Late Review – Mohenjo Daro is a good movie, but maybe with a wrong backdrop
When I saw the promotion of Mohanjo Daro on The Kapil Sharma Show two weeks ago, and then I compared it with Akshay Kumar’s promotion of his movie Rustam done on the same show last week, I got the sense that one those teams is not sure about their success. You can actually feel from the body language of Hritik Roshan and Ashutosh Gowarikar visible on Kapil’s show that they are bit disinclined and feeling the heat, probably tensed about what will be the response of the public as their film has been planted before another biggy called Rustom. Although Hritik did try his best to set the stage of TKSS on fire, but probably the Mohenjo Daro team might have already sensed that something is surely missing in their product which could rather be more damaging than the outcome of locking the horns with the most successful star’s movie.
Among the two, Mohenjo Daro was always going to be the second choice of people in general was a given, right from the announcement of its releasing date. But then if the product was good, then a bit of mouth publicity gelled with Hrithik’s huge fan following was all that was that needed for the movie to make at least an eye to eye contact with Rustam, but sadly that is not happening. It is not that Mohenjo Daro is not doing well at the box office, it has already crossed the 40 crore mark as I am writing this, but when you compare it with Rustom’s whopping 68 crore plus earning, if you are a diehard Hrithik fan you would have certainly wished your superstar’s movie a single release on this independence day. To be very frank and honest, there is nothing wrong with the movie itself. Yes, it is slow in patches, but that is negligible. The major problem with the movie is its backdrop which has left many confused and thus the movie is not getting the amount of mouth publicity it requires or attracting even negative words about it.
We have a series of good period films that have been Megahits in past and two of them were made by Ashutosh Gowarikar himself and in one of those Hritik too seen in a lead role. So where is the problem? The problem is Mohenjo Daro as its milieu. When you market your film by telling people that the film is based on the days of Mohenjo Daro our most celebrated ancient culture, it generates high expectations in public at large. But when you showed them 2016 AD kinda love story exactly happening in 2016 BC as well, then they have a right to feel disappointed, if not cheated. After finishing the movie, I instantly got the thought of Baahubali. Its huge success has lots to do with all the technology it used to look huge, but the biggest chunk of its success was the honesty with which we were told that it is just a fiction and it is not at all related to any part of Indian history.
Over here when you say the story is from the age of Mohenjo Daro, people would expect more historical facts to be told rather than a love story which they have seen many times ever since they have started watching movies. Yes, there are certain historical facts that even Mohenjo Daro brings, like the barter system prevailed at that time or how it’s Pradhan Sabha used to work etc, but the fact remained that they were just helping a love story to grow. Bringing Baahubali back i to the discussion, it was a fiction alright, but it showed us the politics played ,within a royal family along with a love story of Prabhas and Tamanna, which was a side track. Here there was a huge opportunity for Ashutosh Gowarikar to show some kind of rivalry between Mohenjo Daro and Harappa, which he did touch in patches but then sadly, left it alone.
But that doesn’t make Mohenjo Daro a dull or boring or non-cinematic. It certainly tells us a story with a good flow. Yes, it is a love story which has been told many times to us, but the script, at the most of the time doesn’t stop the flow. Because we are so much experienced watching such love stories, we have probably been were aware of the climax long before it actually arrived, but the way it has been executed, is just superb. We are even experienced about the technology used these days in Bollywood movies, that we can actually feel that those aerial shots of the Mohenjo Daro city actually spilled the beans, they are computer generated images, or that huge wave which Hritik was avoiding to reach the other end of the Sindhu river looked fake, but yet it still gave us some excitement for sure.
Along with the name of the movie, Hrithik Roshan is the second pillar, who has taken this movie entirely on his shoulders. He has lived Sarman fully and one cannot imagine any other actor as Sarman after watching Hrithik enacting him. Sarman could have become another Bhuvan, but again high expectations coming from the title of the movie itself has let this chance go begging. The only other actor who could match his shoulder with Hrithik is none other than the Hollywood and Bollywood veteran Kabir Bedi. As Maham he is extraordinary to say the least. He still possesses that superb voice which we have admired over the years and also in certain scenes Kabir sir has shown the anger and the frustration as Maham very rightfully.
It was really surprising and refreshing to see Nitish Bharadwaj after a long time. Probably after Mahabharat, the television series of 1990s, many like me had his first look in this very movie. Angad Bedi was ok and so was Pooja Hegde. She is from Bangalore, but her pronunciations in this movie, at times sounded Punjabi which probably is a non-Mohenjo Daro era thingy and another minus point risen from the movie. Music of the movie had already disappointed, even many staunch A R Rahman fans, so I have nothing more to add here. Ashutosh Gowarikar lives up to his image, at least when it comes to the large scale on which the movie has been made, but if we add again that the things would have been more delightful if the stress was not on Mohenjo Daro only.
Mohenjo Daro is certainly not that boring or slow as it has been portrayed by ‘some’ self-styled critics on the social media. This is the sixth day since its release and if you are still contemplating on whether to watch the movie or not after reading all those reviews on social media and otherwise, I would advise that if you are a fan of ‘good movies’ then let me assure you that Mohenjo Daro is a good movie, if not better or best, just avoid any expectation arising from it.
Mohenjo Daro starts with a written line ‘2016 BC’ but when the movie finishes, only BC remains in people’s mind!
(Read on Facebook, few days back.)
N.B.: Review of Rustom tomorrow.