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Arjun: The Warrior Prince  : 
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Friday, May 25, 2012
Arnab Chaudhuri
Yudhveer Bakoliya, Ashok Banthia, Ravi Khanwilkar, Ila Arun, Sachin Khedekar
Mythological hero Arjun has always been a part of most bedtime tales in India. Interestingly, in spite of repeated narrations of his valiant anecdotes, this animation flick is fulfilling.

The plot: Excerpts from the oft-told Mahabharat, tell the story of the five Pandav siblings and their collision with powerful cousin Duryodhan with the focus on Pandav warrior prince Arjun.

The good: Its simplicity has a universal appeal with innocence at the fore, not naivete. Bheem provides lovable amusement.

But what drives the film is the quality of the animation (credited to UTV Toon & Tata Elxsis Visual Computing Lab). It is one of the better jobs seen in recent times in India with the war scenes coming as a visual treat for all ages. The detailing of each mythological character is well done, keeping it simple yet authentic, from the jewellery to the ‘padukas’ worn in that era. The music by Vishal-Shekhar keeps pace with the mood of the film, giving strength to the scenes. The dubbing is powerful with professional voices like Ila Arun and Sachin Khedekar making a valuable contribution.

The bad: With exposure to sci-fi technology and superior animation from the west, the Indian attempt appears too simplistic, especially for older kids. By cutting out Draupadi’s five-husband portion and her vastraharan, the audience is further whittled down to entertain only very small kids. However, the high-flown Hindi language used is so challenging that children won’t comprehend it easily. They could lose their concentration due to this woeful difficulty in communication.

Overall: An honest film and an interesting way to serve a bit of our wealthy culture. But with limited appeal.

– Pooja Thakkar
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