No context bats, no context dementors: Dear Adipurush makers, what were you thinking

No context bats, no context dementors: Dear Adipurush makers, what were you thinking


Ever since the teaser for Om Raut’s Adipurush dropped last year, the film has been panned by critics and masses alike. The criticism reached a crescendo when the film was finally released in cinema halls earlier this year. However, despite my curiosity to see how bad a film it is, I resisted the temptation to watch it. After a few weeks, the film made its way to the OTT platform Netflix and people who saw it at that time, again criticized it.

However, I again resisted the urge to see it but this time, my resistance lasted only a few weeks and I finally saw the film. Once I saw it, I was left STUNNED, and not in a good way.

One big relief was that Adipurush stayed true to the story of the original Ramayana but that is the only relief in this otherwise comical adaptation of Ramayana.

The film begins with Ravan getting the boon from Brahma before cutting to Ram, Laxman, and Sita staying in a forest during their 14-year exile from Ayodhya. Suddenly thousands of dementors come out of the Harry Potter universe and start troubling them, with Ram being their main target. The dementors just float around randomly and their only way to attack Ram was to come together and lift him up. The group of dementors was led by someone who looked very much like former WWE wrestler Papa Shango carrying what looked like Loki’s sceptre from Marvel’s Avengers universe.

Prabhas, who plays Ram in this adaptation (or Raghav as he is called here), does the same turning around and shooting an arrow while jumping stunt from the Bahubali film universe. Even though there were thousands of other dementors on every side of him, he had to do this stunt to remind everyone of Bahubali. Following some arrows, Prabhas turns into Arya Stark from the Game of Thrones universe and stabs the Papa Shango character with an arrow. Once he is stabbed, all the other dementors also disappear, exactly like the Night’s King army in the Game of Thrones.

The dementor swarm is so eerily familiar that when Prabhas takes the Baahubali leap, you almost say aloud, “Expecto Patronum”. I did think for a moment what his patronus would be like.

The dementors were just no context dementors. There was no background, no explanation, and no conclusion as to where they came from and why. They just come, get Arya Starked by Prabhas, and disappear.

This start to the film tells you that you are in for something special in this film, and not in a good way. Following that, we jump to the Surpankha episode and Ravan coming to abduct Sita. After getting Sita outside the Lakshman Rekha or as it is called in this film, Satya Rekha’, Ravan’s clothes change to his royal dress, just like Thor’s clothes change in Marvel’s movies when his hammer comes to him. Then comes Ravan’s Pushpak Vimaan which everyone knows by now is a gigantic genetically modified bat in this film!

Maybe the film was shot when Covid once spread and everyone was saying it spread because someone ate a bat and the director had the bat in his head. The giant bat on which Ravan flew was followed by several other smaller bats as well. Again, no context bats.

While Ravan is taking Sita to Lanka, he is chased by Jatayu, and to attack him, Ravan summons a giant sword out of thin air, very much like Hela in the Marvel Universe summoning weapons out of thin air. Anyway, he finally manages to reach Lanka.

Lanka in this adaptation is straight out of Marvel movies again, as you realise that it is just Asgard but painted black! A black Lanka, when the one thing everyone knows about Lanka is that it was made of Gold. Instead of being all shiny like Gold, everything in Lanka is black, including the sky for some reason, and everyone’s clothes, and their wine glasses.

The sun never shines in Lanka, the sky is black, the land is black, the buildings are all black, and everyone in Lanka wears black. It is as if the director could only relate evil to black, and to show Ravan as the villain, he painted everything black.

Ravan’s 10 heads randomly keep making an appearance in the film, and they talk to each other often. The way his heads talk to each other will remind you of Smeagol talking to Gollum about “his precious” in the Lord Of The Rings universe.

The interesting thing about Lanka’s characters, Ravan, Meghnad, and Vibhishan is that they go to the same hair stylist to which Tik-Tok influencers of our times go. Similar hairstyles, similar flooding of hair with hair gel. Who was selling so many hair products and giving such fancy haircuts at that time?

Facial expressions remain a major absence in the entire movie. Everyone is just blank. Shesh (Lakshman) just appears bored out of his wit. When the abducted Janki arrives on batback at a Lankan balcony, you almost expect her to say hi to everyone. Prabhas looks as if he needs some Kayam Churna to help with his digestion. Most of the facial expression department is handled by Saif Ali Khan, who grunts and talks to himself and growls for no reason at all.

Ravan’s son Meghnad has mystical powers, which is that he runs very fast, just like Quicksilver from the Marvel Universe, or maybe Flash from the DC Universe. Though I would lean towards Quicksilver, since Marvel is a bit of a theme here.

The film has received plenty of criticism over its dialogues, some of which were even changed, but that doesn’t make anything better. The highly learned Ravan speaks like a tapori from the slums, Hanuman is very much the same.

However, the important thing is that I saw the entire film, I battled through to the end and lived to tell the tale. If you are a fan of comical “so bad it is good” movies, you can avoid watching it even on TV because it doesn’t even fall in that category.


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