Rating: 1.5/5 Stars (One and half stars)
Star Cast: Hrithik Roshan, Pooja Hegde, Kabir Bedi, Arunoday Singh
Director: Ashutosh Gowarikar
What’s Good: Hrithik Roshan even with his bronze tan tries to entertain us as Sarman. He is probably the only best thing in the film!
What’s Bad: Mohenjo Daro looks like a costume drama with bad CGI and an absolutely shoddy editing.
Loo Break: Yes! Take long ones.
Watch or Not?: Mohenjo Daro is a period drama that misses the train right from start. The story is too ordinary and it did not need an Indus valley civilization backing to it. This one is easily passable!
Sarman (Hrithik Roshan) is an Indigo peasant living with his uncle and aunt in Aamli village. After hearing big things about the town where they trade their goods, Sarman convinces his uncle to send him to Mohenjo Daro for trade.
He takes off for the town and seems to have a strange familiarity with the place.
After experiencing the ill-treatment given to peasants by Maham (Kabir Bedi) and his son Moonja (Arunoday Singh), Sarman decides to leave the town.
What changes his mind is, a love at first sight scenario with Chaani (Pooja Hegde). She is the priest’s daughter and considered to be a blessing for the town but is promised in marriage to Moonja.
Will Sarman take on Mooja and Maham to win his love? Also, what connection does he have to Mohenjo Daro is what lies ahead.
Mohenjo Daro Review: Script Analysis
Ever since Mohenjo Daro has been announced, there has been ample of excitement surrounding it. Coming up with a script for a period drama that has little historic material can be certainly difficult and one would definitely understand that the makers would require creative liberties for this one.
Although in case of this film, the creative liberties are way beyond one would expect. Script wise this is a highly formulaic film with even a DDLJ element of ‘Palat’ in the love story.
The typical, good vs evil angle is done to death and that is exactly what happens in Mohenjo Daro. For heaven sake, the same story could have been based in 2016 BC Bombay and no one would care.
Not only is the love story stale, also the way the movie starts one could even say it seems inspired from Baahubali where Shiva is excited to climb the mountain and go to other side of the town.
It is funny from where all the writers take inspiration for this film, there is even a ‘iksinga’ (one-thorned horse) that Sarman keeps dreaming about and mind you, this is like a ‘Garibon ka Harry Potter’ co-incidence. It is similar to the patronous that Harry sees.
At start, a different language is used to give some actual historic feel but there are no subtitles given so its just gibberish for the audience.
Gowarikar even repeats his own films, as at one point the peasants are protesting against taxes they can’t pay (remember Lagaan?) and also like in Swades the entire village comes together to generate electricity, here they build a bridge to save themselves of their town which is drowning. Yawn!
Mohenjo Daro Review: Star Performance
Hrithik Roshan is an actor who goes the extra mile for most of his films and he does the same for this one too. He delivers a decent performance in an already botched up script. His action scenes with Bhakar-Zokar are good enough.
Pooja Hegde debuts with this film and well, she does not have much to do other than plastering a good smile on her face. As Chaani, she seems like an ordinary girl, nothing periodic about it other than the costumes.
Kabir Bedi as Maham plans to scare kids with this role. He keeps smirking in weird ways and I now feel he should have borrowed a few bitchy expressions from Esha Gupta’s Rustom character. His over dramatic act puts you off!
Manish Chaudhary plays the priest and Chaani’s father. He does a decent job.
Arunoday Singh too fails to rise above his other performances.
Marathi actresses, Suhasini Mooley and Kishori Shahane give their extra bit of drama with the side characters.
Mohenjo Daro Review: Direction, Music
Ashutosh Gowarikar seems to have a penchant for testing people’s patience. This film is another example of that. After the first frame which states 2016 AD in bold words, there is nothing portrayed ahead that backs it.
In the first fifteen minutes itself, I was scared of what lies ahead since the film opens with the much-talked about crocodile scene. The special effects are so poor that you can’t help but get disgusted by it.
Further, the film’s characters look like they are stuck in a role-playing act where they have to play dress-up. 2016 B.C had gladiators as footwear and here I am still trying to save up to buy a good pair of them. Damn! I need to go back.
Chaani’s headgear is a better version of the Snapchat filter and more often than not it looks like she is wearing a bird’s nest on her head.
The long shots that show the planned city as history states it are also of poor quality. I wish Gowarikar had consulted Rajamouli before doing this.
The entire action sequence with the hideous names of the Bhakar Zokar is quite decently helmed and probably the only saving grace in the second half.
In spite of claiming to have cut down the film’s run-time, this seems like a never ending affair. First half is bearable, but the second half really tests your patience. The climax sequence of the drowning city is another case of bad CGI.
The sets look magnificent but with no substance in story, it is a waste.
A R Rahman’s music suits the film’s setting but does not help to make it bearable.
Mohenjo Daro Review: The Last Word
Mohenjo Daro is a major failure in terms of both history and execution. I’m going with a 1.5/5 for this film.
Mohenjo Daro Trailer
Mohenjo Daro releases on 12th Aug, 2016.
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