Kahani Hamare Mahabharat Ki Review

Kahani Hamaray Mahabharat

This is not a movie review but the review of a television serial on the epic Mahabharat by Ekta Kapoor.

I was eagerly looking foward to Ekta Kapoor’s version of Mahabharath titled Kahani Hamare Mahabharat Ki, so much so that I even paid for an add-on package from Tata Sky just to catch Mahabharat every night from Monday to Thursday. Was expecting something not just bigger than the previous Mahabharat by B.R. Chopra, but a better product overall. Very high expectations, i know!

I became a fan of Mahabharat mainly due to the spectacular and historic Mahabharat of those good old days directed by B.R. Chopra and Ravi Chopra. The epic was aired every sunday morning, for 2 years between 1988 – 1990. The great thing about it was every character seemed to be born to play their role. Mukesh Khanna was brilliant as Bheeshma, when you think of Lord Krishna the picture of Nitish Bhardwaj in those costumes still comes to mind. Every other character right from Duryodhan (Puneet Issar), Arjun (Arjun), Shakuni (Gufi Paintal), Bhim (Praveen Kumar), Dhritrashtra (Girja Shankar), Draupadi (Rupa Ganguly), Karna (Pankaj Dheer), Yudhistir, Nakul, Sahadev and even Drona were just perfect for their roles. Its like you cant imagine anyone else in those legendary roles.

So it was an uphill task for Ekta Kapoor right from the day she decided to remake the epic. After the first episode that was telecasted last night on 9X at 9 PM, i was sorely disappointed.

It looked like a normal Ekta Kapoor’s Saas Bahu serial! To start off it wasnt realistic, atleast Ekta Kapoor should have had a look at Jodhaa Akbar, a costume drama which was presented in a very realistic way by Ashutosh Gowariker.

The camera was rolling all over the faces from every angle possible, a lot of thundering, lightening and noise. The characters from whatever little we got to see of them, just didnt look the character, they looked like models with a perfectly toned body in a costume drama for a historical. Maybe its too early to judge them, time will tell. The costumes except for Duryodhan’s was pretty good.

Coming to the performances, Anita Hansandani as draupadi, one of the most important characters in Mahabharat, was horrible. Dialogue delivery was the biggest flaw. She shrieked at the top of her voice, cried like she does in all those saas bahu series and in comparison to Rupa Ganguly, failed miserably. The intensity in her performance was just lacking. She made the strong character of Draupadi look weak! Shakuni is bald, he was pretty good although his laughter was sometimes annoying. Dushassan looked evil, performed well. Duryodhan looked like a evil superman in those costumes. Dont want to comment on Aryan Vaid’s performance just yet, more on him in the coming days!

Overall, after one episode it has been a major disappointment. Hopefully Ekta Kapoor can make it more realistic and Anita can improve her performance! Will keep updating this post, who knows the characters might grow on me and my opinion might change.

Ekta Kapoor’s Kahani Hamaray Mahabharat Ki is aired every Monday to Thursday from 9 to 9:30 PM Indian Standard Time on 9X.

Do drop in your comments and views on Kahani Hamaray Mahabharat Ki!

Updates

Episode 2 (8th July 2008) – Ved Vyas starts narrating the epic tale of Mahabharat to Lord Ganesh. Shantanu is smitten by Ganga’s beauty, accepts all her conditions and marries her. Ganga kills his sons one after another, till their 8th son, Bheeshma is born. The pace is fantastic, doesnt drag like most historicals. Performances were top notch today. Saakshi Tanwar, Parvathi of Kahani Ghar Ghar Ki, looks ethereal as Ganga. Kiran Karmarkar, Om of Kahani, is perfect for the role of Shantanu. The locales of Ladakh are breath taking. I still hate the excessive background music, thundering and camera zooming in on the faces of actors. How i wish, Ekta makes it slightly more realistic and different from her daily soaps. More tomorrow.. Today’s episode rating – 8 / 10.

Episode 3 (9th July 2008) – Shantanu breaks his promise, questions Ganga. Ganga reveals her identity and goes into detail about the curse that they got from Brahma, also the curse of the 7 kids that she eventually killed by drowning them into the pure water of River Ganga. She takes Devavrat (Bheeshma) their 8th son with her, promising Shantanu that she would return him back to the place he belongs to, when the king of Hastinapur needs him. Devavrat is trained and educated by Parashuram. Devavrat, now 16, returns to Hastinapur and blocks the waterflow of Ganga with his arrows… That ends the 3rd episode of the epic Mahabharat.

