Where is that man who once gave us movies like ‘Lagaan’, ‘Swades’, and ‘Jodhaa Akbar’?
Star Cast: Hrithik Roshan, Pooja Hegde, Kabir Bedi, Arunoday Singh, Manish Choudhary, Nitish Bharadwaj, Narendra Jha and Umang Vyas
Director: Ashutosh Gowariker
Producer: Siddharth Roy Kapur and Sunita Gowariker
Claps For: Performances and Music
Slaps For: Costumes, Sets, Art Direction, Editing, Direction, Screenplay, Storyline and VFX
What’s New: A disastrous movie from Mr. Gowariker in itself is something new and was completely unexpected!
Popcorn Refill: Interval
Plot: One fine day Sarman, an indigo farmer from Armin, makes up his mind to go against the wishes of his uncle and aunty, and pay a visit to the city of Mohenjo Daro.
Upon his arrival, along with his friend Hojo, he meets Chaani and falls in love with her only to realize that she has been engaged to Moonja- son of Mohenjo Daro’s evil ruler Maham.
How Sarman finds out about his real identity and how he wins Chaani’s love and becomes the savior of Mohenjo Daro is what this movie is all about!
Performances: What made Hrithik Roshan select this movie will soon become a bigger question than what wiped out the entire Indus Valley Civilization. He delivers an earnest performance as the simple indigo farmer Sarman and is the back-bone of the movie. But is completely let down by the script that soon turns him into a hero no less than what he has playing off late in movies like ‘Bang Bang’ or ‘Agneepath’.
Kabir Bedi is good, but is let down by the script and direction that only asks him to twitch his eyes every now and then and act evil.
Pooja Hegde is a complete let down and disappoints with her immature act. Thank god she hardly has any scenes after the intermission.
Arunoday Singh surprises with his evil act and is in top form. The surprise package here is Umang Vyas as Roshan’s friend Hojo who will provide some comic relief in an otherwise dull film.
Narendra Jha and Nitish Bharadwaj are good and a delight to watch.
Direction: Let’s come straight to the point- ‘Mohenjo Daro’ is that masterpiece (sarcastically speaking) that will even make Gowariker’s box office failures ‘What’s Your Rashee?’ and ‘Khelein Hum Jee Jaan Se’ look good and worth your time.
A complete let down right from the word go, ‘Mohenjo Daro’ begins with our hero Roshan fighting with the flying crocodiles. And just when you think that the movie will take a turn for the good, there’s Pooja Hegde and her clichéd romantic track with Roshan that completely spoils the fun and prevents the movie from going ahead.
After a lengthy first half (which is still watchable) the viewers are tormented with a disastrous second half that has no story, no emotions but is all about Hrithik vibrating his face ferociously while fighting two men double his size, Arunoday and trying to save the people of Mohenjo Daro in the climax.
Remember how Gowaiker’s movies like ‘Jodhaa Akbar’, ‘Swades’ and ‘Lagaan’ had the perfect balance of romance, political affairs of the place it was situated in, emotions and much more? Well, that goes missing here and proves that Ashutosh has lost his art of storytelling.
‘Mohenjo Daro’ too tries hard to show the romance between Hegde and Roshan, the political affairs of the long-gone civilization and its culture- but fails miserably. The movie just ends up being a love story in Gowariker's fantasy land.
The storyline is so predictable AF. The screenplay is utter rubbish.
The sets and art direction are a huge let down. Maybe they were asked to combine the essence of Indus Valley Civilization with that of the Mughal era- or maybe they took the point of “Creative Liberty” too seriously. I mean, who shows the famous ‘Great Bath’ of ‘Mohenjo Daro’ like this?-
And then, the walls of this on-screen Mohenjo Daro have a pattern where every second brick has been placed in a different manner from the other to give a realistic feel; but instead make the walls look even more fake.
The visual effects in the climax look more like the work of an intern at the VFX studio.
The less written about the costumes, the better it would be. But far away somewhere, there’s Manish Malhotra grinning since his works were a major inspiration behind this movie. And also far away somewhere, a historian sits on a couch and wonders what went wrong with humanity, and especially Mr. Gowariker.
The only saving grace here is A.R. Rahman’s music- and that too isn’t his best. But at least it doesn’t disappoint!
Combo-On-Offer: Drama + Action
Verdict: ‘Mohenjo Daro’ is the worst Ashutosh Gowariker film ever and deserves nothing but TIGHT SLAPS. Also, it’s high time Hrithik stops cashing on his looks and starts doing good films before more articles about how his career is fading starts doing the rounds!