Latest Reviews of DRONA

To be able to enjoy a film like Drona you have to be willing to suspend disbelief and your common sense too. If you succeed in doing that, you might agree it’s a sincere attempt to translate onto Indian screens a kind of modern mythology.

Director Goldie Behl doesn’t look too far for inspiration – Drona borrows its basic plot structure from the Harry Potter story, and then proceeds to generously steal scenes from The Lord of the Rings, Indiana Jones and even the Star Wars movies.

Tormented all through his childhood by his foster family, Adi (that’s Abhishek Bachchan) grows up to be a glum young man who seldom smiles. When an evil ‘asura’ in the guise of mad magician Riz Raizada (played by a way over-the-top Kay Kay Menon) goes mental on him for no apparent
reason, an agile young woman in strange headgear (played earnestly by Priyanka Chopra) shows up out of nowhere to protect Adi by performing some really cool chop-socky on his attackers.

She reveals to him that he’s actually a ‘drona’ – a member of a long dynasty of men entrusted the responsibility of safe-guarding a coveted mythological secret – the elixir of life, which Riz Raizada wants to get a hold of so he can take over the world.

Adi travels across to his real home – a palace in the middle of an unnamed desert town – to be united with his birth mother (played by Jaya Bachchan) who immediately breaks into the lullabies she’s been rehearsing all these years. When Riz follows him there and puts a spell on his
mummy, Adi decides to accept the role he was destined to play.

I have a few complaints against the film, and main among them is the fact that our protagonist isn’t a particularly likeable character. To root for the hero you have to be fond of him, you have to want him to succeed. But it’s difficult to feel affection or pity for Adi because Abhishek Bachchan plays him as a grump who’s always grimacing.

You’d expect to see some emotion from him when he discovers his real identity; you’d think he’d be excited when he learns he has these hidden powers; surely he’d feel cheerful at overcoming his lifelong fears – well no, what you still get is the scowl. Abhishek Bachchan delivers a one-note performance; rarely letting go of his pained expression, almost as if he was worried he’d slip out of character if he showed us a warmer side.

The film’s other big weakness, in my opinion, is that the script’s real backbone – the mythological relevance and back-story – is conveyed in such a boring, affected manner that it simply comes off sounding like mumbo-jumbo.

Take scenes likes the ones in which Priyanka Chopra’s character and her cronies reveal to Adi who they really are and why they’ve suddenly turned up; or the ridiculous scene in which Riz Raizada creates his own clone and then destroys it just as easily but not before rattling off a long speech which makes no sense whatsoever; or even those scenes in which Adi’s birth mother explains to him his role as a ‘drona’ and how he must protect the secret – these scenes could have been written more interestingly instead of being filmed as labored monologues by the actors.

Then there’s the romantic track between Abhishek and Priyanka’s characters which is so forced, it practically jumps at you out of nowhere. On the upside, there’s a spectacular action scene involving the rescue of a horse from a train carriage. Everything from the cable-aided
stunts performed by Abhishek and Priyanka, to the special-effects-generated horse-leaps to and from the top of the train carriage is stunning.

An underwater sequence involving Abhishek Bachchan is dramatically filmed, and it’s in scenes like this – where the effects blend in seamlessly without drawing any special attention – that the CGI really works.

All said and considered, if Drona disappoints, it’s not for lack of trying on the filmmakers’ part. After all, the effort to make a special kind of film is visible on the screen. The director has the means, but seems to lack the imagination required to pull off what he set out to achieve.

A crisper script and a lighter directorial hand is what’s missing here. Director Goldie Behl makes the grave mistake of adopting a very lofty tone to tell his story. Alas, it’s a fantasy film without any of the fun and excitement that ought to go with it.

I’m going with one out of five for Drona, it’s too much rona-dhona for what should have been a flight of fancy.

Posted by: Expertz Web


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