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Vidhu Vinod Chopra
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It has been chronicled in the Geeta that Eklavya wanted to be Sage Dronacharya's disciple in order to excel at bow and arrow shooting, but was refused because of his low caste. He decided to teach himself, and did excel to such an extent that Dronacharya felt threatened that he would beat his ace disciple, Arjun, so he asked Eklavya for his fee - his right thumb, which Eklavya dutifully cut off and presented it to his Guru. Now in modern India, Nishab, whose father was Eklavya, who gave his life trying to protect his master, has now been re-named Eklavya himself, and has been entrusted to guard the lives of Rana Jaywardhan, Ranimaa Suhasinidevi, and their children, Harsh and Nandini, will be called upon to pay the ultimate price, after he learns that his master, the Rana, has been killed. Eklavya, who also carries a dark family secret, slays the two assailants of the Rana, but then in the process also finds out that th! e one who hired them is his very own son. What will prevail - ... Written by
VV Chopra takes on the director's baton after 7 years and unleashes a treat for your senses... your visual senses in particular. Eklavya is nothing less than poetry on celluloid. It's still a wonder why VV Chopra took so long to go behind the camera again, when he can produce such a masterstroke so effortlessly, so effectively.
Technically the film scores in almost all departments. Stunning cinematography is the highest point of the film after Chopra's direction of course. Visually the movie is so delightful with vivid colors of Rajasthan splashed all over the screen. The forts never looked so beautiful, so alive. You can actually feel the royal feel of the film in the costumes, art direction and the whole setup. There is an aura of class all over.
Director is able to extract solid performances from everyone in the cast. Amitabh, as expected excels once again in the title role. Sharmila Tagore could have been used better. Sanjay Dutt, the most enjoyable character, should have been given some more screen presence.
But the biggest drawback of Eklavya is in the most important part. The story. Despite being a rather short film, with only about 120 minutes of running time, the film seems dragging. The second half in particular is slow paced. You might start loosing interest by the end of 1st half itself. If it was not the brilliance in direction, you might even give leaving in the interval a thought. Even the Parineeta chemistry between Saif and Vidya Balan seems to be lost this time.
If only the script had been a bit stronger, a bit more gripping, we easily had a winner in hand. Eklavya is not a looser anyway.
Welcome back Vidhu Vinod Chopra, the director. Don't make us wait so long again.
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