Mohenjo Daro was being considered as one of the most anticipated movies of 2016. But its hype got dented due to mixed response to its trailer. Competition from a more appealing movie (Rustom) also did not help Mohenjo Daro’s cause.
The movie released on 12th August, and received mixed reviews by the critics. Result? The audiences did not go to watch the movie.
But, Mohenjo Daro’s team constitutes of Oscar nominee Ashutosh Gowariker, Performance Powerhouse Hrithik Roshan, Oscar Winner AR Rahman, and the Legendry Jaaved Akhtar. How could a prolific team of such experts go wrong? I had this question in my mind, when I went to watch Mohenjo Daro.
Here is my unbiased, spoiler-free review of ‘Mohenjo Daro’.
The theatre, to my surprise, was 90% full. I had expected not more than 30-40% occupancy. The movie started, and the first scene itself resulted in a loud cheer by the audience. It was the perfect start to the movie, and I felt goosebumps already. Then the audience was greeted with enthralling sets of Mohenjo Daro, which either Ashutosh Gowariker, or Sanjay Leela Bhansali can create. Yes, the sets were not glossy like Bajirao Mastani or Jodhaa Akbar, but, then, it is Mohenjo Daro. How can it be glossy? Being an avid lover of History, I noted small things which Ashutosh has taken care of – the brick-laid roads, the houses, the architecture of Mohenjo Daro’s civilization, the paintings on the walls, the clay pots, the drums, the figurines, Indigo Farming etc. For a normal viewer, who loves to see glossy sets and outfits, the first half may look slow and boring. But for me, it was a beautiful experience. Hrithik Roshan looked charming. His boyish looks were similar to Kaho Na Pyaar Hai days. His friend ‘Hojo’ made me smile, and laugh. Their bonding was endearing. Pooja Hegde looked ravishing. Yes, there was nothing special in the Love Story, but it was 2016 BC. It has to be clichéd! It is not a modern day love story. Hrithik Roshan’s transformation from lover boy into a fighter was tremendous. You give any scene to him, and he will take it to a different level. One of the best parts of First Half was the songs. AR Rahman’s music, and Hrithik’s graceful dance moves … what more you want?
The Second Half started with a ‘Bang Bang’. The arena scene, in which Hrithik combats with two giants, matched the level of Gladiator. In fact, expressions and energy of Hrithik was far better than many of the Hollywood heroes, who have performed such scenes. The climax was the best part of the movie. No spoilers here. You have to watch it! I was not expecting this. The crowd clapped and cheered for Hrithik, whenever ‘Sarman’ did something special. And, he gave them many reasons to cheer and clap. Kabir Bedi deserves a special mention too. He has a roaring voice. He was menacing and lethal. AR Rahman's background music will give you goosebumps. Editing is crisp. They have deleted 'Sarsariya' song as well, to keep the film as short as possible. The cinematography is top class. The VFX is good (not the best). The action scenes are mind-blowing.
The movie ended on a High! When I walked out of the theatre, I stayed in Mohenjo Daro’s trance for quite a long time. The climax kept on replaying in my mind. Then I thought, why critics gave such response to a great movie. Maybe most of them don’t know anything about Indus Valley, and thus made fun of the props, the dresses, and the architecture.
Mohenjo Daro is a must watch for a lover of good cinema. Today we call Swades a cult-classic. It is because of us that Swades had bombed at the box-office. Lagaan too had struggled to recover its costs, and was saved by its second half, which was a cricket match. Sadly, Mohenjo Daro is also heading towards the same fate.
It is high time we ignore critics, and start believing in our own instincts. If I had gone by critics’ reviews I would have definitely missed an opportunity to watch a great movie on big screen.
3.5/5 for the First Half.
5/5 for the Second Half.
4.25/5 and thumbs up for Mohenjo Daro. This movie deserves to be seen.
Go Watch Mohenjo Daro!