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Ashoka the Great (2001)

Asoka (original title)
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1:34 | Trailer
The epic tale of King Asoka's life is recounted here.

Director:

Santosh Sivan

Writers:

Saket Chaudhary (screenplay), Santosh Sivan (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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3 wins & 17 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

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

Taglines:

Only the dead have seen the end of war.


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

India

Language:

Hindi

Release Date:

26 October 2001 (India) See more »

Also Known As:

Ashoka the Great See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

INR130,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$337,464, 28 October 2001

Gross USA:

$731,277

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$1,340,718
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

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

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

It was originally released as Ashoka The Great in India. See more »

Alternate Versions

International version runs 150 minutes. Uncut version runs 180 minutes See more »

Connections

References Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000) See more »

Soundtracks

Roshni Se
Written by Gulzar
Composed by Anu Malik
Performed by Abhijeet and Alka Yagnik
Courtesy of Sony Music India
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A pitiful excuse for a biography of one of the most influential historical figures of Asia
8 June 2014 | by jon_s_chanSee all my reviews

I understand that movies are made for the sake of entertainment, but I am ashamed that the only type of entertainment that is appreciated by Indian viewers is romance, which this movie is really about. I read the comments section of this movie and I see a lot of people make excuses to why so much romance was involved in what should have been a serious dramatization of Asoka the tyrant and Asoka the saint. They say that without romance the movie would not have been entertaining. The ones that say this likely have never seen the real good stuff such as Lawrence in Arabia.

Seriously, imagine Lawrence of Arabia movie, not imagine if several scenes portraying his multilayered character were replaced with some romantic scenes with a scantily clad beauty in the desert. That movie would have been laughed at globally. A similar form of adulteration was done in the plot of Asoka. I am startled by the kind of praise this movie has received despite the utter dilution and corruption of topic at hand.

The problem with general Indian audience is they do not even know what makes a good movie. If someone made the movie Asoka without romance and mostly focusing on conquests and spiritual messages, the same fans who are praising this movie would have loved it and probably called their all time favorite. Problem with Indian movie making industry is you very rarely get movies that have been flawlessly directed and focused on a certain topic. This has made the fanbase laud mediocrity.

I am terribly disappointed in Santosh Sivan who went this route, possibly at the behest of producers. I do not doubt Sivan's credentials, but someone like Gowariker would have probably made a far superior flick by condensing the romance to about 10% of what we saw. Sivan and SRK probably took this route to earn profits, but this movie was a huge disappointment at the box office. I believe that if this movie got a Gowariker treatment where he would not give two f***s about catering to the masses, the movie would have done much better.


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