Drona poster

Drona

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

quick review:

It could have been a good, entertaining story for kids, enjoyable by adults equally, but over-dramatization claims another victim.

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Director: Goldie Behl
Running time: 150 minutes
Genres: Adventure, Kids
More Movie Info

Drona - Preview

NOT A REVIEW - Just hoping that money spent on movie-making will take its turn and drive the economy somehow...

The news section of the official site declares proudly that Rs. 22 crores were spent on the villain alone! This of course, includes the look, the costumes and the props. But, it also includes his castle, the time spent shooting there, etc. Also for some reason this castle in Prague had to be rebuilt in Mumbai.

The entire budget is claimed to be around Rs. 90 crores and is insured for Rs. 50 crores.

Yet, 25% of the budget being spent on just one character sounds excessive. Besides, the look came across as comical to me. DronaKayKay2

But then again, the director/writer says

Drona is a world where Amar Chitra Katha meets Frank Miller.
In addition, the movie's wiki page announces,
Drona has been described as a Harry Potter meets Indiana Jones movie, but with an original story

Even if we assume Goldie was referring to Amar Chitra Katha style of animation and not the 500+ titles, it'd mean there's a combination of 3 groups of fictional characters. Hell yeah, it's going to be original...

Anyway, it's interesting that a lot of the buzz around the movie also revolves around the lead lady, Priyanka Chopra.

The actress will be seen performing some pretty amazing stunts in the film. If reports are to believed, then Abhishek has very little to do in the film.

Wonder what the Priyanka Chopra PR team has to say about the "we decided to make action movies when we were diaper buddies" pact between Goldie Behl and Abhishek Bachchan?

If this means Abhishek is not over-exposed just for the sake of showcasing the Bachchan Jr. and has as much screen presence as the 3-in-1 'script' requires, nothing like it. No?

It also promises to show us "never before seen" special effects and some mind-blowing action.

Well, the other Rs. 68 crores must have gone somewhere. I'm hoping these 90 crores of someone's wealth has gone into a decent story and a good film. But, I guess we can feel good that at least the money is changing hands and will do its teeny-weeny bit for the global economy - it was shot in Namibia and Czech Republic, remember!

The site's media kit asks me if I've been Dronafied yet? I don't know what that means, but I surely don't want to be Drona-anything till I see what it is all about. Meanwhile, I'm hoping that the movie won't drone and make viewers resort to rona (weeping)... (phew! Got those out of my system, so can think of something else for the review!!)

- meeta, a part of the audience

There's a blunder in the credits. They forgot a title card -

Starring:

Blue petal, the digital ancestral spirit

and

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

16 reviewers(?) - 1 yays 4 so-so 11 nays

Warning: clicking on "full review" will take you to an external website that could contain spoilers.

Thumbs up, by Janhvi Patel, indya.com : ...The story is simple, spun around the eternal battle of good versus evil. The beginning is just like other superhero movies and Harry Potter: the hero thinks he is ordinary until he discovers his special powers by accident and his world takes a 360 degree turn.... full review

So-So, M TV : ...Drona threatens to return as a sequel. We just hope in his second outing Drona gives the audiences something to cheer about and not an unintentionally comic rehash of Amar Chitra Katha.... full review

So-So, Movie Talkies : ...It has been very well crafted, but it all goes awry because of the lack of a coherent script. That is little sad, because one can see the amount of hard work and the oodles of money that have been pumped into the project.... full review

So-So, by Lidia Ostepeev, Planet Bollywood : ...Goldie Behl does not have the basic requirements to create cinematic magic. He does not have an engaging story or particularly vibrant characters apart from his villain... full review

So-So, by Sonia Chopra, Sify Movies : ...Is he a storybook superhero, a mythological figure, a prince, or an ordinary guy who forgot to shave? Nope, it’s Drona. What a drone, really.... full review

Thumbs down, by N K Deoshi, Apun Ka Choice : ......And that’s pretty much what ‘Drona’ is all about. Visuals, and visuals, and some more visuals. Story and script may go to hell. Or still better, to the asuras.... full review

Thumbs down, by Baradwaj Rangan, Blogical Conclusion, The New Sunday Express : ...Abhishek Bachchan finds his true self in a lushly imagined, if somewhat generic, fantasy. Plus, a woefully silly thriller.... full review

Thumbs down, by Sanjay Ram, Business of Cinema : ...Drona in every sense takes that further and actually offers a fantasy ride, with a very unlike anything villain, make believe lands and time warps. But Drona suspends beliefs to such extent that believing and actually riding the wave is not even an option.... full review

