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Drona – movie review

October 3, 2008

Drona makes an impact for several reasons. It has taken an idea from Indian mythology and transformed it into a magical special effects extravaganza. Writers Goldie Behl and Jaydeep Sarkar (Behl is director as well) have penned an original story. What makes this movie one of a kind however are the visual effects, all done with collaboration with Eros International’s EyeQube Studio. In this sense Drona is a landmark film, although the special effects (David Bush) are certainly are not top class, not if one compares them to the best of Hollywood. Reportedly the budget for this film touched Rs 60 crore.

What’s the movie about?
The film is set in a fantasy land where there are kings and queens, hooded armies and asuras, mystics and magicians, totem swords and bracelets. Ordinary folk as well. We are gradually introduced to this mysterious world along with Aditya (Abhishek Bachchan). For all practical purposes Aditya is an ordinary man, although an unhappy one. He is unaware of his real identity and his hidden strengths. That is where the comparison with Harry Potter comes in. But no, Aditya is not anything like Harry Potter… his secret identity is rooted in Indian mythology. And despite what has been said about this movie, it is a superhero movie. Drona may not fly, but he has superhuman powers which he is yet to discover.

The story (no spoilers)
The movie starts slowly although right from the start there are signs that a noble destiny awaits Aditya. When he finally realises who he is, it’s his bodyguard Sonia (Priyanka Chopra) who familiarises him with mission. Aditya takes on his new role rather reluctantly, held back by his disbelief and his fears. The director takes almost till the interval to make Aditya fit for his mission. A mission to save the world from an evil man who wants to be all-powerful after consuming the holy “amrit” of the Gods that will give him eternal life.

The screenplay starts to meander half an hour into the movie, giving us a clue that the story is going to be a sketchy one. Some scenes stretch on endlessly, but quite deliberately, to “milk” as much emotion out of them as possible. One such scene is the one between Queen Jayati (Jaya Bachchan) and Abhishek. As if this mother son bonding is not melodramatic enough, the director decides to add a song at his juncture.

The story is predictable and there is no suspense worth the name.

Some redeeming points
The cinematography (Sameer Arya), art direction (Samantha Lotter), the sets and the costumes (Anaita Shroff) are not awesome, but they are good. The costumes are tastefully done and those of the lead characters, excellent. Drona’s shimmering white and gold robe and Riz Raizada (Kay Kay Menon) black and gold one look splendid in the desert scene at the end of the movie.

The look given to Razpur (Village of Secrets) is unique. The oranges, reds, and the saffron, used for both background and the motifs, pleases the eye. The designs are traditional Indian patterns and reminded me of rangoli.

The villain’s throne, set in a backdrop of black bricks with glowing red outlines and an ornamental silver staircase curving around it, is visually interesting. Despite scope for garishness, the overall effect of the costumes and sets is not vulgar.

The actors and characters
Kay Kay Menon plays Riz, the magician villain, and he shines in this movie. His renders the dark humour intrinsic to his character with comic expressions and theatrics which are amusing to watch. His portrayal of Riz is likely to be remembered for a long time.

Everyone else’s acting is forgettable, although Abhishek is aright in places. As a character though, Aditya is unconvincing. Why should a normal guy take the kind of ill-treatment meted out to him (his adopted mother ill-treats him), that too until the age of 28? If he is such a wimp, how can this man possibly turn into Drona?

As for the rest of the characters, they did not have much depth…how could they when screen time was hogged by Abhishek?

Is the movie worth seeing?
The movie is a feast for Abhishek Bachchan fans because he is all over it. It is also a treat to see special effects of the kind that are not shown in Bollywood movies. The fight and chase sequences (action coordinator, Shyam Kaushal) are nothing special, but the fight scene on top of a running train, complete with hooded villains and Drona on a white horse is quite enticing. There is violence in the movie, but it goes with the genre of the film and thankfully it is not gory.

Overall though, this movie disappoints. The screenplay is loose in places, there are too many songs, acting is mostly average, and the music lacklustre. Cannot call it a great entertainer, which is what this movie sets out to be.

Related Reading: Kidnap Review
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25 Comments leave one →
  1. October 3, 2008 12:55 pm

    Lol , i don’t like super hero films and well Small B isn’t that entertaining….

  2. October 3, 2008 1:36 pm

    wow this was a fast review…actually I was disappointed much before the movie released, the music was pretty average, and the campaign they ran was absolutely cold. I think AB Junior is one of the better acting starts, its sad to see him in some of his movies.

  3. October 3, 2008 1:59 pm

    Vishesh, I like superhero movies but was not keen to see Drona even though I like Abhishek. But anyway, certain circumstances made me see Drona!

    Rambler, I had to see this movie first day first show because I was asked to by someone, professionally. I enjoyes it even less than I would have otherwise because I was taking notes during the movie! :(

  4. October 3, 2008 2:13 pm

    from the trailers itslef, it looked dumb .. Music was also bad ..

