Mohenjo Daro Review by Indicine
First things first, Mohenjo Daro is not a historical drama or a historical romance. It is a love story which happens to be a fantasy and has the setting of the Indus valley civilization as its background. Ashutosh Gowariker does a neat job of placing the love story in that era but the movie doesn’t quite come together in the end. It all feels a bit disjointed where we get to see snippets of life from that era for a few scenes and then a cheesy love story for the next few scenes and the cycle continues. There’s also the terrible visual effects work in the climax. How did Gowariker allow it to appear in the final movie? It is painful to see that Gowariker has forgotten to make his brand of epic sagas after Jodha Akbar. Mohenjo Daro lacks the deft touch of a Swades or a Lagaan.
Mohenjo Daro Review by Bollywood Hungama
Ashutosh Gowariker, who has always emerged a winner with his previous attempts at historic and period films, fails miserably with MOHENJO DARO as a director. It just won’t be wrong to say that in the name of ‘cinematic liberties’, Ashutosh Gowariker has taken the audiences sense and patience for granted. While the film’s first half is slow, the film’s extremely dragged second half acts more villainous. The film’s second half totally takes the steam off the film. The film’s climax only makes things worse. Ashutosh Gowariker, despite his goliath attempt in fictionally (re)creating the Mohenjo Daro civilisation, fails to convince the viewers about the same. What one fails to understand is how can someone like Ashutosh Gowariker, who is known for making some of brilliant films, can go so wrong with MOHENJO DARO.
Mohenjo Daro Review by Sreeju Sudhakaran on Bollywood Life
The biggest reason why anyone would get into a theatre screening Mohenjo Daro would be to know about Indus Valley civilization, and the era in which the film is based. Though I cannot say that Ashutosh Gowariker has done complete justice to the era, he needs to be lauded for his courage to even attempt a film about that period. Only a visionary director like him can attempt to make a movie of this grandeur, and he succeeds to some limit in not making a complete mess of the period as everyone would assume. His direction also make the proceedings of the initial parts of the film bearable, especially after Sarman reached Mohenjo Daro and meets Chaani. Mohenjo Daro is also bearable thanks to a convincing performance by Hrithik Roshan, though it’s time he needs to pick up roles that challenges him to bring variety in his performance. Among the supporting cast, Manish Chaudhary and Nitish Bhardwaj stand out, while Sharad Kelkar is effective in a cameo.
Mohenjo Daro Review by Manisha Lakhe on Nowrunning
The rest of the movie has been reviewed several times before. As 300, Spartacus, Moses, Hercules, Noah, Gladiator and every movie (and TV shows like Olympus) you can think up where the hero of fabulous parentage battles evil and saves poor suffering villagers… To watch Hrithik Roshan waste three hours trying to be so many heroes at once is heartbreaking. You wonder what colossal egos and madness must be at work behind this pointless ambitious nonsense! The movie movies from little to zero to negative plausibility within minutes and continues to plummet to stupidity. Not even the Indus river flooding the city of Mohenjo Daro can save this film. The only saving grace is that Hrithik is not made to wear a skirt a la Dharmendra in Dharam Veer.
Mohenjo Daro Review by Saibal Chatterjee on NDTVMovies
Mohenjo Daro is a fantasy that has nothing fresh to offer. It banks on the same old brew of love, jealousy and violence, served up in an over-ambitious package that never assumes convincing proportions. Mohenjo Daro, which means Mound of the Dead, wasn’t the name of the place that this film is set in. It got the moniker only after it was discovered by archaeologists. Which city in the right mind would call itself Mound of the Dead? Well, this film is called Mohenjo Daro and it is really deadening. It’s a pile of stale tropes that is unlikely to help us understand India’s prehistory any better than we do now. Mohenjo Daro is stuck in the past and not just in terms of its substance. What the film clearly says is that both director Gowariker and Hrithik need to move on and reinvent themselves.
Review by Ritika Handoo on Zeenews
‘Mohenjo Daro’ was smooth like silk in terms of cinematography by C. K. Muraleedharan. Music by maestro A R Rahman and especially the recurrent background theme was magical to the ears. Kabir Bedi as Maham and Arunoday Singh as Moonja played the negative force with much conviction. It was also a delight to hear the heavy baritone of Kabir Bedi. Overall, do watch ‘Mohenjo Daro’ for Hrithik Roshan only. But keep your history textbooks miles away from it!
