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!
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