The 3rd episode was much slower in pace compared to the 2nd, filled with excessive dialogues and unnecessary special effects. Performances were once again good. The actor portraying the role of young Devavrat, suits the character. 3rd episode rating – 5 / 10

Episode 4 (10th July 2008) – Devavrat and his father battle, Ganga intervenes and reveals their identity to each other. Devavrat is now committed to his father and Hastinapur. 16 more years pass by and Devavrat has now matured..

The 4th episode was like Kanav said in the comments below, a complete disaster. The background music is deafening, trademark Ekta Kapoor slo-mo effects and camera work continue to irritate. A realistic feel, so very important for a historical is completely missing. 4th episode rating – 3 / 10

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Comments

Anuradha:  (July 8, 2008 at 4:41 pm)

I agree with you on this, but sorry, the costumes were not good.. They were dressed more like Greek gods rather than Indian mythological characters.. The sets were bad.. Thr was no reality in the show overall… For those who have watched BR Chopra’s Mahabharat, its tough for them to watch this version as they will more compare between the two versions and thr wl be only disappointment..

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Ravan:  (July 8, 2008 at 5:54 pm)

Common guys!!!!
Stop this..
It was awesome yesterday!!!!
Great start Ekta..
No one else could dare to do this…
Come out from those old outdated screen-drama that you guys have seen….
Coz u hav seen them that way -- u r thinking this way!!

If this was shown 1st time… then these characters might have reached evryone….
But, its great to see such daring ppl in industry …

Cm’n we are in 21st century…
Let kids grow watching this version….

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Indicine Team:  (July 8, 2008 at 6:49 pm)

Just because she dared, doesnt mean the product is good. Lets wait and watch.

I didnt like the characters, the Pandavas were more like robots than real human beings. Hope for the best though!

 
anuraadha:  (July 8, 2008 at 11:24 pm)

No I agree with Raavan this was stuff that is daringly different and away from the calendar art that we’re used to . . . it’s a notch up on everything on tv so far . . . but yes Anita awas disastrous and the Pandavas not seen . . . think it was just a gimmick as a first ep and it managed to surprise though that’s all . . . I love the styling and the sets and locations, very classy stuff . . . think the actors need to get believable as the charcaters they play . . . it could also do with some ‘thehraav’ its a little all over the place right now with too much of Makarand . . . and by the way Indicine the name’s Ved Vyas not Vedav . . . it’s just pronounced that way . . .

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shinna:  (July 9, 2008 at 1:10 am)

i agree wif ravan s well..
it wazz n awesome.. epi.. i luvedd it!!! in my point of view.. anita’s actin rocked… nd the pandavs were nt robot.. atlest.. robotss dnt av 6 pckss.. they lukdd hwatt… and sakshi luked stunninn…. giv dem a brek guyzz.. deyy doinn bloody gud job….
applause to all em’ hard workerss..
ope 2 c mree gudd epi.. in d futuree..
for now m so into dis show…
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

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sudeshna:  (July 9, 2008 at 3:55 am)

i dont actually agree to anuradha….nobody knows what the costumes used to be hundreds of years ago……in that case we are allowed to imagine the costumes of these mythological characters from anything to everything……..there wasnt any specific description of the costumes in the epic tale…………………….dont you agree with me guys?

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surpanakha:  (July 9, 2008 at 8:22 am)

I feel drawing comparisons between chopra’s and kapoor’s mahabharat will not be a fair judgement to the show. Kapoor’s effort to give mahabharat a contemporay look is certainly commendable. It will be premature to talk about the performance of the main characters….except Draupadi. She is good otherwise, except her diction which is not up to the mark really. But I appreciate her effort and well, I liked the fiery element in her performance. The performances of Vyas, Draupadi and Dushshasan were high pitched on the first day, while Duryodhan’s was a subtle one. I didnt like Dhritarashtra and Shakuni….They are crude. The makers have also missed out on minute details. Though Ganga took extreme care to immerse her first son in the water, but from the second time onwards she didnot bother to sit even and just dropped them into the water. The first time they chose to drop the baby into a pond hahaha…they must have forgotten to shoot it near a river…
But the actors looked good and fresh on their indi-grecian attires -- one of the few reasons that has kept me glued to a show ater a long time.

