MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Down 2,754 this week

Ashoka the Great (2001)
"Asoka" (original title)

6.8
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 6.8/10 from 8,120 users  
Reviews: 94 user | 32 critic

The Epic tale of King Asoka's life.

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
Watch Trailer
0Check in
0Share...

On Disc

at Amazon

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 33 titles
created 28 Apr 2011
 
a list of 23 titles
created 23 Oct 2011
 
a list of 23 titles
created 20 Feb 2012
 
a list of 46 titles
created 01 Aug 2012
 
a list of 41 titles
created 25 Jan 2013
 

Related Items


Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Ashoka the Great (2001)

Ashoka the Great (2001) on IMDb 6.8/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Ashoka the Great.
2 wins & 17 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Ra.One (2011)
Action | Adventure | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.9/10 X  

A video game developer's world spirals out of control when his shape-shifting indestructible virtual creation becomes all too real.

Director: Anubhav Sinha
Stars: Arjun Rampal, Shah Rukh Khan, Kareena Kapoor
Veer-Zaara (2004)
Drama | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

The story of the love between Veer Pratap Singh, an Indian, and Zaara Hayaat Khan, a Pakistani...a love so great it knows no boundaries...

Director: Yash Chopra
Stars: Shah Rukh Khan, Preity Zinta, Rani Mukerji
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

After finding and losing his true love in London, Samar Anand defies death by becoming a bomb disposal expert for the Indian Army. Returning to London after 10 years, he suffers amnesia after an accident. Will he be reunited with his love?

Director: Yash Chopra
Stars: Shah Rukh Khan, Katrina Kaif, Anushka Sharma
Don 2 (2011)
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

An international gangster turns himself in, then dramatically escapes - only to face treachery and betrayal.

Director: Farhan Akhtar
Stars: Shah Rukh Khan, Florian Lukas, Om Puri
Dil Se.. (1998)
Drama | Romance | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

The clash between love and ideology is portrayed in this love story between a radio executive and a beautiful revolutionary

Director: Mani Ratnam
Stars: Shah Rukh Khan, Manisha Koirala, Preity Zinta
Darr (1993)
Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

A woman is caught between one man's love and another man's obsession. She fears one and fears for the other. One stands for love and the other for life. Who will she choose?

Director: Yash Chopra
Stars: Sunny Deol, Juhi Chawla, Shah Rukh Khan
Comedy | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

During their college years, Anjali was in love with her best-friend Rahul, but he had eyes only for Tina. Years later, Rahul and the now-deceased Tina's eight-year-old daughter attempts to reunite her father and Anjali.

Director: Karan Johar
Stars: Shah Rukh Khan, Kajol, Rani Mukerji
Musical | Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Raj Mathur alias Raju lives in picturesque Darjeeling, is a devout Hindu, likes praying to Bhagwan Shri Shiv, studies Engineering, and wants to become rich - at warp speed. He does well in ... See full summary »

Director: Aziz Mirza
Stars: Shah Rukh Khan, Amrita Singh, Juhi Chawla
Kal Ho Naa Ho (2003)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

Life of a very serious girl Naina, changes on the arrival of her new neighbour, Aman, who teaches her a new way to live.

Directors: Nikhil Advani, Ron Reid Jr.
Stars: Preity Zinta, Shah Rukh Khan, Saif Ali Khan
Mohabbatein (2000)
Musical | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

In India, open romance is forbidden, as is showing affection in public. A college principal named Narayan is a strong believer in this, aware that a male student named Vicky is in love with... See full summary »

Director: Aditya Chopra
Stars: Amitabh Bachchan, Shah Rukh Khan, Uday Chopra
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

A young man and woman - both of Indian descent but born and raised in Britain - fall in love during a trip to Switzerland. However, the girl's traditional father takes her back to India to fulfill a betrothal promise.

