The moment you think of Arjun, a picture pops up in your head that has a lot to do with BR Chopra’s popular 1980s television series. If not, then a textbook sketch from Amar Chitra Katha would be it. However, the Pandava prince in this film is a rare mix of both of them. And a lot more indeed. Here, he’s not simply someone who excels in archery alone (he has mastered Kalaripayattu too). Also, he won’t be just fighting the Kauravas (he’s battling his conscience too).
Furthermore, in this animised take on one of the most glorious Indian heroes—legends and otherwise—things are a bit different. Not only are some parts of Mahabharata deliberately tampered but also some facets totally ignored, so as to keep the plot crisp and intact. Having said so, director Arnab Chaudhari and his team have done a credible job in this regard by overcoming stereotypes usually associated with mythology. After all, the world’s greatest epic can’t possibly be served within 96 minutes. Besides, this film deserves a sequel.
The Hindi narrative follows Arjun’s transformation from a precocious boy to a confident warrior. To make him appear dominant, fellow characters are evidently subdued. Despite this, a few like Shakuni and Bheem manage to be vivid when they are being funny. What this film lacks in humour, it makes it up with suspense. Not to mention, high-octane action. Vishal-Shekhar’s enigmatic music merely adds to the visual magic.
Though Arjun: The Warrior Prince is not at par with groundbreaking flicks like WALL·E (that came from the same production house), thanks to moments of technical amateurishness, it’s definitely a forward step for animation. Moreover, it’s not another children’s film and can be relished by grown-ups as well. Indian kids who are neck-deep in Japanese anime might experience something fresh and adults will be compelled to test their memory.