Thumbs down, by Deep, Deep's Home : ...Nothing great in the story but actually, in these kind of movies, the screenplay plays the major role. But unfortunately, this movie lacked it badly.... full review

Thumbs down, by Martin D'Souza, Glamsham.com : ...The huge hype will pull in the crowds, but it will be another task to keep them in during the course of the movie. You go back with just one thought after watching DRONA, a colossal waste!... full review

Thumbs down, by Rajeev Masand, IBN Live : ...To be able to enjoy a film like Drona you have to be willing to suspend disbelief and your common sense too. If you succeed in doing that, you might agree it's a sincere attempt to translate onto Indian screens a kind of modern mythology.... full review

Thumbs down, by Taran Adarsh, IndiaFM : ...DRONA is a big film in all respects -- big stars, big canvas, big expenditure on SFX, big ad spend, big expectations. Sadly, it's a big, big, big letdown as well.... full review

Thumbs down, by Ashok Nayak, Now Running.com : ...Drona clearly lacks soul to be a superhero / fantasy film. The movie lies on a wafer thin and totally defective plotline that is weakly narrated.... full review

Thumbs down, by Sukanya Verma, Rediff : ...Goldie Behl's Drona tries its first baby steps in this direction. Even though he is visibly inspired by various sources and promptly botches up at several places... full review

Thumbs down, by Nikhat Kazmi, Times of India : ...For the rest, the mumbo-jumbo about an ordinary hero, Aditya (Abhishek) who metamorphoses into super hero, Drona, after donning a magical bracelet and stops the bad guy from sipping amrit, leaves you cold and unmoved.... full review

Twitter reviews for this movie are not available.

1 readers - 1 yays 0 so-so 0 nays

Yay! Thumbs Up, by Namramuni : 99

This page has additional observations, other than the ones noted in the main review.

Plot Summary

The elixir of life is hidden on earth. And Drona (Abhishek Bachchan) is in charge of protecting it from the current demon Riz (Kay Kay Menon). Sonia (Priyanka Chopra ) is in charge of seeing Drona through his task.

What Worked

  • The fairty-tale, step-motherly outfits used for Drona's foster mother.
  • Picturisation of the 'khushi' song. I liked the way Abhishek Bachchan doesn't lose the sad expression in the song when he is out of his fantasy world and in his real world.
  • Riz's clone. Awesome makeup.
  • The idea that the villain is so creepy that he can hurt his clone, he has created himself. Unfortunately it stays there and nothing comes of it.
  • Background music with sounds of vulture/creepy bird squeals when the villain is on screen.
  • The concept of a sandstorm putting fire out.
  • The idea of Drona and Sonia starting towards knowing the secret, step by step when they enter 'Raazpur'
  • Color scheme used to show the town and inhabitants of "Raazpur". Looked like an imaginary world.
  • the idea of Sonia being hypnotized to do what she was made to do.

What did not

Note: This section simply lists the things that I did not like in this movie. This is not the overall impression about this movie. Please read the full review here

  • Every time I see the Shah Rukh look alike in a movie (playing Drona's foster brother), I feel the makers are taking a dig at Shah Rukh Khan.
  • The brick sliding scene to show a hole in the wall (taken from Harry Potter) is done very shabbily.
  • The rotating graphically designed props, the electric waves, the test tubes in Riz's palace. They looked very shoddy.
  • The weapon Sonia uses in her introductory sequence. What exactly was the purpose? And not that I'm complaining, why does it not show up in the rest of the movie?
  • What was the entire garage set-up for? A song?
  • Why did Sonia want to bail out?
  • The cardboard sets of Raazpur. Why show them breaking down when it is going to be so obvious that they are sets.
  • The revolving blue petals. They did their thing for 120 seconds too long. The ancestral spirit seemed to be in no hurry!

Parental Guidance:

  • 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 - Cast, crew, links

Official Sites:
Director:
Supporting Cast:
Dialogues:
Cinematography:
Action Choreography:
Music Director:
Costume Designer:
Running time:
150 minutes
Reviewer:
Language:
Country:
Genres:

Comments (5)

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Shashi, whether or not Kay Kay Menon has found his due, we'll know only after we've seen the movie, right? Interesting question about the hit ratio, will see if I can set something up in the changes we are planning.

That is strange, Rohan!

Thanks Pankaj! Hmmm...piracy :(

Drona should get junk movie of the year award , i went for sleep during the movie.

one more priyanka plzzzz kabhi kuwait aao na plzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzlove u 4 everrrrr

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