Director: Aditya Chopra
Stars: Shah Rukh Khan, Kajol, Amrish Puri
Baazigar (1993)
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

Widowed Madan Chopra lives a very wealthy lifestyle with two daughters, Seema and Priya. His passion is racing, and realizing that he is not young anymore, has his last race and wins - only... See full summary »

Directors: Abbas Alibhai Burmawalla, Mastan Alibhai Burmawalla
Stars: Shah Rukh Khan, Rakhee Gulzar, Kajol
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Asoka
...
Kaurwaki (as Karriena Kapoor)
...
Virat
Rahul Dev ...
Bheema
...
Devi
Gerson Da Cunha ...
King Bindusara (as Gerson da' Cunha)
Subhashini Ali ...
Dharma (as Subhashini)
Umesh Mehra ...
Emperor Chadragupta
Sooraj Balaji ...
Prince Aryan
Johnny Lever ...
Magadha Soldier
Raghuvir Yadav ...
Magadha Soldier
Suresh Menon ...
Magadha Soldier
Ajith Kumar ...
Susima
Shilpa Mehta ...
Queen - Susima's Mother (as Shilpa A. Mehta)
Rajlaxmi R. Roy ...
Bar Girl (Aa Tayar Ho Ja)
Edit

Storyline

Prince Ashoke (Shahrukh Khan), heir to the Magadha Kingdom, bowing to his mother's (Shilpa Mehta) demand forsakes his princely status and goes to live in the wild for awhile. There he meets and falls in love with Kaurwaki (Kareena Kapoor). He identifies himself as Pawan, not wanting to disclose his identity yet. Ashoke has to return to Magadha, but when he returns to find and wed Kaurwaki, he is told by Bheema (Rahul Dev) that Kaurwaki and her brother Arya have been killed. Devastated Ashoke returns home. On the way home he is attacked and Devi (Hrishitaa Bhatt), of the Buddhist faith rescues him and tends to him till he gets well. As a result, Devi's marriage to her groom is cancelled. Ashoke weds her and brings her to Magadha, only to be told by his father that since Devi is not of the same race as he, she cannot be welcomed. Ashoke leaves with Devi and lives in Ujjaini. Soon Devi gets pregnant, and this arouses jealously and hatred amongst Ashoke's step-brothers. As a result they ... Written by rAjOo (gunwanti@hotmail.com)

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

prince | empire | india | buddhism | general | See more »

Taglines:

Only the dead have seen the end of war.


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

26 October 2001 (India)  »

Also Known As:

Ashoka the Great  »

Box Office

Budget:

INR 130,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£235,461 (UK) (26 October 2001)

Gross:

£503,408 (UK) (9 November 2001)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(International) | (uncut) | (director's cut)

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Shah Rukh Khan wanted Aishwarya Rai Bachchan to be cast in the role of Kaurwaki. However, the director, Santosh Sivan, wanted to cast an actress with whom he hadn't already been paired in a leading role. Shahrukh also recommended Sushmita Sen to play the singing dancer in the bar. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Dulha Mil Gaya (2010) See more »

Soundtracks

O Re Kanchi
Written by Gulzar
Composed by Anu Malik
Performed by Shaan, Suneeta Rao (as Sunita Rao) and Alka Yagnik
Courtesy of Sony Music India
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
One of Indian cinema's finest offerings
30 October 2001 | by (London, UK) – See all my reviews

Asoka is a movie by acclaimed cinematographer and director Santosh Sivan, and it is clearly evident from his latest venture that he is about to change the celluloid world forever. The movie is an epic and the first example of International Indian cinema on a wide scale, bigger canvas and projected through the eye of a master filmmaker.

The film begins with the young Prince Asoka (Shah Rukh Khan) as a boy who watches his father accept Jainism, a peaceful religion that encourages him to toss aside his sword, which has caused much bloodshed. The young boy is intrigued by the weapon and picks up the new toy, masters it and soon learns that with the power of yielding this sword comes a great price. A warrior is born who fights many battles yet it is quickly established that this young man is very much fighting human wars, quenching a thirst for power and balancing this with his love for his family, particularly his mother. His mother renounces her son's violent ways and requests him to undergo the greatest education any person can: a journey.

