Director: Deva Katta
Starring: Ali Fazal, Sanjay Dutt, Jackie Shroff, AmyraDastur, Manisha Koirala
Written by: Deva Katta, FarhadSamji
Prassthanam is director Deva Katta’s adaptation of his 2010 Telugu directorial with the same name. The story of the film revolves around MLA Baldev Pratap Singh (Sanjay S Dutt) and the complex relationship that he has with his family with the backdrop of politics. The film starts 25 years ago in Ballipar, where Shiv (Anuup Sonii) has stood for elections against a violent rival. The rival stabs and kills Shiv. Shiv’s father is an ex politico who is distraught by the demise of his son. He tells his most trusted aide, Baldev Pratap Singh (Sanjay Dutt) to take over the reins and also to take care of Shiv’s wife Saroj (Manisha Koirala) and his two children. Baldev agrees to it and is helped in this by his close aide Baadshah (Jackie Shroff). Soon Baldev marries Saroj and this angers Shiv’s daughter Palak. But Shiv’s son Ayush looks up to Baldev. Baldev and Saroj then give birth to a son Vivan, which pushes Palak even further away. The story then moves 25 years ahead. Baldev has become a successful MLA four times. Ayush still has the respect for his step father and dutifully works under him. Baldev is so happy with Ayush that he’s made it clear that he will be his heir. Vivan (Satyajeet Dubey) is infuriated with this bond and he feels he should be the rightful heir. Baldev realises that Vivan is not cut out for politics and asks him to go study abroad and then manage the hospitality business. Vivan revolts and due to his hot headed nature, ends up insulting Asma (Divinaa Thackur), Baadshah’s daughter who’s also the manager in Baldev’s hotel. Baldev is aghast with Vivan’s behaviour and tells Ayush to apologise to Asma which he does. He also tells Ayush to train under Asma and he agrees. While working together, both get close. Baldev is then a target of an assassination attempt but he survives and decides not to run elections, but then Ayush makes him sign the nomination papers and the party promises to make Baldev the home minister and Ayush the Youth president, this doesn’t go down well with Vivan and he revolts. What happens next, forms the rest of the film.
The story is quite promising. Even the screenplay is good up to the first half or the first hour or so at best, but then it just starts falling apart. The entertainment factor just disappears completely as you witness the film head towards a great complication while the makers constantly try to do the unpredictable. A few scenes in the film are also hard to believe or to speak plainly, seem unrealistic. We have seen such political films already and those films have had a much better impact. This film is nothing new and disappoints by the way it ends.
Technically, the film is okay. Cinematography by Ravi Yadav is quite decent and he captures the city of Lucknow nicely. Editing by Ballu Saluja is satisfactory. The costume design and the production design are both good. The action was great. The music in the film just doesn’t work.
Performance wise, the film was great. Sanjay Dutt delivers a genuine performance and slips into the role of Baldev with ease. Ali Fazal has a good amount of screen time and he capitalizes on it and just steals the show. He shines throughout the film. Jackie Shroff doesn’t have much to do in the film but he makes his presence felt. ManishaKoirala is decent. Chunky Panday is passable. Satyajeet Dubey is really good as the villain. Amyra Dastur (Shivi) doesn’t get much scope. Chahatt Khanna and Divinaa Thackur do well.
Deva Katta keeps his direction simple but instead of unravelling the plot, it seems he entangles it even more.
At the box-office
The film is a non-starter.