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Chhatrasal review: A gigantic mess in every department

Release Date: 29 Jul 2021

Cinestaan Rating

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Suyog Zore

The terrible show, made with no sense of the craft of filmmaking, ends up ruining Chhatrasal's legacy instead of celebrating it.

Maharaj Chhatrasal Bundela was one of the few kings of the 17th century who fought against the mighty Mughal empire during Aurangzeb's reign. It is said that after his father was killed by the Mughals, he raised the banner of revolt against Aurangzeb in Bundelkhand at the age of 22, with just five horsemen and 25 swordsmen by his side.

Chhatrasal's life offers the perfect recipe to make a grand historical show about an underdog who took on an empire with a handful of soldiers and went on to establish his kingdom. Instead, what we get is a shabbily made, overlong show that ends up ruining the king's legacy instead of celebrating it.

With 20 episodes of an average length of 50 minutes, the web-series tests your patience from the word go. It begins with a heroic but unintentionally funny introduction of Chhatrasal's parents who are on the run from the Mughals. Then enters Ashutosh Rana's Aurangzeb with his bulging eyes and commanding voice. He is the very epitome of evil.

After the death of his parents, Chhatrasal (Jitin Gulati) makes it his life's mission to avenge his father and take back his kingdom with the help of his mama (maternal uncle) and cousin. His uncle begins training him in swordsmanship and military tactics. The rest of the show is about how Chhatrasal finally achieves his goal.

The web-series has absolutely no regard for historical accuracy. And it appears that director Anadii Chaturvedi has never heard of the word subtlety. From Ashutosh Rana's purely evil and sadistic Aurangzeb to the awful direction, the snail's pace screenplay and the woeful VFX, the show is unbearable on all fronts.

It is bad enough for a historical film to not care about historical accuracy, but it’s worse when the technical level is irredeemable. The action scenes especially are shot and choreographed in such a terrible manner that no amount of technical wizardry would have been able to mask the lack of professionalism. And the less we talk about the production design, the better. I have seen more realistic set designs in Ganpati pandals in Mumbai.

One of the many examples of terrible production design in Chhatrasal

The show is also littered with unnecessary subplots and poorly written characters. After the wait of 20 episodes, we finally get an awfully shot climactic fight that lasts only two minutes.

The performances in Chhatrasal are also disappointing. Jitin Gulati tries his best to add some heft to the poorly written protagonist, but the character is so bland there is nothing he can do to redeem it. As for Rana's Aurangzeb, the character is an insult to the actor's undeniable prowess.

If I were to simply list the problems with this web-series, I would end up overshooting my word limit. Suffice it to say that Chhatrasal is a gigantic mess in every department.

MX Player is now streaming Chhatrasal.


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