Much has been said about “Samrat Prithviraj”, including casting choices, historical inaccuracies, and controversial statements made while promoting the film. It wouldn’t make sense to go over any of that in what we want to be an honest analysis of the film. While its biggest promotional aspect is that it’s based on an actual character, we choose to treat it as a stand-alone story, devoid of any historical ties. And when we turn to that, we find a lackluster narrative that squanders the potential of a fantastic cast. It wasn’t a bad movie, but it wasn’t as good as it could have been. Let’s see what the story presented in the film is about.

Spoilers ahead


Why does Prithviraj have a battle with Muhammed Ghori?

“Samrat Prithviraj” is based on the epic poem “Prithviraj Raso”, written by Chand Vardai. But he deviates significantly. In the film, Prithviraj fights with Ghori to uphold the principles of the Kshatriyas. It all begins when Mir Hussain rushes to Prithviraj, seeking protection from his brother, as he fled with Chitrarekha, the sultan’s concubine. Prithviraj considers it his duty to protect anyone who asks and does so accordingly, by going to war with Muhammed of Ghori. This act comes up against the strong disapproval of Kaka Kanha, one of the members of his court, as well as a close relative. Kaka Kanha is ordered by Prithviraj to always remain blindfolded, as he had killed one of the king’s guests for his arrogance. He can only remove the blindfold for war and women. Kaka Kanha, played by Sanjay Dutt, is one of the most one-dimensional characters. His character is defined by his ardor and his loyalty to Prithviraj, two very admirable qualities. But it starts to feel a little off when each of her scenes opens with dialogue about her love for Prithviraj. It makes it seem like very little work has gone into building the characters for the movie. Sanjay Dutt has a larger-than-life ease, and he should have been used better.

On the other hand, you have someone like Sonu Sood playing Chand Vardai, the poet who wrote Prithviraj Raso. According to the film, he was born on the same date and time as the king and died at the same time as well. The actor brings a restrained dignity to the role of the poet who can predict the future. Seeing him on screen makes us wonder what it would have been like if Sonu Sood had played Prithviraj. Akshay Kumar was a good fit for the role, but Sonu Sood would have been amazing considering he’s already nothing short of an off-screen hero. If only Bollywood had been brave enough to make this casting choice. Returning to the story, after being defeated at the hands of Prithviraj, Ghori returns to his homeland. Prithvi ascends the throne of Delhi as the next king, and this begins the film’s second phase.


How did Prithvi and Sanyogita fall in love?

They were already in love at the start of the film. Their love story unfolds through the letters they wrote to each other, and since Prithviraj has become the King of Delhi, Sanyogita tells him that it is time for them to get married. But this love affair for the ages was not without its fair share of challenges. Sanyogita’s father hates Prithvi as he wanted the throne of Delhi for himself. So he decides to conduct a swayamvar for Sanyogita – a practice where the bride chooses her groom for herself. He does this because it would give him the support he needs to establish his supremacy. To further annoy Prithviraj, he installs a golden statue of him as the palace guardian.

Sanyogita is unable to bear this. She confronts her father but is told she has no choice in the matter. But the princess finds a way through her mother. The Queen is aware of the restrictions of the traditions and respects them, but she is also acutely aware of their unjust nature. She gives Sanyogita a way out by telling him to follow his heart and fight for his rights. Sakshi Tanwar was a delight to watch in these scenes. Sanyogita follows her mother’s advice and establishes it over her own life by putting the garland around the golden statue’s neck, thus declaring that she has chosen Prithviraj as her husband. As his father turns red with rage, Prithviraj arrives on the scene and takes Sanyogita with him. It’s one of the most epic love stories, one that warms the feminist corners of her heart, but alas, what follows makes our palms hard. There is a subplot of Prithviraj encouraging Sanyogita to hold court with him. Naturally, this is met with much opposition from her courtiers and from Sanyogita herself, who is very doubtful. It makes sense. But what follows is “symbolic feminism” at its best, with a particular dialogue about giving up your rights by your own will, which amounts to fighting for your rights. Make sense. This scene was less about feminism and more about Prithviraj’s heroism. When will Bollywood understand what it really means to fight for yourself?

Regarding the performance of Manushi Chillar, she looks the part and she sounds the part. But her eyes don’t have the fire you expect from a princess who defied her father and opposed an entire court to marry the man of her dreams. It’s her first movie, so maybe we’ll see more of her in the future.


‘Samrat Prithviraj’ Ending Explained: Did Prithviraj defeat Muhammed Ghori?

According to the film, Ghori wins the second battle with Prithviraj by treacherously assassinating his troops in darkness. Prithviraj, Chand Vardai and the rest of his soldiers are taken hostage. The king is blinded by Ghori as punishment. But before we talk more about the sultan’s cruelty to our hero, can we just say how admirably Manav Vij performs this role? Bollywood has always shown the leaders of a particular religion in a barbaric light, but the restraint and style the actor brings to it makes him the best-acted character in film.

At the end of the film, Prithviraj challenges Ghori to a fight where he claims he would be able to kill Ghori and in return his countrymen should be freed. Having been provoked enough, Ghori accepts. And as the epic progressed, Prithviraj’s sense of hearing and combat skills were so sharpened that he single-handedly brought down Sultan Muhamed of Ghori. Prithviraj and Chand Vardai are shot by the Sultan’s army, but true to their word they free the prisoners and the two Rajput men are given a hero’s farewell. And so ends the story of Prithviraj, Delhi’s last Hindu ruler.


Final thoughts – What’s wrong with ‘Samrat Prithviraj’?

We know that “Samrat Prithviraj” does not follow the story or even the epic poem it was based on. He should have. They were excellent stories. The film is very superficial in its treatment of politics. We are not sure the reason for this. Hopefully it’s not because the creators underestimated the intelligence of the audience, because in that case they have to remember that movies like Jodha Akbar, where the complex character dynamics were one of the defining reasons of its success. The film was mainly about the bravery of the king. We’re okay with that, but the limited portrayal of one of the most famous kings in the country’s history gives us an uncomfortable feeling that the movie was more about the actor’s image than the character he was. he embodied. And we’ve seen enough. To sum up our feelings, Prithviraj Chauhan deserved a better movie, and we hope it happens soon.


“Samrat Prithviraj” is a 2022 Indian drama film directed by Chandra Prakash Dwivedi.