Arjun, the Warrior Prince – Movie Review
Posted by FATEMA H.KAGALWALA on May 25, 2012 | No Comments
PRODUCER – Ronnie Screwvala, Siddharth Roy Kapur
DIRECTOR – Arnab Chaudhuri
WRITER – Rajesh Devraj
VOICE CAST – Yuddvir Bakolia, Anjan Srivastav, Sachin Khedekar, Ila Arun, Vishnu Sharma
MUSIC – Vishal Shekhar
Indian animation films industry once again looks to mythology for its heroes and for its stories. But unlike the sub-par majority, Arjun, The Warrior Prince, a collaborative production of UTV Motion Pictures and Walt Disney Pictures is commendably watchable for more reasons than one.
The film charts the youth-to-man journey of Arjun, that valiant hero of Ved Vyas’ epic Mahabharata who was the most gifted among the five Pandu brothers. Historically, Mahabharata is set in the ‘Dwapara Yuga’, the second Yuga according to Hindu mythology where a quarter of the world has turned evil. It is the age of ‘ifs and buts’, greys and human weaknesses pitted against human greatness. The epic narrative, explores these greys through every character, motive and event and the film takes it beautifully further by exploring Arjun’s character in exactly the same way. For he is the centrepiece of this film and its soul.
The film centres itself completely around the creation of the mighty Arjun who is stuff of legends. Through a series of select and important events it explores his vulnerabilities and fears until he overcomes them. It isn’t a moral or historical lesson nor does it pretend to justify the text or its hero, (huge and difficult task!), it simply presents a man destined for greatness growing up from a child to meet his destiny. In this journey, the film uses authentic but not too archaic language, excellent voice-overs and a fluid narration that keeps us engaged to the familiar story of a familiar hero. Among the voice-over cast are familiar names Anjan Srivastav as Lord Shiva, Sachin Khedekar as Lord Krishna, Ila Arun as Kunti and Vishnu Sharma as Bheeshma who bring in a distinct authenticity of drama and emotion.
If a film has a strong narrative, creating enough empathy for its characters and world, everything else generally falls by the wayside. It is the same with Arjun, The Warrior Prince where animation, even though sub-par, does not take away from the beauty of the story. So even if motion frames move uncomfortably and scenery is more picturesque than the men and women, the world of Arjun wraps us and makes us want to stay there. Some fantastic, earthy music by Vishal-Shekhar, plays out Arjun’s journey like a charm and is used to underscore it. It affirms without doubt that the film isn’t dumbed down because it is animation but is a package that aims at authenticity and telling its story well, which it succeeds in doing.