Movie Review | The Black Prince

Attributes: Movie Reviews

Runtime: 118 minutes
Cast: Satinder Sartaaj, Jason Flemyng, Shabana Azmi, Amanda Root.
Written & Directed by Kavi Raz
 
The Black Prince is the last king of Punjab, Maharaja Duleep Singh played by poet and singer Satinder Singh. The plot revolves around the true story of Maharaja Duleep Singh who was placed on the throne at a very young age of 5, but soon the throne was robbed from him due to the treason of his own trusted courtiers. By the time the young king attained 15 years of age, he was taken away to England while his mother was left here in India, adorned to the fate of never seeing her own son apart from losing all her riches along with the kingdom. In England the 15-year-old King is kept as a royal subject under the protection of the royal throne and is baptized as a Christian, this is also where he is introduced to Queen Victoria. The Queen takes a liking to the kid immediately and soon starts to address him as the Black Prince. As soon as the prince comes of age, a yearning develops in him to visit his homeland and to see his mother, the role of whom is played beautifully by the seasoned actor Shabana Azmi. 
 
The story of the last King of Punjab deserved to be told but Kavi Raz's periodical drama did not quite make it to the mark. The movie displays impeccable candlelit tapestries, castles, and churches enough to transcend you back to that era but solemn performances and overtly poor old age make-ups will disappoint any viewer who are fond of watching the historical drama.
 
The movie continues further to establish the quest of the king to achieve his long lost kingdom along with significant developments in the plot where swift marriages and romantic dissolves are brought to play. The film is characterized by a quick introduction of characters and small developments in the storyline which is skated over so fast that the audience will have a hard time deciphering which way the plot is moving. 
 
By the second half, the viewers can get a little impatient waiting for some gripping scene or an exhilarating climax. Alas, the movie proceeds at a snail's pace with a still brooding Singh where not much development is happening in the actual plotline which is to take back the kingdom from the British, which is rightfully his. The only moments of solace the viewers achieve is when the veteran actor, Shabana Azmi comes to the screen. Though her screen time is relatively short but still with her powerful performance and her stern command over the language, makes her stand out from the rest of the cast.
 
All things said, the Black Prince consists of a good storyline with extremely poor execution. The movie seems to be dragged much at junctures and also it seems to be an artless period piece only to be watched for understanding the true story of the last Maharaja of the Sikhs.
 
 2.5 Shors out of 5.
 
Reviewed by: Wrisha Mukherjee‚Äč
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