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Monday, July 28, 2008

Old vs new Mahabharat

The new version of Mahabharat seems to substitute weak direction and unimpressive acting skills by eye-pleasing actors, fancy camera work and background score.
In the BR Chopra version, the dialogues, the script and the acting (in most parts) was superb and very meaningful. Just get the DVD and listen to Vidur or Krishna’s dialogues and you will see the point. You will discover them a lot more philosophical, realistic and meaningful than what you did when you watched them as a kid. Full marks to Dr. Rahi Masoom Raza (the scriptwriter of the BR Chopra’s Mahabharat) who did a awesome work.
Mahabharata, The Epic's story is awesome
The script of the original epic Mahabharat is very solid and like all good scripts its characters and storyline is so rich and well-fleshed out that they are open to different interpretations and viewpoints even today and are not just cardboard characters with black/white personalities and happenings. More importantly, its message is relevant today more than ever.
For example I know of people who feel Bhishma was the most respected and selfless character as well as those who hold him and his actions responsible for all the pain and bloodshed that eventually happens. Maybe both are right and that’s the beauty of this story because this is so life-like.
I want that the Mahabharat story should be relevant even today and be told to young people both Indians as well as world audience. My ideal depiction would be to make the story real and believable to all audiences. I guess, the acts of miracles shown in the story may be believed by an Indian audience, but a global audience may feel distracted by the glitz etc. and may miss the important messages and lessons from the epic.
Now don’t get me wrong. I BELIEVE in this story and have learnt SO much from it. But I think Krishna’s guidance to Arjuna about his Karma is more important and central to the story than, say, whether the kings wore bejeweled “mukuts” (elaborate Indian crowns) or simple turbans (Indian head-gear made of a long cloth).
I wish somebody tries to tell the story of Kauravas, Pandavas, Krishna and His Gita in a manner that seems historically accurate as well as believable. Millions of Indians including myself have learnt a LOT from the classic BR Chopra version about right and wrong and the meaning and importance of Duty and sacrifice.

I wish someone can make this GREAT epic on a believable (and accurate) and artistically as well as philosophically nuanced. I would want to see this epic as a beacon of wisdom for a world audience, rather than a soap opera or a costume drama with all grease paint and no soul.
Sorry to say, but Ekta’s product is not at all satisfactory. Madam, please concentrate on money making from your inane Saas Bahu serials, it seems you are good at that only.