Monday, February 19, 2007

Movie Review - Eklayva : The Royal Guard

Director: Vidhu Vinod Chopra
Cast: Amitabh Bachchan, Saif Ali Khan, Vidya Balan, Boman Irani, Jackie Shroff, Sanjay Dutt, Jimmy Shergill, Raima Sen and Sharmila Tagore

The movie marks the return of Vidhu Vinod Chopra as a director after a hiatus of 7 years – his last movie being Mission Kashmir in the year 2000. Known for his excellent story telling as well as the portrayal of characters, Chopra does not fail in giving us another thrilling story.

The story starts with the Rani Suhasinidevi (Sharmila Tagore) lying in her bed and calling unconsciously for “Eklavya”. Her husband Rana Jaywardhan (Boman Irani) is alongside her and so her is insane daughter Rajkumari Nandini (Raima Sen). The character played by Amitabh Bachchan is seen writing a letter to his son, telling him that he is getting old and it was his sons duty to return to his fathers side to help him during his old age, which has resulted in considerable loss of sight.

As the Rani keeps calling for “Eklavya”, Rana gets enraged and strangles her. Nandini is a witness to this murder, but due to the fact that she is insane, she is unable to comprehend that her father has murdered her mother. Soon after the murder of the queen, we learn that Eklavya is the name of the character being portrayed by Amitabh Bachchan.

We also learn that Eklavya and his ancestors have been the royal bodyguards of the Ranas of Devigarh. His duty is to keep the present Rana, his family and the castle safe. It’s also believed that if Eklavya fails in performing his duties, his next seven generations would rot in hell.

The Rana instructs Eklavya to call for his son, Rana Harshwardhan, who could not bear the unfair treatment of the farmers at the hands of the royal family and lives in London. After Harshwardhan arrives Rajeshwari (Vidya Balan) a.k.a “Rajjo”, the daughter of the driver and a close friend of Nandini who also happens to be Harshwardhan’s childhood sweetheart and was also taking care of the queen during her last days, hands over a letter to him written by the queen.

Through this letter, we get to know the deep secrets of the house – Eklavya is the father of Harshwardhan and Nandini. Jaywardhan was unable to bear kids and hence the then queen of the royal house had allowed Suhasinidevi to bear Eklayva’s kids to provide for heir of the royal dynasty. Jaywardhan is kept in the dark while the three people who knew the secret; swear to take the secret to their grave. The letter Eklavya was writing in the beginning of the movie was the part of his diary, which he had never shown Harsh.

Suhasinidevi breaks the vow, so that her son could take care of his father. Unknown to her, her husband, Jaywardhan also had come to know of the secret and this is the reason he murders his wife when she utters Eklavya incoherently in her semi-conscious state. His rage is driven to madness and he plans to kill Eklavya, by enlisting the help of his brother Rana Jyotiwardhan (Jackie Shroff) and nephew Rana Udaywardhan (Jimmy Shergill).

Would Jaywardhan and Jyotiwardhan succeed in their plans of killing Eklavya? Would Harsh be able to save his father from them and nail the murderer of his mother? The answers form the plot of the story, expertly captured on camera by Vidhu Vinod Chopra.

Though I did not like the story a lot, since it was very predictable and since it bore similarities to mythologies; I loved the actors, who gave life to their characters. The camera work was amazing as it captured all the glory of the castle and the villages. The song “Chanda Re” is very catchy.

A very decent movie overall, and personally I would give it a 3 out of 5.

Sources: Wikipedia, Official site of Eklayva – The Royal Guard.


At February 20, 2007 9:04 AM, Blogger Riot said...

I too liked the movie. I did however wish the movie moved a little quicker at times. I give 3.5/5

At February 20, 2007 5:12 PM, Blogger ursjina said...

same here..i felt the movie was a lil unconnected and too predictable...

i dont actually owe u an explanation...the post was significant for me coz I never used to say NO to anyone
And for a person from a development sector background..the job was a catch...:)

At February 22, 2007 11:14 PM, Blogger Nirmal T V said...

I would give the movie 2.5/5 since the story line is weak...but exceptional performances and direction make it worth watching...


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