Of bygone era and similarity of stories
Mohenjo Daro is Hrithik Roshan‘s second collaboration with his Jodhaa Akbar director Ashutosh Gowariker. The outing is grand and the bygone era of burnt brick buildings and close knit community has to be seen and appreciated. He has created an ancient era of 2016 BC, resurrected lost souls of an archaeological city and brought a story to life. The film has used good narrative devices and does not depend on factual accuracies for the strength of the story. It is a clear as day interpreted version which is unique and may not be historically matching but it was never meant to be.
There is a core premise and a story, inhabitants of the 5000-year old civilization are going through a recession due to less efforts leading to low returns on agriculture. The basic cause seems to be the universal problem of greed leading to bad decision making. Here the ruling chief’s penchant for gold makes him build a dam across the Sindh river causing irrigation issues. Like all tyrants we have known; he rules with an iron fist and all opposition is brutally nipped at the roots.
The male protagonist challenges the self obsessed system of family rule, fights to save his love and prove that no matter what only good can win and evil has to be eliminated. The filmmaker makes films dipped in history and sautéed in excellent film making and interpretation.
Mohenjo daro is a very large and creative canvas to fill. The civilization has come to us via history textbooks, terracotta figurines and archaeological digs. We know they had the great bath, they used burnt bricks, had structured governance, drainage, exquisite jewelry, priest kings etc
Sarman (Hrithik Roshan) an orphaned indigo farmer, in a small village Samri located in Sindh and raised by relatives. He has walked into the land of opportunities called Mohenjo daro after lots of struggle. He is sent there with his cousin as a chaperone. He wants to increase his business and before long he is in love with Channi played by Pooja Hedge and here the hero finds a new world and new meaning to life. The twist is she is due to become the despotic ruler’s daughter- in- law.
The hero has to undergo numerous obstacles before the evil is dead and democracy is restored in the era of Indus valley civilization.. The movie is meant to be an entertainer and that it does with superb confidence. There are gladiator fights, giant men in the arena full of cheering crowd. The cinematic sensibilities are in place, the director has put in extensive research to ensure that the liberties help the narrative or example when the camera moves through the set of the movie, it is hard not to believe tat you have been transported to this magical times of simple life, barter systems and no electricity.
The crisp editing by Sandeep Francis in the second half hand holds the movie to the clean climax. A.R. Rahman has composed some soulful and some celebratory tracks for the movie.
The positives are many. The hero lives his role well and is sincere in his approach. The heroine is fresh and has a good future. The villains are evil enough and the story is crystal clear and it is not a historical. Watch it as a family entertainer and as a flash back to a probable trip through history.