". . . But the past does not exist independently from the present. Indeed, the past is only past because there is a present, just as I can point to something over there only because I am here. But nothing is inherently over there or here. In that sense, the past has no content. The past -- or more accurately, pastness -- is a position. Thus, in no way can we identify the past as past." p. 15

". . . But we may want to keep in mind that deeds and words are not as distinguishable as often we presume. History does not belong only to its narrators, professional or amateur. While some of us debate what history is or was, others take it into their own hands." p. 153

Silencing the Past: Power and the Production of History (1995) by Michel-Rolph Trouillot

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Panipat (2019) -- Maratha Empire

     . . . . Last evening the school in which the course is situated had its usual faculty Wine Wednesday, but via Zoom. That was cheerful. 

Then it was dinner time. After clean-up I watched for a while an historical action film set in the 18th C Maratha Empire Hindustan, Panipat -- Great Betrayal (2019). Recall at the same time (1751) the East India Company is warring to take out the Mughal Empire on the other side of the subcontinent. That the Marathas took out the Nizam helped the Brits do that.  Around 1805, the EIC begins its war upon the Maratha and other Hindu kingdoms. We see some spectacular recreations of the famous Red Fort, among other striking visuals.
Ashutosh Gowariker’s magnum opus ‘Panipat’ is based on historical facts, taking some creative liberties along the way. Shadashivrao Bhau (Arjun Kapoor), is an able commander in his cousin Nanasaheb Peshwa’s (Mohnish Bahl) army. After a victorious battle against the Nizam of Udgir, Shadashivrao Bhau is chosen by the Maratha Peshwa to lead their army to Delhi. Ahmad Shah Abdali (Sanjay Dutt), the king of Afghanistan, has set his inroads into India after forming an alliance with Najib-Ud-Daula (Mantra) with the intention to defeat the Marathas and curb their expanding power....
.... ‘Panipat’ packs in a layered narrative that delves into the complex politics of the period, the intricate workings of war strategies versus might, negotiation dynamics and the importance of forming alliances. And it also weaves in the love story between Shadashivrao Bhau and Parvati Bai. In fact, the chemistry between Kriti Sanon and Arjun Kapoor as their love story develops, is one of the high points of the film. But with a run-time of close to three hours and the many characters and plot points the film touches upon it becomes a lengthy and at times, tedious watch...[but worth it, particularly for the spectacular final battle sequence]
There are spectacular dance numbers, and singing interludes, which these I don't care for generally and don't here either, though they too are spectacular. What I love are the dancing, the brilliant colors, that eye-popping palette, all that gold and truck loads of pearls, rubies and emeralds. So I watched that for a bit, before retiring, reading aloud, and not sleeping most of the night, filled with the stress of getting up at 6 AM for a supermarket shopping trip, without real gloves and mask.  But I do have my own Italian granny era wheeled shopping cart that has been leaning against a wall here unused for umpity years!

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