Review: Prithvi Vallabh wins over viewers with its mix of Itihaas & Rahasya
It’s a tale of history, mystery, fantasy, vengeance and underlying it all, a love story between two contrasting individuals living in a century long time ago and a kingdom far away. And it has made it to our television screens in the 21st Century. Sony Entertainment Television’s latest offering, ‘Prithvi Vallabh – Itihaas Bhi, Rahasya Bhi’, has been getting rave reviews ever since it hit the small screens on January 20, 2018.
The show has been produced by Aniruddh Pathak, who is no stranger to historical/ mythological stories, having worked on earlier series like ‘Siya Ke Ram’ and Devon Ke Dev, Mahadev’. Writers’ Galaxy is the production house behind the series. The story of ‘Prithvi Vallabh’ is based on the book by well-known Gujarati writer Kanaiyalal Maneklal Munshi. The series is the first production from SET Originals, the sub-brand of Sony Entertainment Television which aims to bring premium and finite content in association with a new bunch of content creators.
So far, ‘Prithvi Vallabh’ has been planned as a finite series comprising 2 seasons of 40 episodes each.
Aired on weekends, so far 6 episodes have been telecast. Given the content and the storyline of the show, there have been parallels drawn with the globally famous ‘Game of Thrones’ series. Also, there are comparisons with another lavishly-mounted historical show on Sony – ‘Porus’. Princess Mrinalvati (Sonarika Bhadoria) in ‘Prithvi Vallabh’ and Princess Anusuya (Rati Pandey) in ‘Porus’ are both introduced in the respective shows while astride a horse.
Princess Mrinal of the Manyakhet kingdom is a warrior, who is thirsting for revenge for her parent’s killing at the hands of King Singhdant of Malva on Diwali. Though there had been enmity between the Malwas and the Manyakhets, a treaty was signed to bring about peace. However, the Malwa King violates the treaty and gets the royal family of Manyakhet killed, but Mrinal and her younger brother Tailap escape.
This incident leaves Mrinal, who earlier used to love art and music, along with being skilled in using various weapons, vengeful and cold-hearted. All activities of art, music, poetry, etc., is banned in the Manyakhet kingdom.
In contrast, Prithvi Vallabh of Malwa is a poet and connoisseur of art, music and literature. He is a gentle person at heart who loves nature, even though he has an imposing physical strength. However, when the need arises, he can also turn into a fierce warrior.
The story so far reveals the inner palace intrigues at Manyakhet as well as in Malwa and Mrinal’s attempts at taking her revenge. Though Mrinal dotes on her brother Tailap and is protective about him, his wife resents her. Mrinal relinquishes the claim to the throne in her pursuit of vengeance and Tailap is crowned king, however he is not a very skilful ruler and turns to his elder sister for advice on all matters. The sister-in-law, who is the queen, craves for the power and popularity that Mrinal wields amongst the subjects of Manyakhet and even her own husband and son.
The Manyakhets arrive to fight with the King of Panchal and realise that he has hired African tribal soldiers to fight the battle against the Manyakhets. However, Mrinal kills the Panchal King before the Manyakhets arrive and persuades the African soldiers fight for her by killing the Malva King Singhdant, who had killed her parents.
Prithvi Vallabh foils the bid on the King’s life by arriving on time and also saving the lives of the innocent villagers. This angers Mrinal even more, who gets a sketch prepared of Prithvi and takes the help of Bhillam Raj, an old friend and a military commander, to get Prithvi out of the way. She also fixes the marriage of her nephew (Tailap’s son) with Bhillam Raj’s daughter, Vilas. On the advice of Bhillam Raj, Mrinal and Tailap buy explosives to attack the Malvas.
She enters the Malva kingdom disguised as a musician along with a fellow poet from Manyakhet, who is running away to Malva to pursue his dream of becoming a poet. There, she meets Prithvi for a brief moment on the docks. She plans to blast the royal palace and stab Singhdant in the rush of people to escape the fire. Meanwhile, Prithvi also defeats a womanising neighbouring king in a wrestling duel and frees all his women. This makes his step brother Sindhu very angry and jealous as he gets all the credit.
Whew... yes, all that encompasses the happenings in just 4 episodes of the series, which is moving at a fast pace. Hope this pace and narrative doesn’t falter in the coming episodes and more intrigues and twists and turns ensue.
Here’s to some more of the Itihaas and Rahasya...