Arjun:The Warrior Prince Movie Review: This Archer Hits The Bullseye!
As far as Indian mythology goes, Arjun from Mahabharata is one of the most well-known characters apart from Karna, and the former has inspired many fables, comic books and film adaptations (Ranbir Kapoor's character in Raajneeti was said to be based on Arjun). Directed by Arnab Chaudhuri, the latest flick on the ace archer titled Arjun: The Warrior Prince proves without a doubt that the epic hero is still very much in demand and that Indian animation has arrived and reached that level where adults will be as engrossed as children in the adventures of a boy, who grew up to be one of the greatest heroes of Indian mythology.
The story begins with a young prince asking his female caretaker to narrate him a story and the latter obliges him, starting to recite the tale of the mighty empire of Hastinapur and the Kuru family that ruled it. The story moves on to show how the Kauravas and the Pandavas locked horns even as teenagers and how a young boy was forged into becoming a fearsome warrior by his guru, Dronacharya. The film also touches upon epic incidents like Draupadi's swayamwar, the exile to which the Pandavas are banished and the rigged dice game, in which the wily Shakuni manages to manipulate the noble Yudishthira into losing everything…
At the very outset, what works for the movie is the amazing animation and graphics, which takes your breath away; the attention to detail when it comes to action scenes is admirable. Furthermore, the makers have kept it in mind to keep the dialogues of the epic as audience friendly as possible, so the lines are bereft of archaic words and are easy to understand for the most part. The sound effects technicians and the voice artistes also seem to have done justice to their parts and the humour, as and when it appears (like in the scenes showing Bheema's gluttony and the confusion created while identifying the twins Nakul and Sahadev) does elicit chuckles.
However, on the flip side, the director seems to focus so much on Arjun that he seems to ignore other pivotal characters like Karna- Arjun's arch nemesis and the ultimate anti-hero. Indeed, the Karna in the flick seems more like a baddie henchman than the real threat to Arjun, which the warrior was as per mythology. The director also skips the incident of the disrobing of Draupadi and her subsequent rescue by Krishna, which was one of the main reasons which sparked off the blood-bath at Kurukshetra. Moreover, the use of songs in the background during action scenes or emotional scenes comes across as a dampener and one wishes that the makers could have used some appropriate mantras in the background to pack a punch (like in Vaastav, where director Mahesh Manjrekar has used shlokas and mantras in the background during intense scenes).
Nevertheless, compared to other Indian animation flicks like Roadside Romeo and Bal Ganesh that have come up in the past, Arjun: The Warrior Prince is without doubt a cut above the rest for the sheer animation brilliance and special effects.