Swades director Ashutosh Gowariker has made his comeback after three years with period drama Panipat: The Great Betrayal. The epic war film, starring Arjun Kapoor, Sanjay Dutt and Kriti Sanon, opened with estimated earnings of INR 3.75-4 crore on Friday, 6th December. Made on a budget of over INR 100 crore, Panipat performed below expectations, even in the state of Maharashtra. It was released on 1,500 screens in India and 600 screens in the international markets. It clashed at the box office with Kartik Aaryan’s comedy film, Pati Patni Aur Woh, which performed better than expected, earning INR 8.5-9 crore on the first day.
Panipat revolves around the Third Battle of Panipat which was fought in 1761 between the Marathas, led by Sadashiv Rao Bhau (Arjun Kapoor) and Afghan king Ahmad Shah Abdali (Sanjay Dutt). The film also stars several talented actors such as Mohnish Bahl, Padmini Kolhapure, Zeenat Aman and Kunal Kapoor, among others.
The film has received mixed reviews from critics. Film trade analyst Taran Adarsh has called the movie ‘gripping’. Giving it 3.5 stars, he wrote, “Ashutosh Gowariker gets it right... Enthralling film that salutes the bravery of #Marathas... Patchy first half... Brilliant second half... Battle portions terrific... Sanju fiery, Arjun effective, Kriti excels. #PanipatReview.”
#OneWordReview...#Panipat: GRIPPING.— taran adarsh (@taran_adarsh) December 5, 2019
Ashutosh Gowariker gets it right... Enthralling film that salutes the bravery of #Marathas... Patchy first half... Brilliant second half... Battle portions terrific... Sanju fiery, Arjun effective, Kriti excels. #PanipatReview pic.twitter.com/W34Chs9FYw
Nairita Mukherjee of India Today praised Ashutosh Gowariker’s presentation of war. She wrote, “That’s where Gowariker’s craftsmanship as a filmmaker shows. He may not do grandeur as well as Sanjay Leela Bhansali, but he can do war.” However, she added, “A lacklustre cinematography and terrible CGI mars this solid attempt. It would have worked 10 years ago." The Deccan Chronicle, giving the movie 2.5 stars, said, “Directors like Gowariker do no service to the nation or their audience by twisting the truth, ignoring military, diplomatic, common sense follies and rewriting history with jingoistic fervour."