Sony TV’s Porus has been a highly anticipated show for a number of reasons. Made at a staggering reported budget of Rs 500 crore, it is the tale of the Battle of Hydaspes, which was fought between King Porus and Macedonian conqueror Alexander the Great. He was the first defender of India. It is made by Swastik Productions that is behind shows like Suryaputra Karn, Shani and Mahakali – Anth Hi Aarambh Hai. Producer Siddharth Kumar Tewary had been conceptualising the show since many years and a large part of it has been shot in Thailand. It stars Laksh, Rati Pandey, Rohit Purohit, Aditya Redij and Praneet Bhat in lead roles. Here is the review of the first episode…Also read: Porus behind the scenes: Aditya Redij and Rati Pandey give us a tour of the lavish sets – watch video
What is it about?
We are introduced to the ruthless and wily Persian trader Darius (Praneet Bhat) who has his eyes on the Jhelum stretch. The kingdom of Paurava is ruled by the proud and valiant Bamani (Aditya Redij) while the ruler of Taxila is Ambiraj who is at constant war with Bamani. After a yearly duel, Bamani defeats Ambiraj to assert his supremacy but ends up upsetting his brother, Shivdutt who is supposedly effeminate. Will Darius take advantage of Shivdutt’s anger to enter the prosperous Jhelum trade route? We have to wait and watch….
The sheer scale of the show has you transfixed. We know it is Thailand’s coastline that is passed off as the mighty Jhelum but the visuals are fabulous. A lot of efforts have gone into the detailing from the ships to the headgear. The cinematography, special effects and background score are awesome. The show deserves a watch just for the efforts of the technical team. Coming to the performances, Praneet Bhatt is superb as Darius. The scene where he orders his eagle to gouge out the eyes of an informer is chilling. Wily, shrewd, manipulative, Praneet is at his best. Aditya Redij and Rati Pandey also make their characters look formidable. One of the highlights of the first episode is the underwater fight between Bamani and Ambiraj. It is beautifully shot and without body doubles.
The show is mounted like a mix of history and fantasy. It lacks a sense of realism that may upset history buffs. At a time, when travelling was tough we see dancers from South performing at the Pourava kingdom. The language spoken by the actors has been okay so far but we may see glitches.
Porus is surely a game-changer for Indian TV with its scale and technical expertise. We can hope that people get curious to know about Raja Porus, who is not much explored in our history books. Watch it to understand that Indian TV can surely leap forward if it wishes to..