Trailer of Prithviraj launched by YRF in Akshay Kumar’s presence

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Akshay Kumar, Manushi Chhillar and Dr. Chandraprakash Dwivedi at the trailer launch of Prithviraj. Photo: Rajiv Vijayakar

The trailer of Yash Raj Films’ first historical film, Prithviraj, was launched at Yash Raj Studio on May 9, in the presence of Akshay Kumar, who plays the brave Rajput warrior, Manushi Chhillar and writer-director Dr. Chandraprakash Dwivedi. The date was selected as it was another great warrior king, Maharana Pratap’s birth anniversary.

An elated Akshay said that it was a rare honor to play a man who is known from Kashmir to Kanyakumari as one of the bravest Indian soldiers and kings. He wished that every child in the country got to watch the film as it was educational and deserved to be shown in schools. Akshay rued the fact that there was barely much taught about the king in History in schools.

He missed his mother (Aruna Bhatia, who passed away recently) as she would have been proud that he had done this role.

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“I had goose-bumps through the narration!” the actor exulted. Prithviraj, or Samrat Prithviraj Chauhan, as he was known, was the legendary warrior who fought valiantly to protect India from the merciless invader Muhammad of Ghor.

Akshay added, “I want everyone to watch the story of Samrat Prithviraj Chauhan. The script brings together history, patriotism and portrayal of the values that we should live by and also tells a story of love that is extremely rare to find.”

Miss World 2017, Manushi Chhillar, who makes her debut in the film, said that with several facets to her character of Sanyogita, there was a lot to learn for her, and it was an extraordinary luck that her first banner was Yash Raj Films, her first co-star was Akshay, and her first director was Dr. Dwivedi. “I would question him a lot!” she revealed.

The film is the product of 18 years of research for historian-scholar-writer and filmmaker Dr. Chandraprakash Dwivedi, and the director was amazed that after a narration spread over just a weekend, producer Aditya Chopra had finalized the film, complete with Akshay Kumar, by Monday! Dr. Dwivedi is best known for directing the television epic Chanakya and the critically-acclaimed Pinjar.

Asked why he had chosen this subject over any other, Dr. Dwivedi stated that Prithviraj’s sense of faith, and his respect, including for women and his enemies, was unique, and his bravery exemplary. “Most Indians do not know that our history does not begin with India’s first invasion as far back as in 712 A.D. or thereabouts, but traces back to Vedic times. There have been great Indian kings and warriors for centuries.”

Dr. Dwivedi thanked producer Aditya Chopra and the entire team, his leading man and leading lady and the cast for whatever he had achieved in this film. Asked by newsindiatimes.com why he had chosen Akshay in particular, as the film of this scale needed a superstar, he replied, “I had heard stories about Akshay Kumar and his discipline, and had no other choice. Because of his discipline, I could complete the film in record time.” Akshay added that as was his wont, he had finished his work in 42 days!

As for his leading lady, though most beauty queens end up as heroines, Dr. Dwivedi sensed her potential in his meetings and narration. “The fact that Sanyogita was a known beauty and I had a Miss World, whose beauty was known all over the world, was half the battle won!” he said.

The film, also starring Sonu Sood and Sanjay Dutt, releases in Hindi, Tamil and Telugu on June 3. Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy score music.

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