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Harshit:  (July 9, 2008 at 9:40 am)

Cmon ppl…its 2 early 2 comment i guess…if u c d first few episodes of Mr. B.R CHOPRA’S mahabharat u all would have had d same reaction…i agree with sudeshna its all bt work of fiction n imagination bout the clothng..same was done bt mr chopra n same is done by ekta bt d prob is we al have d characters of mr chopra’s mahabharat in our mind’s,so it wud take sum tym 2 adopt 2 d new version of MAHABHARAT.. bt i think this one is gonna b bigger<> n better<>.. great work EKTA!!
CHEERS!!!

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asha:  (July 9, 2008 at 10:34 am)

hii all, well i too watched the two episodes of kahani hamari mahabharat ki. it ws good. but i noticed one thing and thought of sharing here. It ws said that Lord Ganesha wrote the story of mahabharata from his teeth (Danta) thts why we see his one Danta broken. but in this story i saw he ws using the peecock feather to write… i donno Ekta ignored this thing!!! I had heard the news tht she ws soo perfect to make the story tht for the role of bala krishna, she ws searching the boy who kundali matches Lord Krishna’s. But she forgot this thing!!!!

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ritu:  (July 9, 2008 at 12:41 pm)

i do not think ekta can get out of her loud saas bahu dramas! The first episode was horrible.anita cannot act, let alone as draupadi.she actually made me laugh.maybe the 2nd episode was a bit better but i found the costumes disgusting.it looked c grade.hopefully ekta will realise wher the fault is and rectify it…!

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Diya Roy:  (July 9, 2008 at 2:17 pm)

I agree with you totally Indicine team … though I didn’t watch the 2nd episode … Draupadi is really horrible and intolerable and overall , the first show didn’t seem to me any better than a typical shnaas bahu serial .

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Riyaz:  (July 9, 2008 at 3:15 pm)

its such a horrible star cast and terrible background thunders/lightning effects, i wish if some other channel telecast the old BR chopra’s version at the same time to stop Ekta from troubling the young generation who are trying to understand our epics in some innocent way……………………

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rashi:  (July 9, 2008 at 4:10 pm)

bakwwas………….band karo ye mahabharat…………………..
kyunki iske cast n crew bilkul bhi acche nahi hain n anita hasandani is hopeless ……………..

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Nandu:  (July 9, 2008 at 4:11 pm)

Well… I still find a real frshness in Ekta’s Mahabharat..Afterall we r addcited to the Chopra version..It did complete more than 5 runs till now through different channels..so why not see something different in its presentation..I really liked the 1st episode..And there s a justification why many of the faces were not shown..this portion was shown to convinve that this was the root cuase for Kurukshetra war..I think they will air it once when when the story reaches the incident…with a full version and emotions of all…Its true that Natasha needs 2 improve in her dialogue delivery..however the camera angles, frames and treatment..everything is something fresh for us..

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Payal:  (July 9, 2008 at 6:14 pm)

oh come on guys! dare to think differently. I hate ekta and no one hates her more than me but i do applaud her for her attempt. She gave a new breath to the old epic. She has made it viewable for younger genertion by eradicating all those heavy urdu dialogues. All the other attempts to revive ramayan and other epics have failed to match the original bcos they copies the original and re-made it. thts wht there were heavy comparison and they failed to live upto the expectation. She “made” the mahabhara rather than re-making it. But i fail to understand one thing, why are pandavas or all hastinapur rajas and jantas dressed in black. maybe bcos thts the color of truth. i loved dushyasan. he looked so evil i wanted to kick him. ya but the pace in the first episode was too fast. there were no heavy dialogues of draupadi with her sasur and gurus. but then who knows what actually happened apart from ved vyas who is dead!. The second episode started with ganapati bappa travelling on mouse, never seen before. It was very cute and I must say she has used all the accessories of ganpati to his benefit, like putting a gold chain on his trunk to hide the trunk glued to his face. In short I am quite impressed with ekta’s mahabharat and i am glued to my tv from mon-thurs at 9 pm. I just pray she continues like that and improves!

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Sunil:  (July 9, 2008 at 9:54 pm)

I agree with some of the comments that give about Ekta’s Mahabharat but it is not the Mahabharat of India, she already said (Kahani Hamare Mahabharat ki) so this is the Kahani of Balaji Telefilms and she narrated it. Only the one word for this serial is that HOPELESS HOPELESS HOPELESS HOPELESS and HOPELESS. This is because she only repeat the same actors of her serial not new faces why this . She always save money by using same actors in here every serial. Every actor’s performance is HOPELESS even Saakshi Tanwar , when ever i see her on screen i only remember her as Parvati of Kahani ghar ghar ki not Ganga of Mahabharat.

