Saturday, February 24, 2007
Eklavya -The Royal Guard
Drama. Lots of it. Vidhu Chopra's latest effort is heavy on drama. Its a weighty film that questions the age old concept of 'dharma'. Set in a royal family in Rajasthan, the film revolves around a family secret which changes the lives of all those living in the castle, still holding on to an era, long made irrelevant by independence. Each scene is incredibly well shot and high on emotion. But is the end product satisfactory? Not entirely. A script of almost Shakesperean proportions is let down by the slow and ponderous pace of things. And the self indulgent Chopra also uses footage of his 'Parinda', albeit in one of the film's finest scenes. The ending of the film is cliched and succumbs to the commercial requirements, which is a departure from the rest of the film. In the end a significant film indeed, but a film difficult to classify and difficult to declare a classic.
The acting is top rate though. Amitabh Bachchan, as the titular character is perfectly cast and does a bang up job as the hurting and duty-bound Royal guard. Saif Ali Khan as the prince is good as well. So are Boman Irani and Sanjay Dutt. The women are incidental, with Raima Sen having a meatier role than the heroine, Vidya Balan. Boman Irani is fantastic as the impotent, eccentric king. Jackie Shroff and Jimmy Sheirgill do well in the limited scope they get.
The music of the film is good, with only one song from Shantanu Moitra, Chopra's current favorite. 'Chanda re' is worthy effort. The background music is suspiciously familiar. A Peter Weir film springs to mind. Oh well, you can't have it all...
Worth a watch. I would have loved to praise this film to the skies, but, my soul is lacking, just like the film's.