Note: There are no spoilers in this review.

The gap between parallel and commercial cinema, lately, has been reducing. At one stage the trend seemed to be going towards the Urban, brand-loving society of the cities while lately we’ve had movies like ‘Maqbool’, ‘Omakara’, ‘Iqbal’, which have taken the camera back to the villages and small town India. In that regard, ‘Eklavya’ joins this elite group of movies.

For quite some time, I had a desire to see a Vidhu Vinod Chopra directed movie, made in our times. Before ‘Eklavya’ came, we saw Chopra direct a movie in 2000, with ‘Mission Kashmir’. Bollywood has come a long way since then and it would have been interesting to watch how much Chopra has been with the times.

Let me put the point upfront. Chopra falls short of what could have been a majestic take. Well, Just falls short. In this two hour movie, while the camera work and background score keeps you gripped — the story telling falls apart for brief but critical periods where eventually lies the difference between a 4/5 and a 5/5.

Amitabh Bachchan shows why he is hailed the best of Indian Cinema, even today. As the main character of the movie, the story looks out for being carried on his shoulders and The Big B pulls it off, yet again. The other good thing and perhaps the factor missing in most star studded flicks — is the individual performances of the actors. Saif Ali Khan does justice to his script though I still insist that his best was in Omkara. Sanjay Dutt, whom I expected to play a much bigger role, gives 150% to whenever he is on screen. In that respect, his performance stands apart. Jackie Shroff is his usual self. The actor he is, one wonders why he comes up with those once-in-a-while forgettable movies. Jimmy Shergill plays the arrogant guy, for a change and delivers. Boman Irani and Vidya Balan could sleep walk through their roles.

It is those post-interval, critical periods which could have been better. Either the running is smooth or when it’s not, it’s very intense and suddenly too much seems to be happening. Besides, there is a little forced humor that the movie could have done without. The subject is serious, probably the most serious Chopra has taken up after ‘Parinda’. It gave me an impression that the Director has tried a bit too hard at times, tried to do too many things with lots of stuff happening. Too hot to handle?

If you’ve seen ‘Omkara’, you will know what I am talking about. Vishal, the director of Omkara and Maqbool, is a fearless director. He did well to strike a balance in both these movies. If you’re making a serious movie, you’re making a serious movie. In ‘Omkara’ and ‘Maqbool’, there is not a single scene that the script could have done without. In ‘Eklavya’, Chopra, it seems, is tempted to add some romance, some humor, a pinch of melodrama — albeit in negligible quantities.

But that doesn’t take away the anything from him, Chopra – The Director, someone who has his name on the credit listing of some of the best movies that Indian Cinema has had to offer. My verdict — 4 out of 5.

2 thoughts on “Eklavya

  1. This is for the reference of all the lovers of art and all the fanatics of movies who whish they were art lovers. To watch EKLAVYA in true sense all u need is to remeber some things.
    If u are going to cinema hall to watch it as art then its the best thing to do for 2007, if u are going on a date with ur gf then its got some moments of indecisevness where u dont expect anything to happen as story becomes predicatble, if u are story lover- then forget about it, its not more than two pages long, if u are the upcoming director of a amatuer or professional film then its the best to see the camera angles, tilts the panning and scanning of the fort, if u are lover of romance then its more abou sister brother love rather then the lead pair. if u are for amitabh bachchan, he delivers because this movie was the main reason why vidhu vinod chopra casted him. reason the story was of Big B. rest all follow the director who then in mid way does not know what to do of certain characters. so they sleep thru.
    Fo the sheer joy of watching it on big screen makes all the negativities fall into one place and lack of story coupled with one major pathbreaking scene, the story of eklavya culminates into thwo words… which is truly the essence of the story… WONDERFUL BAKWAAS.

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