Drona — more flaws than fantasy

October 3, 2008

drona.jpg My most reliable test of judging a fantasy film is whether I notice the person sitting in the next seat – if I do, that means the film wasn’t gripping enough for me to be totally absorbed in it.

That’s what a fantasy film should do – transport you into its imaginary world and haul you back only when the end credits roll – for that matter, any film should do that.

Drona didn’t pass the test.

That said, director Goldie Behl must be at least acknowledged for making the film – Drona is India’s serious attempt at making a fantasy flick with spectacular visual effects, unless we have Hatim Tai, starring Jeetendra, and a whole host of other tacky B-Grade Bollywood fantasy in mind.

Drona is certainly not in the line of Lord of the Rings or Harry Potter series, at least some one tried something different, and that needs to be lauded.

Not that this is to overlook the flaws in the film – especially when it actually starts off quite promisingly. We are told of an age old tale – the Gods nominate a particular king and his inheritors (Dronas) as the protectors of the precious amrit (nectar), which is sought by the asuras (demons).

We are introduced to Aditya, (Abhishek Bachchan) an orphan who grows up lonely and neglected in the company of grouchy aunt and her spoilt son (a la Harry Potter?).   

Unaware of his “special powers” Aditya meets magician Riz Raizada, an asura in search of the elusive amrit.

Riz recognises that Aditya is Drona and tries to capture the unsuspecting Aditya, and is almost successful, but his plans are thwarted by Sonia (Priyanka Chopra) – a female “bodyguard” of sorts, whose sole aim in life is to protect Drona.

In an impressive sequence, shot in the cobble-stoned streets of Prague, Sonia defeats Drona’s adversaries and tells him about his hidden strengths. Until now, the film had my undivided attention.

From here on, it should have become more interesting. Instead, the film starts spluttering.

Aditya is introduced to his mother, Jayati Devi (Jaya Bachchan in an insipid performance), who makes him aware of his responsibilities.

Enter the evil villain, who turns Jayati Devi into stone and warns Aditya/Drona that unless he brings him the amrit, his mother will not be released.

That sets Aditya, and of course Sonia, on a quest for the amrit. During the journey they encounter magical lands, strange people and of course, danger. Somewhere along the way romance blooms.

The special effects were what this film was touted for – and they do impress. Watch out for the scene with the horse and the train – but they impress only occasionally. Behl’s direction is the same – good in fits and starts. He is obviously inspired by LOTR and Harry Potter, but at least he should have stuck to that style of film making. Why try and add a Indian touch to it, such as the inane songs that are inserted at all the wrong moments and without any provocation whatsoever. Instead of taking the story forward, the songs in this film just hamper an already weak script.

Of the cast, Chopra is smouldering – as Sonia, she kicks in a punch and comes out as a better warrior than Drona.

That brings me to Abhishek Bachchan. Make no mistake; he does act the part well, especially in the first half and performs the stunts with required expertise but I just didn’t think he cut it as Drona.

He is saddled with some bad costumes and he isn’t looking his best. Perhaps a little more attention to styling could have saved the day.

Overall, this is an average film – neither great and nor too bad. Worth a watch only for the fact that this is Bollywood’s first real attempt at making a fantasy film.

19 comments

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Hey Abhi,

After doing serious films like Guru and Sarkar, you should not be touching movies like these. Maybe “Goldie” is your good friend but you need to get serious. Please note that it hurts your and your’s Pa’s fan’s when people demean you.
I am shocked to see certain comments being passed by people who don’t know the ABC of movie making or acting. But you cannot stop the audience – They pay to watch the movies and will be upset if the movie is not worth the money they pay. We would like to see you in some serious movies and can you please work on your physique when you are planning such films – 2 assistants seriously needed for you (one who can design your wardrobe and the other your physique) – Hope you don’t mind.
Gone are the days when people used to only talk “Talent” – Its the package that matters.

I am sure that this is a passing phase and you will definitely come back with a vengeance – All the best

Posted by Barrie | Report as abusive

shilpa sure sounds like she is really dumb to even say this movie is AVREAGE,it is the most miserable movie ever made

Posted by babbo | Report as abusive

collosal waste of time.

Posted by vlanchi | Report as abusive

come on guys lets think that this movie will bring in more such movies (fiction and fantasy). Say suppose this film fails to hit box office, many producers or directors will not select these kind of movies in future. so please don’t make any thought hampering comments. please see this Hindi movie and don’t ever compare it any English movie because the producers or the directors are not given the kind of money their counterparts get.

Moreover it will our misery again to see actors romancing in the garden or park and singing songs.

Posted by meerajesh | Report as abusive

Friends I watched DRONA it is great movie. Nobody can make such a movie which need so much imagination & hardwork. If u see the movie u will realise it is absolutely new experience for audience. Ordinary Hindi movie may have 1 or 2 of good scene which r the highlight of the film. But in DRONA there r dozens of such seen which Hindi audience never see. I recommend everyone to watch the movie.

