Review - Eklavya: Visual treat to a numb brain

wogma rating: Watch if you have nothing better to do (?)
quick review:

Eklayva has some great performances and was shot very beautifully. But, there are too many holes in the story which keep you from enjoying the experience. Overall, I was disappointed. I didn't like the way the story was narrated. The style gave away what was to come next and that was anti-climatic. The last 15-20 minutes were just unbearable and unacceptable from this banner.

Reviews

22467 views

Click on the tabs below for wogma review, external reviews, user reviews, and twitter verdict

Wogma Review

It is amazing how so much ground is covered at such a slow pace in less than two hours. More movie-makers need to learn this trick. And it is all with a lot of style. But, as a thriller, it fails. There are no major twists in the plot, given the situation you know exactly how the said character is going to react. And the last scene is painfully silly.

However, if the technical aspects like the action and stunts, the cinematography, the camera movements interest you; it is certainly worth a watch. The unique treatment of the titles grabs attention. The first 15-20 minutes raise curiosity but are what I call ‘over-produced’ - dramatic entries of characters, too much background music, and the urge to do something “different” in every frame shows.

The actual story unfolds gradually and during the interval you are thinking, “it’s okay so far, let’s see how it goes”. And then come the dialogues repeated for impact - okay, I am exaggerating - only one dialogue is repeated…but, thrice. To my credit though, it was not just me, the whole auditorium gave an exasperated “ohhh”, the third time. And the word “dharm” is heard one too many times. The unique characteristics of Amitabh Bachchan’s character are repeated till you learn them by heart. And then comes the climax where I said almost blurted out, “You gotta be kidding me! The maker of Parinda and 1942 – A love story ended his movie like this?!”

The performances are awesome. Once again, you forget that this is the Amitabh Bachchan on screen. He looks and feels the character. The screen presence he has in some scenes, by just standing there without a single line to deliver, is just amazing. Everyone else has done their job to perfection too. But, if I want to watch a recent movie of Amitabh Bachchan in a serious role, I would watch the second half of Babul again. If I want to watch Saif Ali Khan as an angry character I would rather watch Omkara again. Sanjay Dutt, obviously does well as the comic relief, but if I want to laugh with him, I will watch Lage Raho Munnabhai again and again. Ditto for Vidya Balan, who with full grace, takes care of the mandatory romantic angle.

The flaws in the screenplay are too many and end up distracting you from the visual treat. Same story with a lot more detailing and by a Vidhu Vinod Chopra from ten years ago - we might have had a better experience.

- meeta, a part of the audience

Eklavya - Movie Details

Eklavya - Trailer

Comments (9)

Click here for new comment

meetu:

Read your review, Amit and have linked it from my "To Each His Own" section. I didn't like the way the story was narrated. The style gave away what was to come next and that was anti-climatic. The last 15-20 minutes were just unbearable.

Thanks for visiting and come again!

Sakshi:

Slightly off the mark here....wanted to know if you got my email?

Cheers!!
Sakshi

meetu:

!!!WARNING: This comment has spoilers!!!

Hi Anonymous,

Thanks for being a part of my readership! I really appreciate the time and effort you have spent in listing these questions for me. Here are my point-wise answers:

1. Eklavya was certainly stylish and it was an attempt at a thriller. I chose the word thriller because it felt the audience was being given one piece of information at a time, which is typical of a thriller. I say attempt, because for each piece of information a hint was given that gave too much away. So, when the actual information was said out loud, it was too late.

Concrete example: Piece of information - Harshawardhan is Eklavya's son. The audience is supposed to know this only when it is disclosed in the letter from Rani to her son. The way Jayawardhan keeps saying, "sirf tumhaara hi naam le rahi thi" mostly looking at Eklavya, it is pretty clear, that Harshawardhan is going to turn out to be Eklavya's son.
Similarly it was obvious that Harshawardhan was going to get involved in killing Jayawardhan given the fact that the latter killed his mother and Jayawardhan is not his father.

Yes, it was slow, but that did not bother me. However, I do think it would have worked better if instead of repeating some things, they would have spent more time on Rana Jyotiwardhan, Udaywardhan, Rajjo, and Nandini's characters (in that order).

2 and 3. Like I said, it is an attempted thriller because of the way in which things were disclosed to the audience. I felt there were no twists in the plot because, they did not come with a bang, you knew what to expect. Aren't murder mysteries supposed to be thrillers?

