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Mahabharat is probably the greatest story that has ever been told over the ages in India. It forms the base fabric from which are woven a zillion other tales. Given the framework of animation, there is immense potential in the story to bring to life a mystical visual treat that is layered in its story telling and exhaustive in creative detailing. Pen's Mahabharat sadly is neither. Boring shoddy and downright appalling the film is a death sentence for movie goers.
Touted as the costliest animation film in the country, one wonders which drain the money went down into. Boasting of a stellar voice cast- from Vidya Balan to Big B to Shot Gun to Ajay Devgn- the film is a huge let down since it does nothing to reinvent or in the least retell the epic interestingly.
There is a litany of issues with the enterprise. Most of which are to do with an abject lack of creativity. The animation is downright embarrassing, every character is weirdly fair, moves like toys from cheap China shops, bloated up to look muscular and reflects, to my horror, the actual features of the voice artists in the worst possible manner. When an animation artist manages to make Vidya Balan look like a tranny off MG road at night, you know the film is an experiment gone awry. Adding to the bad characters is the worse scenery. There is nothing inventive or neat about the way hastinapur and kurukshetra are imagined in the film, eliciting yawn after yawn especially in the sad war sequence.
To retell an epic on animation does not always need mega bucks. Simple imagination and creativity can work wonders as well. Arjun from two years ago was one such brilliant example which was one of the best animation retellings of an Indian epic in years. Mahabharat though is unbelievably bad. Given a choice between AAmirs sullen D3 look and this, I would go watch Neil and Nicky on loop and yet come out alive. Stay Clear.