Mahabharata & Ramayana have been scripted time and again for the small screen as well as the silver screen. It is time for one more take at Mahabharata, but this time with a firm focus on the original Hawkeye of the world, Arjun.
Arnab Chaudhuri creates the mythical era with élan in the animated film. Arjun is the journey of the third son of Pandava. A good looking young lad growing amidst the love and care of his brothers and doting mother suddenly realizes that he has a gift that other kids do not have. Yes, we are talking about the incident that marks his distinction not only for his mentor and coach Dronacharya but also for the rest of the world of Mahabharata. ‘Arjun’ takes you through the Swayamvar, the game of Pasha where Draupadi is humiliated and the countless wars that the brave warrior fought and won singlehandedly.
Arjun tracks an aspect of Mahabharata that not many earlier adaptations have done. Very cleverly, Arnab Chaudhuri decides to focus on one character and not the entire canvas that the epic naturally demands. This gives him the scope to delve into emotions of Arjun, the mental trauma when he is betrayed, the curiosity of growing up with a talent that no one can boast of, the heroic zest that he harbors beneath the armor and the vengeance that he has been nurturing to avenge his wife’s embarrassment.
The film is detailed in every aspect. Arjun’s character has been very well sketched and despite the film being an animation, the emotions come across better than it would have had there been a real human playing the character. Arnab Chaudhuri and his entire team have done a fantastic job with the visual effects and the entire animation work. The sheer attention to detail from the color of the leaves to the ripples on the water, the fights, the energy, the characters and their physical attributes, in short, everything in the film is a treat to watch. In its truest sense, Arjun is a visual spectacle.
Whether you go back to the scene where Arjun eyes for the fish or where he single handedly fights a hundred soldiers, Arjun has more than what you need for a summer blockbuster. The narrator does a fine job and so do all the artists who have lent their voices. Since there isn’t casting as such in an animated film, the selection of the artists on the basis of voice has been aptly done.
If there is any amount of discontentment among the audience after watching ‘Arjun’ then it has to be because of the fact that the film finishes without offering the epic battle of Kurukshetra. Having said that, one has to realize that Kurukshetra cannot be narrated from the perspective of only Arjun as it calls for a back story of every Pandava and some Kauravas as well!
Perhaps, we can have prequels of Bheema, Yudhisthira and others and bring everyone together in a film on Kurukshetra, ala Indian Avengers.