Mohenjo Daro - Review

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

The least Mohenjo Daro could have done is awe you with its scale. Well, It doesn't. Save a few action pieces the film has nothing to enamor you.

Reviews

5806 views

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

Wogma Review

The one thing that almost everyone walking out of Mohenjo Daro is likely to disappointedly say is, “regular story fitted into history.” My additional rant is that it is not even a full-hearted attempt at saying one regular story. It knows it doesn't have enough meat to at least look new. So, it squeezes a regular romance into a regular oppressor-common man story. And yet achieves nothing new whatsoever.

It would be a real shame if the makers are convinced that they recreated history. Because there is no imagination in the sets. The costumes and makeup is pretty much what you would find in a fashion show with an Egyptian-Roman theme. Maybe the lead lady's headgear is an exception. But, that isn't too far out either.

Oh yeah, the Mohenjo Daro-ites have a language of their own. Unfortunately, it makes you laugh more than admire it because of the way it moves on to regular Hindi. Oh, the after effects stay in the form of a few Hindi words modified to make you laugh some more. The references to suns and monsoons is cute to begin with but becomes annoying soon enough. As the movie progresses, it feels like the makers were so proud of this terminology that they had to use it to the fullest.

The human behavior is pretty much the same too – as shallow an interpretation as many other films. Sure, a few action sequences make you sit up for a bit. But, that too has a feel of the films from the 90s. The ones that had an arena fight between the hero and a lion or an elephant or a man double the size of the hero. It brings warm memories from childhood rather than a chill down the spine.

Hrithik Roshan, Pooja Hegde, Kabir Bedi are nothing but functional. I can only imagine the kind of energy some of the action sequences might have drawn from Hrithik Roshan, but the end result is nothing that stays in memory beyond the scene.

What stays though is the pounding background music that refuses to be tamed down. What stays is the despair at being fed yet another romance in the name of epic saga. What stays is the hope, that maybe next time. There is always a next time.

- meeta, a part of the audience

Parental Guidance:

  • Violence: A few grueling fight sequences
  • Language: Clean
  • Nudity & Sexual content: A couple of lip-to-lips.
  • Concept: A love story cum struggle against oppressor set in a time supposedly 4000+ years ago
  • General Look and Feel: A dusty, desert feel.

Detailed Ratings (out of 5):

  • Direction: 1
  • Story: 0.5
  • Lead Actors: 2
  • Character Artists: 2.5
  • Dialogues: 1
  • Screenplay: 0.5
  • Music Director: 1
  • Lyrics: 0.5

Mohenjo Daro - Movie Details

Mohenjo Daro - Trailer

If you cannot see a video above, click here to see it on YouTube

Comments (42)

Click here for new comment

Fan:

This should be the movie of the season. Ashutosh and Hrithik combination in a period saga is a lethal combination.

Although, given Ashutosh's passion for details it is quite surprising to see a very basic historical error being made in referring to the city as Mohenjo Daro within the film itself. He could have titled the film Mohenjo Daro, but could have left the country/city unnamed in the film, just referring with generic dialogues like "mera desh".

Nevertheless, looking forward to this fictional tale set in the area now known as Mohenjo Daro.

meeta:

@Fan let's see. It will be long for sure :D

Anuj:

Disappointing trailer. The clash with a solid looking Rustom (made on less than half the cost) will definitely impact this 150 cr mega production. Hope it sustains for HR's sake!

Fan:

With the repeat and repeat of trailers and songs prior to the release, one gets the impression that the film is not about Mohenjo Daro. It is “in” Mohenjo Daro. The region is just a setting for your standard love story. It could have been any other region or village without affecting the story. Somewhat similar to John Cameroon’s Titanic, where the oversized boat was just a setting to tell a fictitious love story using real-life climax. Mohenjo Daro seems to be doing the same, using the real-life fate of a historical region to convey a fictitious love story. Thus all looking forward to Mohenjo Daro as a researched piece of cinema might just be futile.

Wait a little over 1 week and the suspense will be revealed.

