If the title of the film prods you on to believe the hitherto-thought inevitable, I’d suggest you to be better prepared for the shock that is bound to meet you as the film nears its end. If a film is titled ‘Arjun’, it would undoubtedly encompass the Battle of Kurukshetra, the tussle for power between the megalomaniac Kauravas and the resigned-to-fate Pandavas. Except that this ‘Arjun’ is nowhere near the inevitable.
The film opens in the middle of a tale, traces the journey of the Pandavas to Virat’s kingdom, and not even for a moment does it make you wonder about the simple tale and the narrator of the same. Once you are comfortably nestled in the tale of the Pandavas, the narrator goes forward and jerks the comfortable ground from beneath you. As the narrator narrates the tale of the Pandavas to the Prince of the Kingdom of Virat, the listeners sit spellbound – both within the film and without, till the unexpected occurs.
Arjun’s skill as an archer, his trajectory from being just a prince to becoming Arjun the Warrior, the manner in which his prowess is tested time and again, forms the foundation on which the film rests. The animation is superbly done, and the voices are pure melody to the ears. The voices behind the animated characters present in front of you a panorama worth applauding. While the baritone of Karna sends shivers down one’s spine, the panting Shakuni presents an amalgam of feelings – anger is decipherable, the others lie in the subconscious!
From a humble disciple of Drona to the indomitable fighter, Arjun is one man in the Mahabharata who is a truly fleshed out character. Arjun presents the portrait of an archetypal warrior, a husband who swears vengeance against the Kauravas for the humiliation of his wife, a brother who can go to any end of the world to extract justice. The film beautifully captures the many moments of dilemma that Arjun faces in his journey till the battle of Kurukshetra, and presents in front of the viewers nothing short of sheer spectacle.
The film has a few brilliantly shot songs, a couple of which linger in your mind even after you are out of the theatre and into your mundane realities. ‘Arjun’ as a film offers a much-welcomed break from the below-average Bollywood of the day, and is a delight – through and through.
No form of popular culture can ever encompass the greatness of the man called Arjun. Watch ‘Arjun’ for yet another perspective on him. Watch ‘Arjun’ if you are craving for that much-needed break from the current films of the day which have pushed you to the brink of insanity. Watch ‘Arjun’ to see the man who is synonymous with the Mahabharata!
Ratings: Three cheers for the Warrior Prince!