Review by Sarita A Tanwar on DNA India
By no standards is a film based on Mohenjo Daro easy to handle. In spite of that, Gowariker adds all the essential elements to make the film as much mass-appealing as possible. The music by A.R. Rahman is one of the highlights – it livens up the pace when you’re just about feeling restless. Gowariker also manages to get some effective performances from his lead pair. Newcomer Pooja Hegde exudes charm and has a striking screen presence. She makes the character of Chaani endearing. Hrithik Roshan holds the screen ably all through. His committed performance salvages the film.
Review by Manjusha Radhakrishnan on Gulfnews
Roshan, arguably one of Bollywood’s most handsome men, also lets his throbbing veins do the talking for some of the overwrought scenes. They have a life of their own. When he’s angry or frustrated, his pupils dilate and his cheeks begin shaking. Subtlety is shown the door. But, it’s not all bad. The morality tale of good trumping evil is engaging and the climax, which involves an all-consuming flood is well captured. While Hegde lends good support, Bedi and his on-screen son snarl and roar to make their displeasure known. This is Roshan’s showcase all the way. While it splutters in places, the folkish epic makes for a good one-time watch.
Review by Raja Sen on Rediff
The film doesn’t have much to offer. Historical accuracy be darned, Gowariker has served up a severely amateurish production with a weak script and an abundance of cliche.
Review by Sweta Kaushal on Hindustan Times
Made on an estimated budget of Rs 115 crore, the film has a grand canvas. The over-whelming long shots and beautiful close-ups are something to look forward to. The climax sequence is especially breathtaking. Watch the film if Hrithik’s physique, dancing skills and flexibility are enough to attract you but you can totally avoid it if a grandeur does not make up for the lack of substance, facts and logic.
Review by Shubhra Gupta on Indian Express
Right from the build-up, featuring what is meant to be a thrilling boat ride and a fight with a fake-looking crocodile, all the better to show off Hrithik’s rippling chest and ripping valour, Mohenjo Daro is a plod, and a heavily borrowed one to boot: the entry into a forbidden town (which strongly reminds us of Baahubali), the romance with a pretty stranger, the rivalry with a muscle-bound fellow, the unravelling of dark secrets, the saving of a town from a beastly ruler—we’ve seen so many versions of it before.
Review by Devarsi Ghosh on India Today
Mohenjo Daro is nothing you have not seen before. It is the same old hero-making tale where one man rises to become the leader by fighting the despot; the fight between Sarman and the giant men in the ring echoes Gladiator while the entire story echoes Gangs of New York or Baahubali’s Return-Of-The-Chosen-One-To-Kingdom-For-Baap-Ka-Badla narrative. Gowariker simply adds the ‘historic film’ tadka to package and sell it because on paper, the idea is great. Also, because he probably thinks he has a way with historical films. What we could have had was a better film, but that would have required different cinematic sensibilities. Ashutosh Gowariker does not make historical films, let’s get that clear. He is great at making spectacles using historical stories as a crutch. Sadly, this time, he picked the wrong story.
Mohenjo Daro Review by Indiaglitz
Hrithik fails to justify his character and Pooja fails miserably in all the dramatic scenes. Her dialogue delivery is terrible. Arunoday Singh looks bad and displays equally bad performance. Nitish Bharadwaj, Kishore Shahane, Suhasini Milay, Sharad Kelkar and others have hardly anything to do in this weak scripted film. ‘Mohenjo Daro’ is the worst film of director Ashutosh Gowarikar. One does appreciate the hard work and efforts behind this film. But at the end of the day, it’s on the lines of all those historical T.V serials with bad C.G.I work and overstretched love saga ruining the history and facts.
Review by Jaidev Hemmady on Movietalkies
Hrithik, who plays the lead role, is in top form as the noble Sarman, who transforms from a humble farmer to the leader of the people. Hrithik’s terrific presence and powerful performance is sure to delight his fans, and his jaw-quivering intensity makes him a formidable protagonist and a force to contend with, and you just cannot take your eyes off him when he is on screen creating scorching drama. Needless to say, Hrithik was the apt choice to play the noble Sarman and it is tough to imagine anyone else in the larger-than-life character. Pooja Hegde, who makes her Bollywood debut with this film, is pretty and puts up a good performance, though we wish the makers would have signed up an A-lister to be romantically paired opposite Bollywood’s Greek God. Kabir Bedi is totally bang on as the evil Maham and his powerful screen presence, his baritone and his sinister sneer, makes him a worthy rival to battle. Arunoday Singh also performs well as Maham’s obedient son, a strong second adversary to Sarman. The action scenes between the two are raw and gritty, and extremely well choreographed by Amar Shetty.
