Chhatrasal is a historical drama directed by Anadii Chaturvedi and stars Jitin Gulati, Neena Gupta, Ashutosh Rana, and Vaibhavi Shandilya, alongside other cast members.
MX Player’s synopsis for the show reads:
Revisiting the period when Mughals governed India and Aurangzeb’s terror was known far and wide, Chhatrasal is the story of the warrior King who stood up against him. The story is set in 1649, in the region of Bundelkhand where King Chhatrasal decided to end the reign of terror of Aurangzeb. The mighty Mughals had crushed down many umpires and all bowed down to him to be saved from his wrath. But Chhatrasal was different and he was ready to die for his country with the hope that he would free it from Aurangzeb’s evil dreams. How did Chhatrasal stand up against him? Who won the war? Who is King Chhatrasal?
– Chhatrasal review contains no spoilers –
Chhatrasal opens with the awesome Neena Gupta giving a rundown on Aurangzeb’s rule and how heartless the Mughal emperor was. Along with her giving us a rundown, we see the dramatization of the affairs. Right off the bat, you realise that the series has some questionable special effects and sets. Within the first few moments, everything behind and around the actors looks very fake and takes you out of the experience.
Okay, I will keep this review short and sweet. The series consists of 20 episodes – yes, 20 episodes. The first three are around 50 minutes long. So… it’s around a 20-hour runtime, give or take a few hours. Let me just say that no show, literally none, deserves to go on for 20 hours in the first season to put its point across, at least not in this day and age. That being said, I would still hope to binge a 20-hour show if the viewing experience took me to Mars and kept me there, however, Chhatrasal does none of that.
The whole point of historical dramas is that they need to be believable. I need to believe that, yes, this person actually went through this 100 years ago. Because, surprise, this isn’t fiction. History represents facts. However, nothing about this series is remotely believable. As I mentioned earlier, starting from the set design to the acting and the stunt, this series is an absolute mess. The things in front of us are not only unbelievable but also impossible to achieve in real life. Two people cannot jump from one mountain to another except if they have superpowers, which, again, is not possible.
The production quality of the series is horrible. I understand that this might be a low-budget venture, but man, historical dramas deserve better. Coming to the acting, listen, I understand low budgets, but what happened to the acting?! This has Ashutosh Rana! The guy who scared the daylights out of me in Sangharsh. What happened here?! Everyone either overacts or is just terrible. Neena Gupta is the only slight saving grace, but that only lasts for a while.
Summing up: Chhatrasal
Listen, I don’t know whether you should watch this or not. Heck, I only watched 3 episodes and that’s all I could go through. But let me end this Chhatrasal review with this – after Chhatrasal is born in a cave, a possum (or similar creature) comes out of the blue and spits out five silver coins for the king and his wife. Yep.
Chhatrasal is streaming on MX Player.