Banner: Rose Movies, Eros Pictures
Director: Goldie Behl
Producer: Sunil Lulla Shrishti Arya
Cast: Abhishek Bachchan, Priyanka Chopra, Kay Kay Menon, Jaya Bachchan
Bollywood films for long have been venturing on the path of fantasy filmmaking, with tons of loose ends left untied. Suspending beliefs has been a forte many filmmakers have mastered over time. Drona in every sense takes that further and actually offers a fantasy ride, with a very unlike anything villain, make believe lands and time warps. But Drona suspends beliefs to such extent that believing and actually riding the wave is not even an option.
Almost like telling a tale of a storybook, the film is used as a medium to tell the tale of a powerful guardian, Drona and his Bodyguard Sonia (Chopra). Aditya (Bachchan) for years has been living a life of misery, with his ill treating aunt and her son. But under the watchful eyes, his every move is being tracked to ensure he never finds out his true identity. Cursing each living day, Aditya comes face to face with Riz (Menon), a powerful demon in spirit; fervently in search for Drona. The same protector (Drona) who holds the key to the quintessential ‘Amrit’ that provides immortality. A sequence of events leads to the path of self discovery. And when the villain thirsting for immortality and the protector hidden from his true identity collide, the tale that had been told through centuries is once again told.
Ok! In all fairness one must admit the plot as such is pretty interesting. But the fact that there are many inconsequential tangents within this film only dilutes the end effect the film has on its audience. For example does one really need to know if Aditya’s cousin owes money to some goon? How does it affect the character build up of Aditya? That is not all. The manner in which the dialogue is written also to a great extent hampers the entire experience. Words are constructed into a sentence to sound profound and meaningful; where as once you hear the whole thing it just seems hollow. Also there is so much time wasted in establishing characters that beyond a point you just cannot take anymore repetition. Through the first half of the film we already know Riz is the Villian, establishing that at a later point with his mannerisms is of no consequence to anyone or the film.
This takes us to the editing of the film. If only someone had sat and asked ‘What does this do for the film’, perhaps then we would end up watching a much crisper and entertaining film. Even the camerawork is not the greatest we have seen, while some scenes are well shot there are others that are tactless. Adding to that, even the VFX is unpolished and crude in many parts. Go see the scene when Drona finally wears his attire; you can clearly see the thread that holds his stole up while it flutters in the wind. Or see the scene when Drona’s mother is revived from being a statue, visibly fake.
The main aspect that actually hinders the film in every aspect is the extras. With no fault of theirs, they are made to look and do inane things in the background or in small parts as characters. But then every bit of it seems so contrived, that you cannot even pass it off as an element of fiction. Some of the make up done on these characters is dreadful. However all said and done; Chopra looks ravishing. The music is not that great and there is no reasoning as to when a song actually pops up in the film. The depths of despair is reached when you see a sorrowful mother stand atop a fort singing to her son who has just returned after ages. A moment that could have explored emotions is wasted singing a lullaby which does nothing for you.
This film for what its worth does have Bachchan deliver a strong performance that will be remembered after his work in Guru. More than anything this film gets full credit for giving Chopra the opportunity to prove that she can be as fierce as stunning. If anything this film has produced the first female action star, who fights with panache. She performs her role to the T. Jaya Bachchan role is more of a guest appearance than anything else, and the purpose is served; Sadly though an actor of her caliber is reduced to just that in this film. Menon is unlike any villain you have seen till date. He does an incredible job, but then at certain parts the eccentricity of his character seems missing.
Barring a good plot that is weakly executed, Drona has one more thing to offer. Catch the title track at the end of the movie, Chopra looks and dances with great élan. Having said that, this film is far better than last week’s releases and is worth a watch for the performances. So watch it, only if you have to.