The only smart thing about Director Deva Katta's film is its title (meaning REIGN). Might win praise from the critics & find some flavour with the gentry but a dry subject like politics finds limited patronage. Politics, besides movies & cricket, is a favourite topic of Indians, but the talk on politics has reached a crescendo these days. Also, remakes are dicey business. No matter how much you improvise on your new script, comparisons are bound to be made. The power-play depicted in Prassthanam is praiseworthy & as a result of which writer/director Deva Katta will receive plaudits but the film is intense & grim and it won't find acceptance from family audiences & those who prefer escapist/candyfloss cinema. Prassthanam gives a microscopic view of what goes into politics. It’s not a bad film, it’s just not good. The story has nothing new to talk of, since the genre has been over-exploited. Lengthy run time, slow pacing & too many subplots and a disappointing finale are major hiccups. Also, Deva Katta's direction is quite simple.
The movie has a sprawling canvas & it takes time to figure out the characters & their motivations but certain sequences are excessively stretched (Editor: Ballu Saluja). The songs are utterly misplaced & the dialogues (Farhad Samji) are clunky. Mahesh Shankar's background score elevates the situations considerably. Cinematography (Ravi Yadav) captures the mood of the film to perfection. Abbas Ali Moghul's action is a bit gory. Pallavi Bagga and Suman Roy Mahapatra's production design is average. Prassthanam is also held up by a string of credible performances. Sanjay Dutt delivers a bravura performance. Ali Fazal makes the most of his well-written character. His most sensitive portrayal to date. The confidence with which Satyajeet Dubey carries off his part is sure to win him plaudits. Chunky Panday is outstanding in a role that fits him like a glove. Manisha Koirala doesn't get much scope but she handles her part with flourish. Amyra Dastur acts with conviction and makes her presence felt. Jackie Shroff is, as always, bankable but his character is underdeveloped with hardly any dialogues. Chahatt Khanna and Divinaa Thackur did well. Other actors who stand out are Deepraj Rana (SP Narang), Zakir Hussain (Majid Maqbool) and Annup Sonii. Ishita Raj looks hot in the item number.
All said & done, Prassthanam is, at best, an average movie with an overwhelming sense of pointlessness & familiarity. It will meet with diverse reactions. Those into realistic cinema might like the film, while those who swear by candyfloss entertainment will skip it for sure.