Arjun: The Warrior Prince - Review
Arjun: The Warrior Prince has decent animation by Indian standards which equate to very average ones by international ones, notwithstanding the differences in budgets. Also, the great epic has been tinkered around with to no advantage.
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The quality of animation in the Walt Disney logo video (producer), despite repeated views, gets your hopes up for the animation film coming up. And of course, you are disappointed with the first scene. But, it won't be surprising if the money spent on that logo video is close to that spent on the whole Arjun: The Warrior Prince. Given that, I understand it's an unfair expectation and comparison. Even so, the faces and expressions in our animation is far behind.
The backdrops on the other hand are much detailed. Even the patterns on clothes and jewelry is pretty intricate. Even the long shots, are conceptualized really well, the colors, the formations in the war sequences are aesthetic. Then, why the lack of imagination in the facial expression department. 2-3 variations each of how eyebrows, eyes and lips move are the only things you see. Same goes for body language and any movement - be it trees, water or animals. All these movements do come across as a few frames are missing between two gross movements.
These things take away a lot from the experience of an animated film. Sure, some of these must be a function of money available but a lot of it also comes across as lack of talent. Another department our animated films lack in is the voice animation. That too doesn't have as much variation and thus distracts from the story being told.
Mahabharat, the war itself - the events it encompasses, the many characters and their complex relationships - is humungous enough for a movie to cover in entirety. We know, the events leading up to the war are far beyond a single session of story-telling. So, it is indeed unfair to expect a 100-minute to cover it all. And thankfully, Arjun: The Warrior Prince doesn't attempt to do it all either. It clearly conveys that it intends to tell only so much and the rest is either to be looked up outside the film or it indicates that there is a part 2 coming up. However, seeing the war of Kurukshetra as epilogue text was hilarious.
Like one would expect, it is assumed that we know of the central characters from earlier on. While I'm glad only few characters are explicitly introduced, the abrupt way in which characters are brought into the picture is rather disconcerting. As if no time was spent in thinking about how and when the character should blend in with the story, case in example, Bhishma Pitamah.
Then come some liberties taken with the great epic. While some are acceptable as input by the maker like a tall Gandhari accompanying a short, blind Dhrithrashtra or the short and stout Shakuni (who is the tall Gandhari's brother). But there are others that are a no-no. For example, the way in which the chakravyuha formation of soldiers is shown - it didn't look like a maze at all! Not to mention its use in the Virat war with Arjun and Abhimanyu together is questionable. And a few other such changes in story, while wanting to narrate the story as we know.
For a film titled Arjun: The Warrior Prince, I'd expect a lot more of Arjun's point of view. They do try, but it still feels like episodes one might have heard from a grandparent as a bedtime story. There isn't much more insight than that.
Arjun: The Warrior Prince works as much as a comic strip book about him would. Except for much more intricate backdrops sans the speech/thought bubbles.
- meeta, a part of the audience
- Violence: It's about a *warrior* prince.
- Language: Clean.
- Nudity & Sexual content: None. Even the Draupadi vastraharan is not shown.
- Concept: Arjun's point of view in the period before the Mahabharat.
- General Look and Feel: Bright and pretty much narrative even though it is not necessarily voiceover driven.
Arjun: The Warrior Prince - Movie Details
- Official Sites: Facebook YouTube Wikipedia IMDB
- Banner: Walt Disney Pictures, UTV Motion Pictures
- Producer: Ronnie Screwwala, Siddharth Roy Kapoor
- Director: Arnab Chaudhuri
- Lead Cast: Ila Arun, Yudhveer Bakoliya, Ashok Banthia, Ravi Khanwilkar
- Screenplay: Rajesh Devraj
- Music Director: Vishal Dadlani, Shekhar Ravjiani
- Facebook Page: Link
- Running time: 100 minutes
- Reviewer: meeta
- Language: Hindi
- Country: India
- Genres: Animation, Mythology
Arjun: The Warrior Prince - Trailer
If you cannot see a video above, click here to see it on YouTube