On his journey as an ordinary traveller, the prince encounters friends and learns to eat peasant food with his trusty horse Pawan, who mirroring an opposite reflection to Asoka's seemingly black heart, is pure white with eyes that steal the heart of anyone who gazes into them. While exploring through a forest he meets the Princess Kaurwaki (Kareena Kapoor), whose eyes mesmerise one moment and warn off invaders in a blink. She is the embodiment of beauty and the prince introduces himself as Pawan to her, only to find there is a price on her head and she, accompanied by General Bheema (Rahul Dev) and young Prince Arya (Suraj Balaji), are on their own journey to make it alive to Kalinga where their destiny awaits them.

The journey of Asoka continues with trials and love, jealousy and betrayal, all making up cornerstones of what Prince Asoka experiences along the way. He falls flawlessly in love with Kaurwaki, and she becomes his soul and purpose of living, but destiny strikes a blow only to begin a mission born in rage and spread by blood. To reveal the rest of the movie would be taking too much from the audiences' viewing pleasure but the journey for Asoka is far from over.

A story of a traveller's travels, his education that is the journey, the loves and losses and wars and redemption all encompass this 173 minute epic that grips the viewer from the moment the camera pans down onto Asoka, as if indicating it is descending onto a mountain full of riches within, up until the deeply disturbing ending, which leaves the viewer with a ray of hope before the credits flash to announce not the end of the story but the beginning.

Santosh Sivan's camerawork and direction are par excellence, as his unique flash-technique and use of many shots to accentuate a minor detail in a scene all add together to create a cleverly woven story immortalised on film. In some sequences the camera cuts like a sword with flashes of residue left lingering both on screen and in the viewer's mind, yet in others following, he uses less shots and still manages to maintain rhythm. A film such as Asoka cannot be appreciated on a single viewing alone as upon initial contact one is simply bombarded with an onslaught of visual delights, spellbinding sounds and a story that emerges from our past but still reaches into the depths of every man's soul.

Performance wise Shah Rukh Khan is the life of the movie. His acting prowess is detailed to the fullest in emotional gut-wrenching scenes, that portray innocence, rage, peace and longing all through his demeanour and eye-language. Asoka's arrogance and clarity of his every action, coupled with the consistent river of flowing energy is evident through the actor's performance which to his credit leaves one finding the line which ends with the character and turns into actor. Asoka could not only be Shah Rukh's greatest screen incarnation, but also a clear message to international cinema of his screen presence, dedication and mastery of his art.

Kareena Kapoor, as the warrior princess who acts as sister and mother figure to Arya, a cautious then enduring lover to Asoka and emerges as someone on her own personal journey, in search of her identity and sense of belonging while juggling her duties, heart and mind in a three ring circus, Kareena gives what is by far her finest performance to date. After her innocent and natural debut in Refugee, she is finally allowed to once more realise her potential and play a character that only she could do justice to. Her look sans make up, except a few lines accentuating her eyes as the window to her soul, is as pure as the princess herself and the image of her going to get milk, fully wrapped except for her eyes is of sheer cinematic delight. Kareena has mastered the art of acting with her whole body in a short span of time and her performance in Asoka proves this. One hopes her potential is continually unlocked and her future holds many more performances and films of this calibre.

It is ironical that a film inspired by history is destined to make history itself by being the first Indian masterpiece to be shown at so many festivals, in so many countries and shown nationwide breaking into mainstream British cinema. It is certainly one of Indian cinema's finest offerings and deserves the attention it is bound to receive, missing out on this homage to true cinematic form would be like missing history. Go see it.

Fuad Omar.


29 of 42 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Mention of Buddhism Brit-wit
enjoyed it but... tulz
how it ends xxnabzxx
Are there any musicals? badassjosh0076
ASOKA longest version available ? michael-1218
Is It Just Me? Or.. That Battle Music Gizmo-22
Discuss Ashoka the Great (2001) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?