Posted by gopi | Report as abusive

Dear Mr. Goldie Behl,

It is great to see ur courage by directing a super super
Third class film .
I dont remember I have seen such a raddi movie ever before.
What u have the Intentions ?
Are the movie lovers are fool
NO STORY, NO MUSIC, NO ACTING, NO EDITING,every thing is boring.
I would advice if u would have made a 4-D animation film
for showing in ATRIA Mall just for 10-15 minutes to show ur special graphics.

Posted by Atul Agrawal | Report as abusive

We were very much disappointed by the movie. Based on promos which indeed were good in UAE I thought it is worth watching. But I appreciate the effort in creating the special effect. Given the same amount of resources the film could have been a better product. Better attempt next time Goldie

Posted by megha | Report as abusive

i loved the underlying storyline. Drona had the makings of being a great film and it didnt quite cut it. it started of great. the storytelling etc however i think it took too long for him to grow up and then learn of his powers. also too much of the film was spent in modern surroundings. the more ancient the scenery the better it would have been.
the songs were pointless (apart from the title song at the end). they spoiled good moments.
There should have been more action on abhishek’s part since he was he lead role. however he did look good in the tradional get up although it was a bit worn looking. he hardly had any lines though. it needed more showing him gaining knowlege and power and training in combat.
Priyanka was fabulous. she looked hot and she stole the limelight in a lot of the action scenes. in some parts it was like she was Drona not him.
all in all a good attempt however if a sequel is ever on the way it needs to be bigger. less songs, more action, more fantasy… just MORE

Posted by Rebeka | Report as abusive

Waste of precious time and effort on a miserable performance.Hard to sit through this boring movie

Posted by gayathiri | Report as abusive

A movie worth to watch -
It is a first Bollywood movie which proves high quality of fantasy, special effects and technology, with Indian style. It is the really innovative creation and it opens a new theme for movies in Bollywood. Now, we can hope, in near by future Indians need not to be depend only on Hollywood for good fiction and fantasy movies.

Posted by Anand | Report as abusive

This movie is a terrible waste of time. I am a huge Abhishek Bachchan fan from the time of Refugee, but I had to walk out of this film to maintain my feelings about him. It was painful. Abhishek was nonetheless redeemed when I happened upon Guru on television last evening and watched his stellar performance.

Posted by Abhishek Fan | Report as abusive

and why forget Riz Raizada? Kay Kay Menon is good in thatt role, though sometimes it is a bit of over acting. but with his funny hair style, puppets and dialogue delivery “gustakhi maaf”…he impressed I think.

Posted by santosh | Report as abusive

Hi.
Anyone doing something different is worth watching. Drona is fine but the main problem is the treatment given to the concept. A film maker has a angle of creativity so he can try on different things as Goldy Behl did in the past with BAS ITNA SA KHWAB HAI. It did not worked but was something different. Selecting topics is different and if you pick up an historical base for a fantasy touch then you have to balance with the historical issue. The character DRONA was not justified. Adding fantasy is good but it should justify the main character .i.e. DRONA.
Anyways, a good try. Better luck next time !!!!!!!!

PANKAJ R. SHARMA.

Posted by Pankaj R. Sharma | Report as abusive

Why is Abhishek lauded as a superstar, when he has nothing to show other than his Bachchan surname?! Junior AB has been in films for long, i cant remember any film which he single handedly made a hit or one in which he showed his acting skills (if any)! Yuva, Sarkar and Guru were his best performances but all of these were just their ace directors’ skills. And i believe some other good actor would’ve done these roles easily far better than AB! Not to forget, AB was the biggest misfit in both the Dhooms!

Posted by Namith | Report as abusive

Abhishek Bachchan should stick to Aishwarya Rai and Goldie Behl should stick to Sonali Bendre. God Save Them and Spare Us!

Posted by madhu | Report as abusive

Hai friends,
DRONA is full of entertainment. It has got everything in it. Good concept, super perfomance, stunning special effects, amazing stunts. Full credit to the cast & crew of the film. You can see their hardwork on screen. You have to watch it. You cannot see such a excellent film in hindi cinema frequently. So Watch it guys. Congratulations to Goldie for making such a special film.

Posted by gopinath | Report as abusive

the picture is absolutley disgusting, AB does not appear to know what he is doing, I walked out of the movie in disgust. My advice sit at home and watch cartoons, that way time would be better spent

Posted by Amjad | Report as abusive

a very boring movie, couldn’t catch attention. Hatim Tai made years earlier was a much better fantasy film, if in case this could be called a fantasy film.

Drona is an excellent movie…a gud attempt to make fantasy films in INDIA………Hey guys who criticize all these works……just encourage the films…rather than just criticizing it……..

So i have a question is ther anyone ther whoo criticized this fil…who can really make a gud Fantasy film… atleat can they write a story….hm……

Congrats …..ABHISHEK.. and Goldie….

Posted by Lhariharan | Report as abusive