Kapil:

"Not to mention, in their enthusiasm to tell viewers how old the civilization is, they mention Christ and Buddha who as far as I know had nothing to do with that region."
Christ and Buddha were not even born at that time. Indus Valley civilisation predated them.
As commented above, trailer does not excite at all. Expect another run of the mill movie.

meeta:

@Kapil Well, they are trying to say this is a story from even before Christ and Buddha. But, my point is that Christ and Buddha have nothing to do with where the civilisation was anyway, so how does it matter if it is before or after them.

Anuj:

A poor trailer, boring songs and lack of interest among the movie makers to go all out on promotion has pretty much sealed the film's fate even before its release. Its unfortunate that the maker of films like Lagaan and Jodhaa Akbar can make something as half hearted as this. As for Hrithik, its high time he chooses better scripts and does more films if he's to have any chance of retaining his fast diminishing fanbase. His next Kaabil with a flop director like Sanjay Gupta does him no favours. This guy's in desperate need of a big ticket movie like Dhoom or a a low scale limited targetted film like ZNMD with a positive word of mouth.

Ehinome Okojie:

Some people will complain about Dilwale, Dhoom 3, Kick and the likes and Mohenjo Daro (Mohenjo Jadoo) may no be better.

ehinome okojie:

After Rustom and Shivaay cinema runs, HR will be kicked out of the top 5.

ehinome okojie:

One arrogant HR has been pissing wogma off with his antics now so called flop factor (Akshay Kumar) will put shivering actor (HR) in his place.

ehinome okojie:

Lol arrogant HR fan

Anuj:

And a [comment partially deleted due to personal attack] FAN of an 80 cr grosser starrer known for his stammering [comment partially deleted due to personal attack] antics [comment partially deleted due to personal attack] has been [comment partially deleted due to personal attack] on this forum since god known when!

ANuP:

seems like HR just made the movie for working with Ashutosh Gowariker. orherwise there was nothing to choose this oversimplified and over saturated script. Not a single criteria to recommend this to anyone. even for the die hard fans its not worth of spending money..

ehinome okojie:

Lol at this HR fan Mohenjodaro got 9cr opening whereas Fan got 19cr opening.
In no particular order Aamir, Ranbir, John, SRK and HR are among my favourite stars.
I do not see myself as a fan of any actor.

ehinome okojie:

Los Angeles Airport officials detained SRK because they wanted to know how possible it is for duniya ka sabse bada superstar (FAN) can lose to a 12 yr old debutante (Mowgli/Neil Sethi)

ehinome okojie:

Lethal combination is the new term for disaster. Lifetime less than 55cr.

Anuj:

Lol at this Srk maniac making desperate attempts at being neutral now after multiple debacles like Raw.1, Don 2, Crappy new year , Carwale and Fan!

Anuj:

And the fanboy calls the self made hit machine Akshay Kumar a "flop factor". Lol

ehinome okojie:

Rustom was promoted by Rajni, Salman, and their fans, do not forget SRK fans who generally support Hrithik at box office have decided to show him his Aukaat ahead of the Kaabil-Raees clash and the neutrals have avoided him because of the Kangana, divorce, and box office manipulation scandals.

ehinome okojie:

At 40 - 42 yrs SRK had KANK, Don, CDI and OSO At the same age HR has only Bang Bang and you are talking of a comeback or is he the younger cousin of Salman Khan or does he want to remake Dabangg in multiplex style?

Anuj:

A Raees vs Kaabil clash would be suicide for both films. Both SRK and Hrithik are on treading on shallow waters right now after the debacles of Fan and MJD respectively. Both have been at the receiving end of the stick as far as clashes are concerned. Both films cater to only a niche multiplex audience and none of them have established directors or actresses. In such a scenario, none of these films can afford a clash.

KawKaw:

Mohenjo Daro is Hrithik Roshan's second collaboration with his Jodhaa Akbar director Ashutosh Gowariker. The outing is grand and the bygone era of burnt brick buildings and close knit community has to be seen and appreciated.

Fan:

Disclaimer: I am yet to watch the film and so I am basing my post on what I have heard and read elsewhere about the film.

@Anuj: Regarding the choice of scripts, I do agree (and I think most rational film followers would agree). However, where I disagree is the implied message that the selection of Mohenjo Daro by Hrithik was a mistake on his part.