Review by Srijana Mitra Das on The Times Of India
Straight away, if you want to enjoy Mohenjo Daro, leave your disbelief by the door for Ashutosh Gowarikar’s newest blast from the past only works as a fairy tale, not nailed in history, but hanging somewhere between Game of Thrones and Baahubali.
Review by Rohit Bhatnagar on Deccan Chronicle
The movie has some good aerial shots by KC Muraleedharan too. The runtime at 150 minutes is a huge relief, since Gowariker tends to have lengthy movies. The first half, however, was a tad too long, compared to the crisp second half. Ashutosh may have found a new way of filmmaking, but credit goes to Sandeep Francis who has run his scissors neatly through the movie, making it taut. It doesn’t help, however, that the movie is clichéd. Telling a story of 2016 BCE in the present day can be problematic if it’s not made well, and that’s Mohenjo Daro’s downfall. The movie is also reminiscent of ‘Kites’, which is a revenge saga, with an urban backdrop.
Review by Rajeev Masand on News18
Sarman and Channi’s love story is sleep-inducing, but there’s more drudgery to come once Sarman discovers the extent of Maham’s treachery. None of this feels even mildly interesting. Even the sight of Hrithik dueling with two hulking Neanderthals can’t nudge you out of your coma. Much of this is because of the flat writing and lazy casting.
Review by Mayank Shekhar on Mid-Day India
The filmmaker has every creative right to imagine an ancient civilisation, with its own intrigues and customs, making it the basis for a film that’s a potpourri of history, politics, disaster, gladiatorial action, romance, and everything in between, including Whirling Dervishes (that we last saw in Ashutosh Gowariker’s ‘ Jodhaa Akbar’, 2008). Frankly, I would applaud the audacity of the idea. As could the audience. Gowariker is the Oscar-nominated director of ‘Lagaan’ (2001), also a period film. Even some of the better filmmakers tend to repeat their best works. Hrithik Roshan (earnest, no doubt), the hero in ‘Mohenjo Daro’, in sleeveless khadi, seems very much like Aamir Khan’s Bhuvan in ‘Lagaan’. So do parts of this story, where the dictatorial ruler also decides to levy higher taxes. Hrithik’s character belongs to the lower class, fighting against the evil empire.
Mohenjo Daro Review by Mumbai Mirror
Hrithik Roshan’s commitment to his character is unquestionable. Even when delivering lines, which would be a mouthful to repeat, he manages with sincerity and conviction. Pooja Hegde, with her feathery mukut and slit maxi dress, could pass for an extra from Coming to America (1988). And since most won’t recognise her without this garish garb, she can safely make a debut again in her next film. Kabir Bedi channels a mean version of Scar (the devilish villain from The Lion King) and is decidedly intimidating and abominable. Arunoday Singh packs his ruthless warlord image with a few extra sniggers and is well-cast.
Review by Vishal Verma on Glamsham
The chemistry between Hrithik and Pooja is cold. It threatens to become interesting but never quite achieves the task. Hrithik is watchable and the scale is laudable but rest is a boring circus that equally disappoints in its CGI, the longer it ran, the longer my demand to be out of this misery increased.Of the other cast, Kabir Bedi and Arunoday Singh are fine. Nitish Bhardwaj makes a comeback. Debutant Pooja Hegde is pretty and that’s it. Like the film A. R. Rahman is also a waste of available opportunity.
Review by Prathna Tiwari on Bollyspice
Your only saviour in the cinema hall is Rahman’s soundtrack which you hold onto with your dear life hoping it will make it all better… if only. Not only is every situation, twist and turn more laughable than the last in Mohenjo Daro, the screenplay drags each portion on excruciatingly, making you want to burst into tears when the words ‘intermission’ appears on the screen as you were so ready by then for the credits to roll. Mohenjo Daro is a film that should come with a warning sign. Not for the faint hearted. Maintain your sanity by steering clear of this cinematic tragedy.
Review by IANS on Sify
The climax is adroitly and astutely picturised with brilliant effects. The action sequences too are realistically designed. A.R. Rahman’s music enhances the viewing experience and the dances are brilliantly choreographed. They appear like a narrative in a ballad. Overall, Mohenjo Daro lights up the screen but only if it was crisp and thrilling.
Review by Meeta on Wogma
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.
Review by Lokesh Dharmani on Masala
Mohenjo Daro presents the age-old story of good versus bad in times so alien to all of us. Despite having a spectacular set, the film doesn’t give any great insights into history or the civilisation. There is hard work for sure. Full points to the team for recreating that era. I felt transported to that era, bought into their stories also but I feel sorry that the film didn’t cut much ice with me. Watch it for the sheer magnificence, the sheer scale.
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