Eklavya proves yet again that when it comes to the profound subject of Hindu philosophy, the best Bollywood movie makers are dithering upstarts. Earlier attempts like telly-Mahabharata, Aks and Ashoka were similarly uninspiring and disoriented.
Yes the film might seem to reverberate with raw power to some-e.g.the reviewer- but beneath the convenient grandeur of Rajputana, heavy Dharma phraseology rendered in AB's wearily heavy baritone, and a collection of good actors, lies a fuzzy interpretation of Hinduism and a cliched apology for it.
If it appears like a treatise, it is because understanding of Hinduism is little among pulp-Mahabharata loving audience, and because Chopra has enough experience to cover his limited vision with serious-looking theatrics.
A low caste guard sleeps with his master's wife and makes her pregnant. Then years after, in the name of Dharma, he easily finishes off all his master's upper caste killers, but when it comes to punishing his own son, he invokes the story of eklavya, gives a totally new version of Dharma and lives happily ever after with his son the new ruler of the fiefdom; everything, from start to finish, to his advantage. All in all, the father-son duo literally screw the upper-caste royal family end to end.
Tell me, where is Dharma, or any genuine conflict, in this?
If Hinduism were so blatantly unjust to low castes, why is there such a glowing account of Eklavya in Mahabharata? Doesn't the story show that quality does not depend on caste?
Dronacharya was not a freelancing teacher. He was in royal employment. His Dharma was to see the best interests of the princes were met-not to train their competitors, and he was least bothered about caste.
Not to cut off his thumb was the easy option-that AB's character takes. Everyone does that. Giving the thumb was greatness, and so we respect Eklavya. Bhishma's father was a low-caste fisherman too, but no one respects him, because he wanted the kingdom for his grandson. So the character and not the caste is the measure of respect in the mighty epic.
Along with the misplaced and jarring blabber of Sanjay Dutt about caste atrocities, the film seems to suggest that you can kick your lifelong Dharma out of the window as long as your act suitably serves the politically and apologist agenda of caste justice.
If only AB's character had given a punishment to his killer son- such as leaving him for life though not killing him- could his non- stop Dharma blabber- which included a juicy mistress screwing reward- made sense.
As of now, the movie does justice to neither the complex caste issue nor to Dharma.
RE:A pretender to greatness
by rohit chauhan on Jan 15, 2008 12:08 PM
that's a stupid interpretation. Why don't you agree rather that there are inglorious references in these pulp epics. Eklavya just wants to tell that our duty is to protect the right and punish the wrong, and not just to blindly follow ur master's word. why r u twisting it?
RE:I think its a Hollywood style movie-----fast and gripping
by shwey d on Mar 13, 2007 11:35 PM
couldnt agree with u more..those were precisely my thoughts when i ended up watching the movie..brilliant work by everyone involved!!
All the fans standing outside 'Pratiksha' waiting for his darshan did not translate into money when Amitabh was down and wanted it most. When Amitji lay in financial ruin, The magic was lost. The money was gone. Fans deserted him in droves. Amitabh was alone. (Mein aur meri tanhaayi)
Just when all looked lost, in walked a starry eyed Amar Singh and introduced hope, and the Ambani connection into Amitji's life (and those large superstitious rings on his fingers.) The success of KBC that followed, rekindled his celebrity, fan following, and brought endorsements, movie offers - and wealth - back into Big B's life.
It may be difficult for us fans to comprehend but most of Amitji's assets today are essentially post KBC (and post ABCL bankruptcy). All the block busters - including Deewar and Sholay - from his golden years, and nostalgic dewy eyed fans like us, dont translate to money on his balance sheet. We are mere Goodwill! ("Oof tumhare oosul, tumhare adarsh. Kis kaam ke hai tumhare is oosul jo ek waqt ki roti tak nahi bana sakta?")
The hard knocks of life taught him that we fans are fickle. Here today, gone tomorrow. It is money, that keeps his - much like our - life going.
Amitji strode the world of cinema churning blockbusters for the best of 4 long decades! He left us spell bound all these years making us feel like Alice in wonderland. Every time we went to the theaters and looked at the silver screen he gave us one magical performance after another. He rarely failed us. He gifted us some of life's greatest moments. And some of our fondest memories.
At 64, and with time running out, Amitabh realizes that his best years are behind him. He has more years lived, than left.
All good things in life come to an end. However hard he tries, he may never be able to produce another Deewar or Sholay. Not even one last time. Not even for us.
All the great dialogue writers, sriptwriters and directors of his hey days are no longer around. The hey days themselves have long gone by. Times have changed. Tastes have changed. People have changed. The industry itself had changed. Even the reigning Shahenshah of Bollywood has changed!!
All good things in life come to an end. Amitabh has accepted this reality.
Only one thing remains the same - Our expectations of him.
Perhaps it is time we changed too.
Lets enjoy his talents, voice, songs, his mere presence, the happiness of seeing him on TV and films while we still can. In addition to being his, and our, passion - his acting also happens to be his livelihood. Lets not begrudge him that by holding his every role against our stringent moral expectations.
Lets celebrate and enjoy Amitabh's talents while we still can.
This movie is not worth seeing. If u have a lot of time to spend on a dabba movie, then u can go and enjoy it. There is only one song and other than that a humming in the background at some scenes. Its really very boring movie.
The story is about a guard having a secret connection with his emperors wife and has two children Saif Ali Khan and Raima Sen who is not matured enough mentally.
In the climax Amitabh kills his own son and in the very next scene, they both are together celebrating each other where Sanjay Dutt a police officer, writes a fake suicide note and saves Amitabh Bachan.
The only plus point is the sets - Art direction Cinematography and the scene where Amitabh cuts the chain from the Doves leg without killing it and that too with his eyes closed with a black cloth. One scene where the camels run opposite to the train is good. Because, its very difficult to train the camels to run that way. There is nothing other than that.
Its totally a waste of time movie. My rating is only 2 out of 10.
RE:Waste of time movie - by Keshav
by Reza Mohd. Arif on Mar 02, 2007 07:30 PM
You've got it all wrong my friend..
This is one of the most technically brilliant movies that bollywood has produced!!
FYI: Amitabh does not kill his own son.. he strikes him in the hand to save his son rather.. and then says that Eklavya was wrong to have given his thumb to Dronacharya .. as Dharma is wat ur heart/brain & soul say .. if u feel it is right.. go ahead..
XCELLENT MOVIE!! Hats Off to VVC!! VVC is the real star to get outstanding performance from everybody involved in the movie!!
This film is like a great emperor, a very great emperor. Of course, all people are wildly praising the magnificent clothes of the emperor. It only requires a small child to exclaim "But he has nothing on!"
High in everything, and zero in substance and plot; thats what eklavya is all about