While the west is moving towards building newer stories and better animation works, Indians are going further backwards or rather deeper into our mythology to dig out the smallest of characters and weave an animated mythological saga for children. So after countless films on countless versions of Mahabharata and Ramayana yet another film with mythological leaning Arjun - The Warrior Prince makes it to the theaters.
The storyline begins with Arjun as a nine-year-old boy and follows him till he grows into the warrior that the world knows him as. It explores his life with his brothers in Hastinapur, his training and education and his ultimate discovery of the warrior within himself.
One does understand that animation films are still at a nascent stage in India and the technology itself isn't advanced enough to make for a visual delight but it still holds on reason for whatever little animation films that release to not have stories that entice viewers of all age brackets. While in the west films like Up, Rango, Ice Age series, Shrek series among others are being conceived, in India people are happily scavenging smallest of characters from our mythology to bring out offerings like Bal Hanuman, Chota Bheem, Ghatothkach etc.
Debutant filmmaker Arnab Chaudhari too takes a safe bet by weaving a plot around Arjun one of the most celebrated characters in Mahabharata in a bid to attract his audience. But his safety measures end there. The filmmaker meticulously tries representing the segments of Mahabharata from the eyes of Arjun's transgender avatar Brihannala who recites the tale to a young warrior prince of Viraat. Moreover, he restricts his plot only to Arjun and rather than stuffing the entire epic in the film, narrating incidences that help Arjun grow from a wavering, vulnerable little boy to the warrior prince.
Arnab also laboriously presents a pleasing visual treat to the eyes. The animation work has been laboriously done and can easily be claimed to be one of the best works in the recent times. The detailing in the backdrop and the grandeur successfully accentuates the movie viewing experience.
Over all, Arjun has all the right ingredients to attract its target mass and also a crackling animation work to entice them into his world!
Critic: Mansha Rastogi
(3 / 5) : Good