KRRISH-3 and DHOOM-3, larger than life films both, catered to a big chunk of kids and kids at heart. Nonetheless, there's no denying that there's a genuine dearth of movies that will enable the kid in you to come to the forefront. The animation film MAHABHARAT fills that void!
Made on a lavish budget, MAHABHARAT is not exactly a kiddie fare, but with the advent of vacations, it will surely serve as a treat for the kids. Even though the grand epic has seen innumerable versions over the years, this is probably the first time it has got its animated avatar on the silver screen. However, one has to accept and live with the fact that the animation industry in India is still in its infant stages and that we still have a long way to go.
The USP of MAHABHARAT is that the characters in the film bear a strong resemblance to the actors lending them their voices. The film should work for two more reasons: the riveting story and the superior quality animation [a handful of scenes notwithstanding]. Besides, minute detailing has gone into the costumes, effects and the overall look. The one flaw that stands out is the lip sync of the characters with the voiceovers, which seems to go out of place in a few sequences.
Now for the 'characters'. Amitabh Bachchan excels in the role of Bheeshma Pitamah. Anupam Kher, whose voice mirrors the traces of yesteryear actor Jeevan, is equally convincing as the cunning Shakuni. The voice over for the other characters by Jackie Shroff [Duryodhan], Anil Kapoor [Karna], Sunny Deol [Bheem], Ajay Devgn [Arjun], Deepti Naval [Kunti] and Manoj Bajpayee [Yudhisthra] help in carrying the film forward. Shatrughan Sinha [Lord Krishna] seems apt for the role. Even though Draupadi [Vidya Balan] seems justified, a lot could have been done with her facial expressions. Considering that it was Vidya who was doing the voice over, the makers could have made her a bit more beautiful with proper detailing to her nose and hair.
Brownie points to the superlative climax and the way it has been presented. A special mention goes to the scene which shows the Pandavas crossing the bridge as a part of vanvaas and the underwater fight sequence. While the songs of the film are nothing exceptional, it's the background music that takes the cake. Having said that, one does feel that a lot more could have been done with the film's technicalities, considering that the makers have really spent a lot.
On the whole, with the only competitor being DHOOM-3, MAHABHARAT seems to be a good bet keeping in mind that it's being released during the festive time of the year, coinciding with the vacations.