Hollywood has merged live characters with animation with amazing results.
In India, first Rajshris [MAIN PREM KI DIWANI HOON] and then Yash Raj [HUM TUM] experimented with this novel concept and the results, technically speaking, were quite impressive. Now, Ashok Kaul weaves an entire film on live and animation characters, merging the past and present in BHAGGMATI - THE QUEEN OF FORTUNES.
Unfortunately, BHAGGMATI - THE QUEEN OF FORTUNES fails to strike a chord simply because it looks more of a slow-paced documentary and less of a feature-film. Together with the story of Mohammed Quli Qutab Shah and Bhaggmati, there's also a contemporary love story [Tabu, Milind Soman] running alongside.
While the first love story is interesting, the one involving Tabu-Milind is routine, lifeless and boring. Besides, the slow pace -- in fact the snail pacing -- only ruins it further.
Shivranjini [Tabu] has just passed her university exams with top honors. While doing a research on Mohammed Quli Qutab Shah, she starts hearing voices. The story beginsï¿½
BHAGGMATI - THE QUEEN OF FORTUNES is based on the legendary love story between Mohammed Quli Qutab Shah and a beautiful girl Bhaggmati. But their love story had to face obstacles, first from the princeï¿½s father, then by the kingdomï¿½s scheming advisor.
Ashok Kaul ventures into an alien territory, an effort that needs to be lauded. But the screenplay is so lackluster, the entire effort evaporates as the reels unfold. Although the animation looks like a sincere attempt, the outcome lacks the finesse. Besides, Ashok Kaul keeps camera focused on himself at most times [yes, he is acting in the film] and that gets on the nerves after a point.
Ashok Kaul is saddled with a weak screenplay and that's a major handicap. Music [Ravindra Jain, Vishal Bharadwaj] is of the fast-forward variety. Cinematography [Thomas Xavier, Sameer Arya, Peter Pereira] is nice.
A dynamic actor like Tabu is just not in form. She doesn't get the chance to display histrionics. Milind Soman has been wasted. Tariq Shah [Milind's uncle], Somayajulu [Tabu's father] and Shoma Anand [Milind's aunt] are okay. Hema Malini is there for a song when the prince weds Bhaggmati.
On the whole, BHAGGMATI - THE QUEEN OF FORTUNES is a poor show.