When the first trailer for ‘Adipurush’ came out, it was horrible from a VFX standpoint. Then the second trailer came out and it looked a bit better. There was hope that the final product would be an even better improvement than the final trailer. Unfortunately, that is not the case. Now, you must be thinking why am I weighing more on VFX than say the acting, writing, music etc. That is because, sadly, this movie is extremely heavy on VFX, so any mediocre or bad VFX ruins the cinematic experience. Doesn’t anyone involved in making this film realize that the product they made is laughable at times and is not up to a certain level or standard. It’s a shame that we live in a time where mediocrity will be celebrated and encouraged.
Peter Jackson who directed the Lord of the Rings trilogy had a budget of $100 million for each of the 3 films in the trilogy. He decided to shoot in the beautiful landscapes of New Zealand. Most of us Indians have seen the LOTR trilogy multiple times so its good example for a short comparison. The movie has lot of shots with minimal to zero VFX because the director wanted to make it feel real, make it feel grounded so the audience watching the movie felt more connected to every scene. Mind you, it is a fictional story, so there is no need for the realism but it looked amazing back then and still looks amazing 20 years later.
The problem with Indian/Bollywood films are that they rely way too much on VFX when they don’t need to. India has some very beautiful locations that the director Om Raut could have shot more organically with little to no VFX but instead he chooses to shoot every scene with the backdrop of very shoddy VFX which makes every scene look like it is from an animated film. The worst part is most animated films look better than ‘Adipurush’.
I understand that there are budget limitations but using VFX for every scene versus using VFX to minimally enhance certain scenes is something Indian directors will never learn. The general assumption among Indian filmmakers is that using VFX for every scene makes it look better which is not the case. Look at Christopher Nolan films as another example. He tries to construct stages and environments to shoot his action sequences so they look real and organic. Imagine if he used VFX in every scene in his movies, I bet none of us would ever watch them and he wouldn’t be the great director that we know him to be.
We all know the story of the Indian Epic ‘Ramayana’, so there is little to predict in terms of the story as this is just a screen adaptation of the victory of good over evil. The writing could have been tighter in the second half as the movie kept dragging with the climatic fight sequence being way too long. The movie should have been cut down by at least 20 minutes or so. The background score and music are the only saving grace in this film.
Acting wise, everyone acted well with a shoutout to Saif Ali Khan who I thought did a good job as the evil Lankesh. Kriti Sanon was just there in the film as Sita to be helpless with no real acting involved. Prabhas was casted wrong for the role of Raghav. He hardly had any expressions on his CGI face which closely resembled monkeys in some shots for some reason. There was definitely something off with this face in most scenes. There were many scenes ‘Inspired’ or ‘Copied’ from MCU and DC superhero movies. They tried to have like an ‘Avengers Assemble’ type of scene with the monkeys but that did not create any goosebumps whatsoever. Plenty of slow-mo scenes that were not required and it looked bad as well.
‘Adipurush’ was not a decent attempt since an attempt is if there was a genuine try to make a good film to pay homage to a Hindu God. Instead, what we get is a rough cut of an mediocre film simply released to recoup its expenses plus a little more. The movie was supposed to be a cinematic experience but ultimately, it falls terribly short.