Nepal | December 15, 2018

THT TALKIES: Saif steals Eklavya’s thunder

Rabindra Pokharel

Kathmandu:

Eklavya (Drama)

Cast: Amitabh Bachchan, Sharmila Tagore, Jackie Shroff, Sanjay Dutt, Saif Ali Khan, Vidya Balan, Jimmy Shergill, Boman Irani, Raima Sen

Direction: Vidhu Vinod Chopra

Showing at Kumari Cinema

After a seven-year hiatus, Eklavya undeniably marks the comeback of Vidhu Vinod Chopra as director. Set in contemporary India, where the relics of the splendour and magnificence of the vanquished royalty still struggle in a time warp, the eponymous character too struggles with his decrepit values of ‘dharm’ and ‘adharm’. And in the mêlée of morals amidst the magnificent aura of the era past, the story gets engrossing even as it marks a departure from chiffon cinema.

But among the other USP’s of the flick, that mostly revolves around the loyalty story of the royal guard Eklavya, the film also recaptures glimpses of the idiosyncrasies of an obdurate royalty and adds to the high point of the movie.

Eklavya (Amitabh Bachchan) is not only the guard who protects the walls of the fortress, but is also privy to the secret that protects the vestiges of the royal reputation.

Pre-intermission, the flick flirts with the conflict between age-old values while the later half provides cathartic moments while scores are settled and due justice dispensed. Besides the bravura image of the swashbuckling guard, the opulent cinematography and the sparkling screenplay makes for some of the memorable moments in the flick.

While it’s Big B, who captures most of the brilliant screen moments, Saif Ali Khan, as the heir to the royal legacy stands out as another revelation. After a spree of brilliant performances, this one indeed adds another feather to his cap. While Rana Harshwardhan (Boman Irani) as an impotent royal is repulsive to the core, Pannalal Chohar (Sanjay Dutt) provides precious moments of humour in a flick that is mostly dark and brooding.


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