After dropping an exceptionally made trailer and hiring our beloved Sanjay Dutt as the lead, it’s a shame director Dev Katta completely forgot to add emotion (or even logic) in his oh-so-shallow directorial!
Rating – 1.5 / 5 ⭐½
“Hum sab mein aag hoti hai – koi chiraag ban kar duniya ko roshan karti hai, ya phir jungle ki aag ban ke raaste ko jalaa kar raakh kar deti hai!” Exploring the incessant internal battle between good and evil, that too in a wealthy political family setting – now that’s what I call an original, never-seen-before kind of plot…if only a tad bit of thought was put behind it before filming began. Adapted from 2010 Telegu film, Prassthanam is a classic example of ‘good vision, poor execution’ and despite the numerous themed elements thrown into this 141 minute riot, nothing could make up for its doomed spirit and hollowness.
Baldev Pratap Singh (Sanjay Dutt), an arrogant, powerful yet worshipped politician, married to his brother’s widow Saroj (Manisha Koirala), is a father to two poles-apart sons – Ayush (Ali Fazal), Saroj’s son from her first marriage, is the older, wiser brother trusted with all the political matters and entitled to step into Baldev’s shoes. Vivaan (Satyajeet Dubey), Baldev’s own son, on the other hand, is that typical rich spoilt brat who simply whiles away time drinking and smoking with friends. Things take an ugly turn when Vivaan’s jealousy peaks, compelling Baldev to choose between blood and righteousness.
Adopting a very Tigmanshu Dhulia style of direction, Prassthanam checked all the boxes required to be a mass-entertainer – cliché one-liners (“Rishte hone se nahi, nibhaane se bante hai”), a decently talented ensemble, family drama, and an array of relatable day-to-day emotions. However, its superficiality restrained its ability to woo the audience. Lying in the grey area between masala and sheer stupidity, the film’s overdoze of conflict and superfluous political drama made Prassthanam a very very frustrating watch – had its makers simply focused on the themes of a younger brother’s jealousy and an inextinguishable greed for political power, the film would not only gain structure but could also have been more smoothly executed.
“ Rajneeti viraasat se nahi, kaabiliyat se milti hai “
Prassthanam’s characters were nothing but zombies holding guns, aimlessly making their way to finish line – their poor development and personality overlaps prevented them from creating any impact at all, which was a quite a let down from such a dynamic cast. Ali Fazal finally got the spotlight, but didn’t make full use of it. Main man Sanjay Dutt was simply…himself – a big, bold man with the power to instill fear in just anybody. A dialogue-less Jackie Shroff was an interesting choice, his silence echoed his unconditional loyalty and I loved how the layers of his intense character peeled off as the film progressed towards the climax scene. Satyajeet Dubey, oh-so-surprisingly, suited his role perfectly – he pulled off that good-for-nothing immature younger brother persona with ample precision and palpable energy.
So, now that you’ve reached the end of this painful review, I’d like to end with this – this weekend, stay at home. There is no need to visit the theatres unless it’s for last week’s films. Chill with your family and binge watch The Family Man on Amazon Prime instead!
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