manner. Scenes where Dutt is shown in a dilemma over which son to support without harming his political position, register in your mind.

Now the problem is there’s very little in terms of surprise from a south remake as the story is already known. And therefore, it’s only the performances that keep you interested sans any new twist or surprise element.

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An intriguing political drama exploring human nature, complex relationships, emotional turmoil and hunger for power, Prassthanam needed a revamp, at least in the treatment of story and the screenplay. However, some brilliant performances make it watchable.

Dutt is powerful and leaves an impact each time he comes on screen. It’s pleasant to see a 60-year-old play a character his age and nowhere trying to look young. However, for the larger-than-life persona that Dutt exudes, the plot seemed a bit underwhelming.

Fazal gets all the applause for portraying a strong-headed character who is rooted in his family values and understands morals and principles in life. Dubey, playing an almost parallel lead with Fazal, though with negative traits, is a great casting call. He convincingly plays the rich spoiled brat who doesn’t think twice before flaunting his money and position.

Watch Prassthanam trailer: [embedded content]

Shroff as Dutt’s loyal aide and brooding guard of 25 years keeping his secrets looks ferocious in the close-up shows. Sadly though he has not even a single dialogue until minutes before the climax when you hear him finally speaking that too just one sentence. What a waste. Panday, after Saaho, once again plays the bad man and this time, in conniving and comical shades.

Director Deva Katta’s storytelling has nothing great about it that makes you go wow. There’s a lot of bloodshed, gunfiring, encounters, political rallies, dirty games being played within the parties and families — all quintessential ingredients of a political drama. There are some misplaced song insertions also, and don’t know when Bollywood potboilers will be deemed complete without item songs. This one also has one such steamy number with Ishita Raj Sharma.

Another thing that just doesn’t fit in the storyline is Amyra Dastur’s special appearance and more so the needless love angle with Fazal. She comes to do her political thesis on ‘corruption in politics’ but after introductory scene, she is nowhere to be seen on even shown researching or writing a word.

Prassthanam ends on a thoughtful note that tells us to find the good and the evil within ourselves.

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First Published: Sep 22, 2019 16:33 IST

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