Star Cast: Chinmay Mandlekar, Mrinal Kulkarni, Mukesh Rishi, Digpal Lanjekar, Vaibhav Mangle & others
Director: Digpal Lanjekar
What’s Good: Chinmay Mandlekar’s consistent act as Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj
What’s Bad: The fact that it fails to live up to its expectations post Pawankhind, in almost every department and poor VFX work
Loo Break: More than a regular one!
Watch or Not?: If you were stunned by the brilliance of its prequel, Pawankhind, and want more of it, then avoid this one. You won’t regret it!
Language: Marathi (with English subtitles)
Available On: Theatrical release
Runtime: 153 minutes
Sher Shivraj is the fourth film of Digpal Lanjekar’s series of movies based on the important chapters of history during Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj reign.
It takes us back to the time when Shivaji Maharaj has got a stronghold in the parts of Maval. As the region falls under the jurisdiction of the Adilshahi sultanate, they want to stop Shivaji Maharaj at any cost. In Bijapur’s court of Adilshahi, the mission to catch the Maratha king is announced and it’s Afzalkhan who takes up the task in his hands.
Afzalkhan leaves Bijapur along with his huge army, destroying temples and sacred places to irk Shivaji Maharaj. On the other hand, the great Maratha warrior keeps his calm and plans how to handle his enemy while he shifts his position to Pratapgarh fort.
It shows how Shivaji Maharaj, despite a limited army and weapons, dares to deal with a monster-like enemy with brilliant strategies.
Sher Shivraj Movie Review: Script Analysis
The battle of Pratapgarh is a well-known chapter of Indian history and the subject has a lot of potential if executed well. But despite an important thread in the hand, the story fails to weave magic as the film moves at a very slow pace.
The film entirely revolves around Afzalkhan, but there’s no build-up to his character, thus curbing his menacing impact throughout the film. There are some moments which look thrilling and add value to the narration but the film loses track so often that even some genuinely good scenes get wasted.
Historical dramas are about the grandeur, well-established characters and intriguing subplots, but this one falls short in every single department. It’s hard to believe, that Pawankhind and Sher Shivraj are penned by the same person (Digpal Lanjekar).
Sher Shivraj Movie Review: Star Performance
Chinmay Mandlekar is one of the rare positives to be taken from the film. After Farzand, Fatteshikast and Pawankhind, he looks consistent and subtle in his act of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. His pauses, body language and dialogue delivery look convincing as a great Maratha warrior.
Mukesh Rishi plays the role of Afzhalkhan. We have seen enough good work from him in Hindi movies and one can’t doubt his calibre as an antagonist. However, here he fails in giving enough chills and looks plain here (of course, bad character sketch to be blamed).
Mrinal Kulkarni and Vaibhav Mangle have done their parts well. Others in supporting roles are just about okay and no one really stands out.
Sher Shivraj Movie Review: Direction, Music
A tighter budget doesn’t necessarily need to compress the end product, and we have seen it in Pawankhind. Unlike previous Marathi films, the film had some really good warfare sequences and one could see how Digpal Lanjekar treated them as USP. Here, in Sher Shivraj, he looks confused and does sleepwalking in his job. Even the important climax scene looks very ordinary and there’s no excitement in it. Neither emotional nor fight scenes are impressive, making the length of 153 minutes a yawnful journey!
Talking about the VFX work, it’s one of the worst that has been witnessed in recent times. To give an example, there are a couple of fight scenes in which half a sword looks clearly feels like an animated work with the lower part of a sword being invisible.
There are a couple of songs and both are passable, not worth remembering. Background music is good in some places but fails in carrying the momentum in most of the scenes.
Sher Shivraj Movie Review: The Last Word
Being the next part of Digpal Lanjekar’s historical film series after the super successful Pawankhind works against the film as it fails to live up to its huge expectations a big time. Not a film that the Marathi industry needs at this time!
Sher Shivraj Trailer
Sher Shivraj releases on 22 April, 2022.
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