4. Oops! I am caught red-handed! I think except for the story everything else involved in movie-making is very technical. Sorry didn't name all of them in here, just wanted to name a few that were in mind when I left the theater.

I think story is the most important part of the movie but is not technical in nature.

5. I apologize. I meant the close-ups, use of wide-angle lens, the aerial shots. This was purely my inability to express myself and lack of appropriate vocabulary. Can you tell me or refer me to some place that can give me the exact words to describe these things?

6. A well-shot movie for sure. Tried to thrill, but could not do so, therefore failed as a thriller as a result of which it failed as a movie.

7. No-no..."na khoon baha, na koi dard" was used appropriately. Not the sonnet either.

It was the sanskrit shloka which was then explained in hindi, something to the effect "dharma wohi hai jo mati ko sach lage, jo buddhi ko sach lage, jo dil/man ko sach lage, jo aatma ko sach lage". It was repeated thrice - each time first in sanskrit and in four different ways in hindi.

8. Good!

9. When I said "characteristics of Amitabh Bachchan’s character are repeated till you learn them by heart". I meant the fact that he could not see but could hear very well - this fact was hammered on to the audience too many times.

I had a problem with the use of the word, "dharm" and "adharm" too many times. We get the point. Why do you need to keep saying, "ye mera dharm hai", like we will forget what was said 20 minutes ago. And then he lets go off his "dharma" in the end anyway.

10. The father-son scene was alright. I had a problem with the whole village scene in the end. Which "pooja" is on in the last scene? What is so important about it that the whole village is attending it even though it is being performed by a chauffer's daughter (or were we supposed to assume that Rajjo is now the queen?)? Why are the villagers showing Rajjo papers concerning their land? Do they know Harshawardhan has killed her dad and she was considering not being with him anymore?

Pannalal coming and doing the whole, "bahut bura hua" thing. Especially when the suicide note was already announced when Eklavya tells him what he thought was the truth about Rana Jayawardhan's death.

11. Yes, predictably silly.

12. I liked the climaxes of Parainda and 1942 A love story better. Eklavya's ending was too lame.

13. Yes, the performances certainly rose above the screenplay.

14. I would take off 15-20 seconds from each scene, take away all the repetitious dialogues (whether they are in one language or two) E.g. "taiyyari hai meri *pause* I am ready".

Why would I get you wrong? I sincerely appreciate the effort you have taken to understand my review.

cheers!

meetu:

Hi ricky,

Inconsistencies is something that I would hate to have in my reviews. Could you please take the time to point out what you found inconsistent. Thanks!

I don't mind watching the second half of Baabul for Amitabh Bachchan's acting (and Rani Mukherjee's for that matter). Willing to ignore the other stuff, that as you rightly pointed out, could lead to a death by torture.

meetu:

Hi anonymous,

I can "sit back and enjoy" only in movies that are obvious comedies. The rest - very difficult for me to do.

Also, if I sit back and enjoy how can I answer questions like, "if its not a thriller in the first place then how does it fail as a thriller?" :-)

Yep! I usually do "search" for things that I don't know the right word for, didn't do it this time and was found!

Keep the comments coming!

meetu:

Sakshi received your e-mail and responded. Thanks!

meetu:

Thanks for stopping by Jay! Read your review. Pretty detailed indeed!

meetu:

Warning! Spoilers in this comment!

Hey morph,

Good to see you here again!

Granted a character driven drama to you could be a thriller to me. But what when the makers think it is a "edge-of-the-seat dramatic action thriller". And I do not quote from some gossip column, it is right from the official website. Click on "THE STORY" link, it is the first line of the last paragraph.

I thought the point of the movie was to narrate a story which was supposed to be a thriller. And did not deliver.

It was certainly wanting to be a thriller. Otherwise why would they not show Prince Harshawardhan approaching Rana Jayawardhan? Also, why would the fact that Prince Harshawardhan was behind it all, shown in pieces, first to Rajjo and then Rana Jayawardhan yelling at Eklavya in the train scene.

Let's continue the discussion...

Fan:

Eklavya had a strong line up of actors. And the setting was magnificient to watch. But once again the weak story line played the villain. Vidhu Vinod Chopra has this penchant to write short stories and then spend money to convert it into films. Unfortunately he is not a great story writer.

Leave a new comment