Mohenjo Daro Movie Review: An Epic Slice Of History
Acclaimed filmmaker Ashutosh Gowariker is known for bringing epic stories to life on the silver screen-be it Lagaan or Jodhaa Akbar and this time, the man has gone further back in time to bring to life a story about the Indus Valley Civilization with admirable results.
Set in 2016 BC, Mohenjo Daro is about Sarman (Hrithik Roshan), an indigo farmer from Amri, who is perplexed with unexplained visions of an unicorn in a faraway land. When Sarman makes up his mind to visit the much-talked about city 'Mohenjo Daro', his paternal uncle and aunt try to dissuade him, but the noble hero sets out to seek his fortune and meet his destiny.
In Mohenjo Daro, Sarman observes that the city is ruled by a tyrannical chief Maham (Kabir Bedi), whose greed for gold is sure to spell doom for the city. Sarman also finds love in the form of Chaani (Pooja Hegde), the daughter of the head priest, who is considered to be the symbol of Sindhu.
While courting Chaani, Sarman ends up locking horns with Maham's son Moonja (Arunoday Singh), who wants to marry Chaani and also discovers his destiny- to be the saviour of Mohenjo Daro.
Hrithik, who plays the lead role, is in top form as the noble Sarman, who transforms from a humble farmer to the leader of the people. Hrithik's terrific presence and powerful performance is sure to delight his fans, and his jaw-quivering intensity makes him a formidable protagonist and a force to contend with, and you just cannot take your eyes off him when he is on screen creating scorching drama.
Needless to say, Hrithik was the apt choice to play the noble Sarman and it is tough to imagine anyone else in the larger-than-life character. Pooja Hegde, who makes her Bollywood debut with this film, is pretty and puts up a good performance, though we wish the makers would have signed up an A-lister to be romantically paired opposite Bollywood's Greek God. Kabir Bedi is totally bang on as the evil Maham and his powerful screen presence, his baritone and his sinister sneer, makes him a worthy rival to battle. Arunoday Singh also performs well as Maham's obedient son, a strong second adversary to Sarman. The action scenes between the two are raw and gritty, and extremely well choreographed by Amar Shetty.
As for the film itself, Gowariker has weaved an epic tale on a larger-than-life canvas and this movie is worth watching only on the big screen. The film is an entertaining spectacle with all the ingredients of a classic good tale and is a sheer visual delight. The veteran filmmaker is in top form and his imagination has created a world that leaves you wide-eyed and spellbound. The climax scene and Sarman's combat scene with the two barbarians Bakar and Zokar, are the highlights of the film and will be etched in your memory for a long time. The stunts by Glen Boswell of Matrix, Titanic, Mad Max and the more recent The Hobbit fame, is a first for Indian cinema and the Bakar Zokar challenge post interval is riveting.
The music of the film has been composed by the 'Mozart Of Madras' A.R Rahman and needless to say, the music is tonic for the ears; even the background score by Rahman takes the drama notches higher and is perfect. The special effects are decent enough, but could have been better, though we are not really complaining.
However, the one flaw that we observed was that the film seems to be full of old-fashioned stereotypical characters - there is the noble hero, the virginal heroine, the evil tyrant who has wronged the protagonist and the tyrant's son, who lusts for the heroine. If that was not all, there is also a loyal sidekick, a paternal father figure, a soothsayer predicting doom and the heroine's helpless father. The plot as such offers nothing new and has the same formula that has been peddled by films over the years in Bollywood. However, what makes this movie a must watch is the epic treatment and the way it has been shot to present a good, old-fashioned good versus evil tale, which never fails to strike a chord with the Indian audience.
In conclusion, if you want to watch a larger-than-life story told in epic style, Mohenjo Daro is a must-watch this Independence Day weekend.
Release Date : 12 August 2016
Director : Ashutosh Gowariker
Cast : Narendra Jha, Kishori Shahane Vij, Nitish Bharadwaj, Kabir Bedi, Suhasini Mulay, Hrithik Roshan, Shaji Choudhary, Arunoday Singh, Sharad Kelkar, Manish Chaudhari, Pooja Hegde, Diganta Hazarika, Naina Trivedi
Genre : Period