I do not believe that is was an error of judgment by Roshan Jr. On paper, Ashutosh Gowariker making a period drama (after the commercial successes of his previous period dramas like Lagaan and Jodha-Akbar) is a project that very few would have guessed could go awry. Look at the reactions on this single page alone, more articles on the first weekend than the average film (Sultan barring) this year. Just goes to show how many (me included) had thought that the film would be a blockbuster given Gowariker's penchant for larger than life canvas and story telling. Thus, blaming HR for selecting Ashutosh's Mohenjo Daro is not fair. Any actor in place of HR would have had signed on the project without any questions asked, not knowing that even the greats do falter once in a while.

As regards Kaabil, honestly I was surprised to learn some months ago that HR is starring in a Sanjay Gupta film. There I do agree, it is a massive risk that Hrithik has taken. Only glimmer of hope is that it is a home production and that the father-son(and maybe daughter) have influenced the film making to positive effect.

ehinome okojie:

SRK depreciates overseas and HR depreciates everywhere, lets see what Shivaay will do to Karan Johar and Ranbir Kapoor.

Anuj:

@Fan : More than the choice of films, its the "lack" of films that's been HR's biggest albatross around his neck. On paper, even choosing BANG BANG was not the wrong choice considering the box office performance of a similar venture DHOOM 2 in 2006. Ditto for the choice of a movie like Mohenjo Daro. However, what's baffling is that he's been taking 18-24 months to complete most of his projects. He was on top between 2003-08 and that was the time for him to capitalize but instead he went on a 2 year hiatus and returned with something like KITES which is neither her nor there sort of film. Then he followed it up with GUZAARISH which was bound to be doomed right from go thanks to its broody content. ZNMD, Agneepath & Krrish 3 did give him an opening but once again he's failed to capitalize due to long absence from the silver screen. It seems like his ego has gotten the better of him and he's perhaps still living in 2006 in the times of Dhoom 2 and Krrish. He needs to select mid range films from now, something like Akshay has mastered over the last 3 years. The Hrithik of 2016 is not the Hrithik of 2006 who can provide record breaking openings and recovery for 150cr+ productions. He needs to work his way back into reckoning by choosing low scale content oriented films and providing good returns to investors as well as a good word of mouth to his audiences. And most importantly, he needs to do a film every 8-9 months at least!

http://simplebollywoodreviewer.blogspot.in/2016/08/mohenjo-daro-review-too-much-effort-too.html

Anuj:

Yes, SRK depreciates overseas and more importantly he "crashes" in home territory. Even his hard core fanbase of urban metropolitan multiplexes have deserted him with below par response to films like HNY, Dilwale and FAN fiasco.

Anuj:

@Fan : Last I heard is that HR's rejected YRF's THUG which has now gone to Aamir and is instead working on a Sanjay Gupta directorial venture. Now what exactly do we say apart from "taking his stardom for granted".

Fan:

@Anuj: Yes, Hrithik needs to increase the films that he does over a period of time. At the same time his personal injury during the shooting of Bang Bang, plus the emotional traumas of Suzanne and Kangana episode are not helping neither. He has the skills, he is just going through a rough phase in his life that is reflecting in his choice of films.

@ehinome: As regards Shivaay, I have my fears. From the bottom of my heart I want the production to succeed and deliver the Diwali dhamaka it is promising. On the other hand, the past experience shows that when Ajay Devgan goes overboard with his home production in terms of money spent, he completely ignores the story and content of the film. He ends up spending a fortune on special effects, gimmicks and other glossy finishing (remember Raju Chacha, Toonpur Ka Superhero??) - and in the process he completely ignores the content. Naively thinking that the special effects will attract people to the films. Thus, I am scared with his high budget extravaganza like Shivaay that he might go overboard on effects without story. Just praying that this does not turn out to be the Diwali like in the year of Blue, another glossily packaged product without any real contents.

ehinome okojie:

I do not bother myself with who is delivering hits or flops. There was a time Salman Khan had his golden phase of failures 2000-9. Does anyone remember that phase? I am enjoying the current success of Salman and Aamir.

ehinome okojie:

When Ranveer Singh clashed with Varun and SRK he gave 11.5cr opening but lethal combination of UTV, Ashu, and HR clash with Tinu Desai and a 49yr old Akshay and does 9cr if not less after a 22 month hiatus. At least SRK does not open with below 17cr. SRK never lost a clash home and away since Asoka vs Indian. Losing to a senior actor raises doubts about you. Imagine Salman Khan losing to Govinda in a clash as at 8 yrs ago.
The way to go for Bollywood is to embrace content. Even Neil Sethi has done better than every Hindi Star this year except Salman Khan.

ehinome okojie:

SRK only maintained his status of being an average/above average star sustained by heavy marketing. So his FAN phase at home is only an expose on his true stardom.
It is not a depreciation.

