Arjun – The Warrior Prince (2012)

Arjun is nor just an cartoon film. It would a great injustice to term it as a cartoon movie. Director Arnab Choudhury mentioned in the interviews, that Arjun is not a children’s movie. And after watching the movie, I was convinced about the fact. The Mahabharat is means a lot to the Indian culture. Even in Bengali, there is a probetb that says “যাহা নেই ভারতে তাহা নেই ভারতে”, meaning that the incidents which are not present in the Mahabharat, is not going to happen in Bharat(India). We all grew up hearing stories of Mahabharat from our Grandmother or we watched the TV serial or we read the Amar Chitra Katha. In that sense, Arjun is a character who is very familier to us. And yet, the film has an unusual approach, its a story meant for the current age, a boy becomes a man and then a true warrior, dwindling with his own fear, anxity and uncertainty.

Arjun gets a treatment like an action movie. In interviews Arnab Choudhury, stated that, it was his action to make an action film with Arjun as the hero, because he thought that Arjun never got the kind of treatment he deserves. Agreing with that is not at all difficult for me, as in Mahabharat there exists so many stories & so many unique characters, that concentrating on one character in particular is often difficult. While reading or watching Mahabharat, we look at the Pandavs as a whole character, this movie particularly draws our concentration towards Arjun., the warrior of Mahabharat.

The film unfolds from Arjun‘s point of view – the director has very skillfully interweaved two periods of the same story into one. Arjun is first shown as a boy, taking his training from Dronacharya. The film tries to show us the dilemmas that Arjun faced – as a duitiful son, as a committed brother, and a husbandd. The film’s director builds up the narrative by showing what goes into the making of a committed warrior.

The heroic exploits and inner dilemmas of Arjun is woven into the narrative so convincingly, that one watching the movie will forget that this is animation. The characters’ features are drawn sharply, giving the film the look of Japanese manga., But the chacacters could have been designed more Indian looking. The action has a martial arts-movie feel to it, and thus the violence — also the sight of severed torsos — may be too graphic for younger audiences. The animation is often very stiff & still at momments, but there are also beautifully coordinated sequences, like the one, while Draupadi’s sayambar Arjun‘s dive inside the pond to shoot an arrow into the fish.

However the film is not all good, it has its weaknesses. Some characters seem too caricaturish, like Shakuni mama, who could have been give a more subtle touch.

I’m going with three and half out of five for Arjun : The Warrior Prince. Like its hero, the film too is a gallant effort & is an ing interesting interpretation of a much loved mythological story. Woth a watch.