    I’m happy that I hv not wasted my money on it ..

    Thanks for the review though !!

  5. October 3, 2008 2:40 pm

    am going to give it a skip!! (as if i see all the movies… ;) )

  6. chirax permalink
    October 3, 2008 3:30 pm

    Love they way you smile before and after the Stab :D

  7. October 3, 2008 3:35 pm

    Oh, I thought this was something taken out of Mask of Zorro. The sword fight, the train etc etc.
    Didn’t know that this was set up in a magical world.
    So should give it a skip huh?

  8. October 3, 2008 4:51 pm

    I heard the movie was too unrealistic? I don’t know.. I’m reading a few contrasting reviews… :D
    Moreover, you know about my views on bollywood… Hehehe! :D

  9. October 3, 2008 5:15 pm

    Soham, you are welcome! Even I didn’t like the promos and was not planning to see this movie as I didn’t want to spoil my good impression of Abhishek Bachchan.

    Sakhi, I don’t think you will like this movie anyway!

    Chirax, that’s the idea! ;)

    Xylene, Abhishek unfortunately is not as dashing as Zorro! At some points you wonder what type of superhero is this! But whether you will enjoy it or not, you can decide because I cannot say how much someone else will enjoy this movie.

    Nikhil, The movie is certainly not unrealistic! I mean, it’s a fantasy adventure, so it is a realistic fantasy adventure…in the sense, it’s real fantasy! :D But knowing your views on bollywood, you might throw up in this movie. :)

  10. October 3, 2008 8:04 pm

    I couldn’t stand the movie.

    Aby baby was plump, gloomy and the movie was a drag…tooo kiddish…

  11. October 3, 2008 8:56 pm

    Somehow I knew I was not going to like this movie, had planned on NOT seeing it. Now definitely won’t.

  12. October 3, 2008 10:33 pm

    I’ll be watching this movie for priyanka. It doesn’t matter how small her role is. I digested lovestory 2050 for her. I am sure this one will be better than that at least.

  13. Ameya permalink
    October 3, 2008 10:51 pm

    The promos were very dull I truly agree and the music was hopeless. They tried making it really cool but failed miserably.The special effects were the only somewhat saving grace.In short Drona Dekhke Rona aya……..it was that bad!!!!

  14. Ameya permalink
    October 3, 2008 10:53 pm

    Plus AB junior looks horrible in his super hero attire!!!!!.I have always hated his acting

  15. October 4, 2008 12:02 pm

    @Ameya
    i too never liked Jr. Bachchan, he is banking only on his father’s legendary reputation

    Nita

    How was Priyanka in the film?

  16. October 4, 2008 12:47 pm

    Smita, yes he was disappointing. At least he should have worked out before the movie! He didn’t even look like a superhero.

    Indian Homemaker, you are lucky you are going to miss this movie. However, it’s the first time I’ve seen such special effects in a Hindi movie.

    Guttu and Vivek, Priyanka had a significant role. She was a strong character who did a lot of fighting. She wasn’t bad at all, although I do not like her as an actress. Not that she had to act much. She was fighting most of the time!

    Ameya, if you don’t like Abhishek it is difficult to bear this movie. The only reason I could bear it was because I like Abhishek. In this movie his acting was bad, and worse, he didn’t look the role, or rather maybe he did! This superhero character was rather weak!

  17. October 4, 2008 1:52 pm

    The promos were so boring that I would definitely miss this one. Thanks for confirming!

  18. October 5, 2008 9:06 pm

    I guess I’ll give it a try cuz i like fantasy and “raja rani” stories a lot! But of course I know Drona wont be a hit as I think days of such films are gone. Thanks for the review. Have u reviewed Kidnap too on the website?

  19. Ravi permalink
    October 6, 2008 7:49 pm

    Its time for Abhishek to realize that he is not super hero material..lol

  20. Ravi permalink
    October 6, 2008 7:50 pm

    Priyanka is good though as ever…

  21. October 7, 2008 8:25 am

    This is the worst movie I have seen in my recent memory . AB baby should resign and go back and complete his studies.
    After 15 minutes I thought of making money by selling life insurance policy to all the viewers … would have definitely made some money.

    In fact I myself is to blame to go and bear the torcher after expecting this crap .
    http://movies.newscrux.com/drona-superhero-promo-review-preview-trailer/

  22. October 7, 2008 7:21 pm

    i second Vishesh…. small B is not as good as the big one…. :D

  23. October 10, 2008 5:12 pm

    From most of the comments, I don’t think I would waste my time watching this movie. I guess, reading the myths are better than watching Drona :D

  24. Padmini permalink
    October 11, 2008 7:04 pm

    Nita, after reading your review, I think I must watch it to see Kay Kay Menon. I think he’s a good actor and always enjoy watching his cameo roles.

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  1. The Dissection of Drona « My Random Thoughts

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