Movie review: Eklavya – The Royal Guard


How many times have you had a great meal followed by a bad dessert? Or a lot of drinks and a great feeling before you puked and destroyed it all? Or, a JJWS kinda feeling where someone pulls that final gear and beats you in the race just when you thought you had won it?

The movie is a pretty good one, but for one haunting memory of the India-SriLanka one day match (the second ODI of the recent series). Everything cruises on so smoothly that you forget that it’s a contest. You are ready to give India a thumbs up on their performance. And suddenly, they lose the match! Eklavya is just that. A great movie where Vidhu Vinod Chopra just decided to go bollywood in the end and come up with a very very very typical climax.

Eklavya – Amitabh, is Eklavya’s movie. Just that Amitabh is the Lord Krishna of Bollywood. Movies, Media, Scripts, Characters, Stories are all centered around him. And he never disappoints. Saif Ali Khan stands tall in front of Amitabh, and that speaks volumes about his performance. Amitabh and Saif are the Maharaja Mac and Coke of this happy meal. And there are plenty of tiny little French fries.

Story, Screenplay, Dialogues, Cinematography are the big plusses. Obviously, in addition to the performances of the stars. Characterization is the biggest strength of this movie. Eklavya’s love for tradition and his innermost conflicts are well portrayed. All the characters – Harshvardhan(Saif) as the heir apparent who realizes his true origins after his mother’s (Sharmila) death. Rana (Boman) and his anger at realizing that his royal palace guard is the father of his children. Nandini (Raima) as the mentally retarded daughter and her joys and fears. Pannulal (Sanjay Dutt) as the low caste DSP is good in his cameo. Rajjo (Vidya) as the poor-girl-love-interest of Harsh & Jyotivardhan (Jackie)- the deprived brother of Rana – these two could have been built better. But considering that the movie is really about Eklavya only, creating these strong profiles is a big achievement.

The element of suspense as the drama unfolds is quite intriguing. It’s a well tightened 2 hour movie, implying no embarrassing song and dance sequences.

Movie does not have a consistent pace – it varies with different stages of the movie. The average movie goer will be disappointed at times. And the yash choprization of the climax where everything falls together is the worst thing about the movie.

And the last big take home – a Trailer of Munnabhai chale America in the intermission

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