Arjun is bang on target, well almost

Arjun is bang on target, well almost

Arjun is bang on target, well almost

Arjun – The Warrior Prince
Hindi (U/A)
Voices: Ila Arun, Yudhveer Bakoliya, Sachin Khedekar, Anjan Srivastava
Director: Arnab Chaudhuri

When you work with a subject as familiar as Arjun in a country which still takes its inspiration in storytelling and plots from either the Ramayana or Mahabharata, it is difficult to come up with a script which looks and feels different.

Animator-turned-filmmaker Arnab Chaudhuri’s debut seeks to highlight sections from Mahabharata and specifically Arjun’s life that the common man may not be familiar with. Therein lies the weakness and strength of Arjun – The Warrior Prince.

But if a film can hold its own without such key episodes as Arjun being guided by Lord Krishna on the battlefield of Kurukshetra or Draupadi being insulted by Kuru princes Duryodhan and Dushasan in public — you can be very certain that the film is a brave effort indeed.

Backed by Walt Disney, UTV Movies and a stellar crew comprising among others brilliant cinematographer Hemant Chaturvedi, multiple-award winning editor Sreekar Prasad and music composers Vishal-Shekhar and voice-overs by renowned names like Ila Arun and Sachin Khedekar, Arjun is a film that takes animation in India to the next level, but just falls short of international benchmarks. 

Told from Arjun’s perspective and in flashback mostly, the story retains the tension and suspense that any film needs to sustain itself. Be it the time when Arjun plays the role of guide to his son on the battlefield (reminiscent of Arjun being guided by Krishna) while facing the army of Hastinapur or when he refuses to lift his weapon against his guru Dronacharya first or even when he admits to Draupadi that he has failed her, the film holds its own.

The scene of Draupadi’s swayamvar which is undoubtedly one of the most beautifully crafted ones in the film; the panoramic view of the Himalayas when Arjun meditates to seek blessings of Lord Shiva; the scene where Draupadi makes him promise that he shall seek revenge for her insult and the Chakravyuh sequence at the end are particularly engaging.

Arnab is right when he says that ‘this film is not meant for children, it is an action-packed adventure for the family.’ Personally speaking, it merits that film outing on a Sunday.