Prassthanam movie cast: Sanjay Dutt, Jackie Shroff, Chunky Panday, Ali Fazal, Satyajeet Dubey, Manisha Koirala, Amyra Dastur
Prassthanam movie director: Deva Katta
Prassthanam movie rating: Two and a half stars
The official remake of a 2010 Telugu hit of the same name, Prassthanam takes us back to the movies which mashed up warring gangs, political rivals, conniving cops and family secrets in racy, dialogue-heavy thrillers.
The director is the same. The stars are familiar. So are the beats. Sanjay Dutt as Baldev Pratap Singh, a powerful Lucknow-based ‘neta’, has built his empire on a bed of guilt and intrigue. Those who know these films can predict exactly what happened in the distant past that Singh doesn’t talk about, but the film has enough meat on its bones to keep us chewing.
Shroff, as a kohl-eyed faithful retainer who turns on his ‘maalik’, is efficient. Singh’s two sons are also handed out their grooves. Aayush (Fazal and Vivaan (Dubey) are polar opposites; the former being the ‘good’ one; the latter being the unhinged, out-of-control one. Some of the detailing is smart and unexpected, and that keeps us going. The female characters are cardboard, though, and that’s also to be expected: this film isn’t really interested in its women as much as its men.
Despite it all, the film feels somewhat dated. Here a rape-and-murder, there a club dancer shimmying; here a Haji Ali song sequence, there a funeral-dressed-in-white-kurta-pajamas. Of the ensemble, in which Panday gets to wear a bad wig and vamp it up most enjoyably, Ali Fazal is the most impressive: as the young ‘waaris’ of his father’s legacy, and someone who has a head on his shoulders, Fazal holds this thing together.