Mohenjo Daro, a spectacular film by Ashutosh Gowarikar, is a fictional take. I did not view this film as the one conveying the facts about Indus Valley Civilization, Mohenjo Daro or Harappa. Throughout the film, I felt that Ashutosh is conveying a story of love, power battles, treachery keeping one of the greatest city of Indus Valley Civilization, Mohenjo Daro, as the pretext. In one of the earlier interviews, Ashutosh had mentioned that his biggest challenge was recreating an era about which very little is known. Very little information is available on how people lived, what they ate, how they felt during those times. He has weaved a love story set in this Ancient India. It may be unfair to judge this film on the basis of historical accuracy or inaccuracy, but it has to be treated as a piece of art depicting the director’s imagination and school of thought.
Set in 2016 BC, the film begins with Sarman’s (Hrithik Roshan) overpowering dangerous crocodile, and killing it. Sarman stays with his Kaka-Kaki (uncle-aunty played) in Amri and they are into indigo farming. He frequently dreams of Unicorn, a beast with a large pointed spiraling horn projecting from its forehead. Whenever he listens to his Kaki humming a particular song, though it sounds familiar to him, he is unable to figure out how and why. He also feels the strong urge to travel to Mohenjo Daro for business. But Kaka-Kaki are always afraid to send him there. Ultimately they pay heed to Sarman’s request. Kaka permits him to go with a warning that Mohenjo Daro is full of fake people, treachery, challenges. While doing business there, he must take care of not undervaluing his brand. Kaka also gives him a coin which has the emblem of Unicorn and Sindhu Goddess. Sarman is excited to go to Mohenjo Daro, his friend also accompanies him.
Sarman gets fascinated to see Mohenjo Daro, the buildings over there. He also was astonished to see a world other than his, where he found people from different parts of the world coming there for trade, different animals like horse etc. Sarman also feels that he is able to identify with the city, he feels a sense of ownership towards it. He feels as if he knows this city. Very soon he learns that what his Kaka conveyed regarding the land about the bad elements was absolutely true. He wanted to go back, but that is when he encounters a beautiful girl Channi (Pooja Hegde), daughter of the priest (Manish Choudhary). It was instant attraction at the first sight itself. Channi is supposed to be showered with special blessings of Goddess Sindhu. Sarman decides to stay back and continue with the business there.
Mohenjo Daro is ruled by Maham (Kabir Bedi). People at Mohenjo Daro are terrified with Maham as well as his son Moonja (Arunoday Singh). Maham does not forgive people who raise their voice against him. The film does share the story of this ruler who is power hungry, gives false hopes of development of the city. His vested interests to rule the city, his greed for gold etc. are also shown.
Cast and Crew Details: Source – Wikipedia page of this film
Cast: Hrithik Roshan (Sarman), Pooja Hegde (Chaani), Kabir Bedi (Maham), Arunoday Singh (Moonja), Suhasini Mulay (Laashi), Nitish Bhardwaj (Durjan), Sharad Kelkar (Surjan), Manish Choudhary (The Priest), Diganta Hazarika (Lothar)
Directed by: Ashutosh Gowariker
Produced by: Siddharth Roy Kapur, Sunita Gowarikar
Written by: Preeti Mamgain
Screenplay by: Ashutosh Gowariker
Story by: Ashutosh Gowariker
Cinematography: CK Muraleedharan
Edited by: Sandeep Francis
Music by: AR Rahman
Production Company: UTV Motion Pictures, Ashutosh Gowarikar Productions Private Limited
Distributed by: Disney India
Release date: 12th August, 2016
Duration: 2 hours 35 minutes
Sarman steals opportunities to meet Channi and love blossoms between them. But yes, challenges begin for Sarman and Channi. Moonja who wants to get married to Channi, can not let Sarman connect to Channi. Sarman has to earn and win Channi’s love, for which challenges are thrown in front of him by Maham and Moonja. Maham’s wife Laashi (Suhasini Mulay) does warn both father and the son, but they don’t even give any ears to her.
How the story moves further? What is the connection of Sarman with the City Mohenjo Daro ? What is the secret of his dreams of Unicorn ? Why does the tune hummed by his Kaki seems familiar to him? What all challenges are thrown in front of Sarman by Maham and Moonja ? Does the city accept their newly emerging hero Sarman ? In History, it is written that this city of Mohenjo Daro is believed to have been destroyed by the raging Indus river flooded over. So, in this film, what fate awaits Mohenjo Daro ? Watch the film to know all these.
Hrithik Roshan as Sarman has given extremely good performance. Pooja Hegde is looking good on screen. Nitish Bhardwaj as Sarman’s Kaka has small screen time. Kabir Bedi and Arunodaya Singh as the antagonist father-son are good. Digant Hazarika as Lothar and Manish Choudhary as Priest have also give good performances. Rest of the cast are also good. Music by AR Rahman is good and fresh to ears. Choreography is kept very simple. Cinematography is awesome.
Mohenjo Daro is visually spectacular, packed with Hrithik’s powerful performance. This love story set in the pretext of Mohenjo Daro may seem familiar, but kudos to Ashutosh Gowarikar for painting the story on a large canvas.
Rating : 4.5 / 5 (Very Good+)