Review - Drona: Mythology made boring
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There's a blunder in the credits. They forgot a title card -
Blue petal, the digital ancestral spirit
Devdutt, the guiding horse
Without them Drona would lack soul and attitude. Not to mention, our superhero wouldn't have a clue, literally! Sarcasm set aside, I really liked the concept behind debutant blue petal - just the overuse annoyed me. As it is, the movie is flat because of its pace. Without them it'd bend downwards at the corners to form a frown.
Which would then resemble the "I carry the burden of the world" scowl Jaya Bachchan wears. Perfect casting! Seriously, when did the lady smile last, on or off screen? It hurts when I remember she brought smiles by her mere presence and was my favorite female actor till about 10 years ago.
Oh well...Anyway, when you have music and cinematography doing the character development there is only so much the actors can do with the one-line character descriptions. And they do the 'so much'. Priyanka Chopra dazzles in shiny outfits, and oh yeah, fights. Kay Kay Menon actually seems every bit the eccentric villain he's supposed to be. He can boast of having delivered two interesting lines in the movie.
Abhishek broods and battles. He delivers the occasional dialogue, one of which was awesome! He actually looks really pitiable when he is going through tough times. But that is over quickly. Soon enough he has the "What the heck is going on here?" look which absolutely reflects the audience's sentiments. And this stays. Through the car chases. Through one inane sub-plot after the other, especially in the second half.
Actually, I really liked the way it started. It had that nice story-telling tone. Characters seemed to have caricatured personalities for a reason - they were part of a mythological tale. The parable itself seemed to have an interesting base. The villain seemed eerily weird. The editing was slick with imaginative transitions. I was enjoying despite redundant songs and having written off the dialogues very early on. What can you expect when an egoist, full-of-himself villain says Gustakhi maaf (pardon me)?
Yes, I had begun wondering if the wait for a good, kids', action, Hindi movie is over. But, gradually by the end of the first hour, my inner voice wanted to reach out to the makers, demanding an interval. Cut now, or you are going to have nothing to say later. They didn't listen.
And the second half made the pre-interval phase a blur. You know how 'stars' are introduced in a typical masala Hindi movie? - Slow motion, inexplicable
melodrama, enhanced with jarring music in background, cameras making movements to make the tall actor looking even more larger-than-life. The entire second half seems like it is introducing one actor or the other! There's a bit of that in the first half but it seems so negligible by the end.
The emotional drama takes forever to unfold - Drona and mama, Drona and Sonia, Drona and his father, Drona and his ancestors, Drona and his horse, Drona and his enemy. And get this Drona is not the supercool hero who can taken on the world himself, he needs them at every move. However, he somehow knows how to combat and his heroic skills suddenly peak every time he needs to save his bodyguard (Priyanka Chopra). And this ain't any regular protector, she's the 'royal' bodyguard who needs to be majestically rescued every 10th minute!
And at the end of it? There is no satisfactory achievement, just some more mumbo-jumbo about having saved the world.
True, there have been quite a few lame superheroes. He gets to be special because well, he's the 'chosen one'. Usually the sidekicks are a set of strong personalities with their interesting idiosyncrasies. But here, who has the time for such stuff when you are location hunting all over the globe and know you are going to spend a lot of time in post production with the digital intermediate guys. Our man just needs to be at the right place, at the right time, with the right amount of background music and camera movements for over a couple of hours.
So, are the special effects and action sequences worth a trip to the theater? Well, I'd think not. If you like movies just for those things, you must certainly have seen it all already - if not in a Hindi movie elsewhere.
You can think of Drona as the coming of age of a 'special' boy. He supposedly finds love, loses it - twice, finds it again, overcomes his fears, and discovers his 'inner strength'. He achieves all of this, at most times by just walking a few steps and the rest is taken care of by the graphics department. The struggle 'external' or 'internal' doesn't quite reach a high note. And that doesn't quite work.
- meeta, a part of the audience
- Violence: As much or as less as you would have in a typical mythological story.
- Nudity, sexual content: None except for the song with skimpily-clad girls playing while the end credits roll.
- Concept: Good vs. evil. Age old, time-tested formula
- General Look and Feel: This one seems to have been made with kids in mind. But the second half is too slow because of the emotional drama.
Drona - Movie Details
- Official Sites: Website Wikipedia IMDB
- Banner: Eros Entertainment
- Producer: Shrishti Arya, Sunil A Lulla
- Director: Goldie Behl
- Lead Cast: Abhishek Bachchan, Priyanka Chopra, Kay Kay Menon
- Supporting Cast: Jaya Bachchan
- Story: Goldie Behl
- Screenplay: Jaydeep Sarkar, Rohini Killough, Goldie Behl
- Dialogues: Jaydeep Sarkar
- Cinematography: Sameer Arya, Sameer Arya
- Editor: Shyam Salgaonkar
- Action Choreography: Sham Kaushal, Tom Delmar, Tom Delmar
- Music Director: Dhruv Ghanekar
- Lyrics: Vaibhav Modi
- Costume Designer: Sujata Sharma
- Running time: 150 minutes
- Reviewer: meeta
- Language: Hindi
- Country: India
- Genres: Adventure, Kids