Anuj:

Cumulative stardom is not about phases and patches. Its about the amount of popularity an actor achieves over a career span of 2-3 decades. The reason Salman is the biggest star of his generation is not only because of his performance in the last 6 years but also because of what he achieved in the 90's. This guy has 9 top annual grossers, 2 biggest decade hits (MPK & HAHK) and countless number of blockbusters, a feat achieved by neither Aamir nor SRK. As of now, Aamir and SRK are equivalent in terms of box office performance over the last 25 years. However, if Aamir continues in the same vein as he has in the last 8 years, he'd soon be comfortably ahead of SRK in terms of career box office achievements.

Anuj:

In today's age of digital marketing and social media promotions, the longevity of both actors and actresses have increased by leaps and bounds. No actor of the 60's,70's and 80's era (not even the greats like Dilip Kumar and Amitabh Bachchan) could maintain their stardom beyond their late 40's. Even popular actresses like Hema Malini and Sridevi faded out by their early 30's. But in today's age, we have a 65 year old Rajnikanth and a 50 year old Salman Khan as the 2 biggest superstars of this country. A Katrina, Kareena and Priyanka are still a top rung stars in her mid 30's. Hence Hrithik losing out to a 49 year old Akshay is a nothing to be alarmed about.

Anuj:

This clash is more about a poorly made and inaccurate historical with extremely low buzz and negativity surrounding it from all quarters losing out to a movie that had an impactful trailer and perhaps the most well marketed Akshay film since Rowdy Rathore. At a cumulative level, Hrithik would always remain a bigger star than Akshay as he's got 3 annual top grossers and 5 major career blockbusters compared to 0 top annual grossers and just 2 major blockbusters for Akshay. Hrithik has had 2 films that have recorded over 3 crore footfalls and 3 with over 2 crore footfalls while Akshay has had just 2 films with over 2 cr footfalls. No doubt Akshay has risen from the doldrums that he was in in the late 90s and early 2000's and worked hard to reach where he has, but the term "Superstar" can never be associated with him unless he delivers hits of the magnitude of Dhoom 2, KNPH, KMG, Krrish and Krrish 3. The 3 Khans of course are at a "megastar" level (in media language) with Salman being the biggest among them at par with Dilip Kumar and Amitabh Bachchan in bollywood history.

Fan:

@Anuj: Regardless of the commercial reception of Mohenjo Daro, what is your PERSONAL opinion on the film? Is it really that bad as being made out on the internet and as reflected in commercial numbers? Or is it just a witch hunt against Ashutosh or/and Hrithik.

PS: I have yet to watch it. Most likely next weekend 26/27. And hence trying to see your objective opinion on the merits (or demerits of the film).

Fan:

@Anuj: in my post above, I am assuming that you have watched the film.

Anuj:

@Fan : You could read my review for Mohenjo Daro as well as other films that I watch on my blog, the links to which i post on this forum from time to time. With regards to Hrithik Roshan, yes indeed he seems to have been isolated in the industry and a lot of it has been his own creation. The manipulation of Krrish 3 box office collections, the backing out of Shuddhi and Thug (both of which are potential blockbusters) and the most bizarre and needless Kangana controversy seems to have alienated him in the industry. The evidence of which was the way in which almost the entire industry, right from Salman Khan to Karan Johar to Ranveer Singh to Alia Bhatt came out in support of Rustom. But eventually, the main reason for MJD's failure is a boring and uninspiring trailer, below par VFX (compared to Baahubali and Bajirao Mastani), an outdated script and a completely half hearted and dismal publicity campaign. HR is big enough a star to come out of this fiasco especially considering the fact that he has established home production of his own. However, the one's to suffer the most would be Pooja Hegde (whose got a disastrous launch vehicle) and Ashutosh Gowarikar whose given his 3rd consecutive dud and would now definitely find it hard to convince investors to invest in his ideas.

http://simplebollywoodreviewer.blogspot.in/

Fan:

Thanks Anuj.