Some one said that think differently, why, Mahabharat means Mahabharat not (Kahani hamare Mahabharat ki) Ok lets see what she show on next episodes I think only one word HOPELESS same actors nothing else.

My son like this Mahabharat and said cartoon not Mahabharat.

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kanav:  (July 9, 2008 at 11:24 pm)

hello frenz..
i am a student of animation…n all that matters to me is…awsome special efects n camera work….but the second episode really disappoinded me…because of the use of those traditional ekta kapoor style…..my sincere request is to stop those irritating camera shifts n hosh fosh sounds……n keep it decent..i m loookin forward to smthint extremely creative n mindblowing.

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Indicine Team:  (July 10, 2008 at 12:09 am)

Exactly my thoughts Kanav. The camera shifts, zooming in and around the actors faces, is highly irritating. The background music too needs to change, too much of thundering and lighting almost 15 -- 20 times every episode.

Update -- Episode 3 Review has been added.

 
Hersh Goenka:  (July 10, 2008 at 8:52 am)

I could not stop laughing as Ganesha came on. At one level one laughs -for reasons that I will explain- at another level one must feel angry.
I haven’t seen a worse caricature of Ganesha. Now, Ganesha is a very lovable kind of a god -- playful, strangely ‘constructed’, forever seen as one who heralds good omen. Here. with his tubular trunk (not a tapering one as it should have been) and the golden covering up of where the tube joins the nose is so funny and tell-tale. In these days of great special effects and computer graphics, it should have been possible to do a much better, seamless job on this aspect rather than allow a tackiness that belongs to the films of Babubhai Mistry! Then the mouse on which he rode! Mouse as Ganesha’s vehicle is only a symbol, but here the mouse is of elephantine proportions since Ganesha is riding it. It is clear that the mouse, the background and Ganesha were all shot separately and put together on the computer. Again, tackiness writ large all over.
I can’t claim to be much of a tv serial watcher, but I know that at his juncture in our technical competence, we should have been able to do a much better job.
‘Horrible’ is the only adjective I can use if I feign to be a serious critic, and ‘laughable’ is the other one I would use if I went back to my compassionate avatar of an amused telly-watcher.

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kanav:  (July 10, 2008 at 8:51 pm)

hello again frenzz!!!
one more thing about the third episode…..no body noticed i suppose.The scene of boy killing the wolf is ditto copied from movie 300…heehee….bt still.. a good reproduction….n one more sincere request…pls produce some nice background score….which can be exploited very nicely in an epic…use of tablas,sitar,flutes…n all those totally awsome stuff!!

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Kal:  (July 10, 2008 at 9:40 pm)

what a bogus 3rd episode, the scene where Bheeshma or Devrath is fighting with a giant fox or animal was ripped directly from the movie 300. seriously why are they adding false cut scenes to the original. i am really pissed. the whole closeup of the faces and lighthing was driving me mad..
the direction is going to be another saas bahu types.. so i think i have made my decission from the first 3 episodes.

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Kal:  (July 10, 2008 at 9:42 pm)

oops i dint see your comment Kanav.. but i disagree its not a good reproduction.. you cant twist and turn an epic into a masala saas bahu kinda show..

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Kal:  (July 10, 2008 at 9:45 pm)

and i have to agree with Hersh, they have done an absolute disaster of a job. to portay Lord Ganesh… its funny but its not at the same time.. they are acting like its a soap opera when its actually not…

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kanav:  (July 10, 2008 at 11:56 pm)

hello frenz….
nw the 4th episode hs done a complete disaster. they hv restarted thoose fosh fush camera n sound effects like all other soaps.. dialougue bhi dhang se suna nahi jaata.. those pathetic slow motion effects.. pls ekta dont play with our expectations.. promo ws reallymind blowing.. because of that only i have been makin up mah mind to watch it daily.. but today it really tested mah patience.. pls dont involve this one into your TRP funda.. do some decent job!! n do it with full determination!!

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rhoxanne:  (July 11, 2008 at 5:26 am)

thanks for the reviews! i hope arjun and the other pandavas enter soon

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