One Line Review: An entertainingly strong animation film that narrates the age old Indian epic.
Positive Points: Improved animation, Great music, Impressive war sequences, Great story telling.
Negative Points: The Bollywood touch given to the film and it spoils it a bit.
Plot: The film begins when a female eagle confronts two brothers fighting over a gold coin and decides to educate them about the importance of unity. Thus, begins the narration of Mahabharat.
Mahabharat, the great Hindu epic, which we all are well versed with, has been re-created though animation and special effects. The story is about feud between the brothers in Hastinapur's royal family, the Kauravas and the Pandavas.
The children of the royal family are raised as warriors, right from the beginning, under the guidance of their guru Bheeshma Pitamaha (Amitabh Bachchan). However, as the years pass, the envious Kauravas get even more vicious against their brothers the Pandavas, who are much more capable in their battle skills. This becomes more evident when the Pandavas defeat the Kauravas in the stadium before thousands of people gathered, thus proving their superiority. In addition, Arjun (Ajay Devgn) also insults Karn (Anil Kapoor) as he doesn't belong to royal lineage. However, Duryodhan (Jackie Shroff) makes him a member of the royal lineage in front of everyone and thus proclaims him one of the Kshatriya rulers. On the other hand, the success of the Pandavas becomes too much to bear for the jealous and baleful Kauravas. However, with Shakuni Mama (Anupam Kher) at their aid, their hate gains a strong support of treachery and cruelty.
With Shakuni's advice, they burn the part of the palace where the Pandavas are sleeping. However, with the help of Bheem's (Sunny Deol) intuition, they come to know of their treacherous plan and the five Pandavas, Arjun, Yudhishtir (Manoj Bajpai), Nakul and Sahadev with their mother Kunti (Deepti Naval) escape to a forest where they spend five years of their lives fooling the Kauravas that they are dead.
They return after five years for Draupadi's Swayamvar, where Arjun successfully shoots the fish's eye and wins Draupadi (Vidya Balan). However, when the enmity has almost ended, Draupadi insults Duryodhan during his visit to Indraprastha, the Pandava capital, after which the later promises to avenge his insult soon.
In the backdrop of the whole conflict, Lord Krishna (Shatrughan Sinha) always guides the Pandavas to the right direction.
Direction And Other Technical Aspects: Direction is certainly impressive combined with a great story telling. The direction can't be called very good, but is fairly better and helps the viewers to create and retain interest in the film.
Cinematography is very innovative with the camera angles suited to keep the viewer thoroughly interested and sometimes to intimidate the viewer during scenes of conflict.
The animation in these regards works very well. Though, it is no where near to the animation standards of Hollywood, one can certainly notice the great improvement made in the Indian animation style.
Performances: Performances and character voice-overs fit perfectly into the character portrayal. One can say that the actors doing the voice-over have been chosen appropriately, with the whole voice-over giving a good finishing to the story.
Music: Music is average in the overall way, however, at the end, when the fierce the battle ensues, the music with its rhythm and lyrics fits perfectly into the grim realities of a bloody conflict. Even adults are surely going to love the music during the final battle scenes.
Final verdict: It is certainly a good film to watch, not only for kids, but also for the adults. The film has its negative points such as Bollywood-ized songs, however, despite of that, the improved animation and special effects coupled with an engaging story telling, make the film definitely worth a watch.