Fan:

The news story on the internet today is that Hrithik is out of Thug because he demanded 60 cr fees. What is the real truth, god only knows.

On big franchises, it seems Dhoom4 is announced with SRK and Ranveer Singh (so out goes Jr. B).

Anuj:

@Fan : I don't believe such stories. Most of them are planted by opportunists with vested interested and publicity seeking hounds. I'm sure HR is experienced and sensible enough not to make such bizarre demands at this stage of his movie career. However that being said, whatever his reasons for backing out of THUG are, its a tactical blunder on his part. Just like it was a blunder to choose BANG BANG over SHUDDHI back in 2014. If he continues in the same vein, soon he'll be seen in his home productions alone!

Anuj:

What was feared after watching the first trailer of the film back in June has now officially been confirmed. Mohenjo Daro is a fiasco of epic proportions! The movie has not only made monumental losses for its distributors, it has also been completely rejected by all sections of the audiences alike. There are some films like Swades and Lakshya which despite their below par box office returns end up making an impact among a certain section of the audience and acquire a cult status in the long run. Unfortunately, Mohenjo Daro does not belong to this category either. For Hrithik Roshan, Mohenjo Daro is a huge setback, perhaps the greatest setback of his career since 2003. Although he did have huge flops in Kites and Guzaarish back in 2010, the circumstances back then were a bit different. Kites in spite of being a huge flop was a solid opener nevertheless. The movie opened at 10 cr nett plus on a non holiday Friday in the month of May. That would equate to roughly 18 cr nett in today’s scenario. Guzaarish was a low grosser no doubt, but even that movie acquired a bit of acclaim among the urban audience as well as the critics alike. In comparison, Mohenjo Daro has failed on every front.

http://bollywoodboxofficedata.blogspot.in/

Fan:

I did watch this, even though a bit over a week later than I had planned.

The canvas on which the movie is made is huge, Hrithik is A1 in performance, music (Rahman) that seemed alright when heard on earphones or home systems was certainly pretty good with Dolby in the theatre, Pooja Hegde is stunning, attention to small details is a bit patchy but once in a while the brilliance of Ashutosh Gowariker shows through. Unfortunately where the movie falls flat is the story line. It is so banal, and has been repeated so many times in Hindi films over the decades, that there is just no juice left in it to extract. It tries to do a Bahubaali in large parts but fails miserably.

I think that the makers were swayed away from the central theme by trying to show (spoon feed) too much on how life was in 2016 BC and how little discoveries of now "accepted" things (animals like cats, dogs, horses) were an object of enormous surprise then. The makers got carried away in showing all such useless and probably incorrect portrayals of those times. Imagine somebody making a film in 4016 AD on the times of 2016 AD and showing how people get amazed with the discovery of a smartphone that can make a call but also surf the internet. Looks and sounds banal.

Despite the shortcomings, from time to time the attention to details came through. The reference of second person in the more familiar form of "tu" (in Hindi) instead of "tum" or "aap" irrespective of hierarchy, age or relation. In fact, I do not recollect having heard "tum" or "aap". Interesting observation on equality during those times. Also: the subtle but clear signs on the equal stature given to women in those times was another sign of having done a little bit of research.

This was one film where the makers could have used the voice over (like in Lagaan) to quickly introduce the context, and once again at the end to conclude the proceedings - which I think would have reduced the torture to the audience. Especially the last scene, I almost yelled out saying that "This is impossible, please don't say what I think you will say". And lo & behold Hrithik says the word and the film came to an end, with me almost falling off my seat laughing at that. Honestly, a voice over to finish off in a dignified manner would have been much better.

And I cannot sign off this post without a special mention: In the film, we have a Lothar, and we have a Hojo. As a friend remarked, we were waiting for Mandrake to show up and do a miracle to save the film.

A rating of so-so mainly to give credit for the grandulence of the sets, performances, action scenes, and music. Story gets a complete and big zero from me.

Leave a new comment