It breaks my heart to say this because so much talent and sweat is involved but Mohenjo Daro is a mess.  It has ambition and scale.  It also has the industrial strength sincerity of Hrithik Roshan who invests his soul into every scene.   But the burden of carrying this leaden, cartoon-like narrative proves too much even for his Herculean shoulders.  At best, the film works as unintentional comedy.


I’m sure that director Ashutosh Gowariker started with a grand vision – a historical set in 2016 BC – essentially Amar Chitra Katha meets 300 meets Baahubali.  The film doesn’t claim to be an accurate representation of the ancient Indian civilization.  In essence, Ashutosh, who has also written the story, was creating his own world.  The vision deserves applause but the director has been utterly let down by his own writing.  The story is so simplistic and feeble that the film starts wobbling in the first few minutes.  And you have approximately 150 more to go.


We are introduced to the noble and handsome Sarman who can kill a crocodile.  Sarman seems like a regular village hero with a sidekick named Hojo – perhaps inspired by Hodor in Game of Thrones.  Except that he dreams of a one-horned animal and is desperate to see the big city – Mohenjo-daro.  Soon he makes his way there.  Before you know it, Sarman and Chaani, the priest’s daughter, are making eyes at each other.  He saves her from horses – they are rushing at her.  He jumps in between and shouts Shaanth.   And they listen! But Chaani is already booked – she has to marry Moonja, the glowering son of Mohenjo-daro’s pradhan Maham.  Between them, the murderous Moonja and Maham keep all the citizens of this town terrorized and subservient.  Obviously Sarman isn’t going to stand around while injustice is meted out every day.   


This battle of good versus evil is interrupted by traditions like Milan Raat – basically a mass dating night during which the men have to declare love for the women they desire.  Sarman has already been identified as a troublemaker so he participates in this by disguising himself – he puts two white lines on his cheeks and red paint around his eyes.  And guess what – no one recognizes him.  I think the weight of all the headgear that these people wear seems to have addled their brains.  In another scene, Chaani disguises herself by just taking off the ridiculous feathered headdress that she wears.  And guess what, no one recognizes her either.   But I was happy to discover that the palat rule was operational in pre-historic India also.  You know, palat from DDLJ – when Raj says that if Simran loves him, she will turn back to look.  Sarman uses the same line and of course Chaani looks back.  


When Sarman gets too problematic, Maham throws him into an arena with oversized, dreadlocked warriors called Bakar-Zokar.   Their fight sequence is the highlight of the film.  As is A. R. Rahman’s fantastic music.    The rest of it veers between bewildering and bad.  Ashutosh tries to bolster the story by tacking on larger lessons on greed, the price of progress and revenge but it just doesn’t hold together.  Debutant Pooja Hegde looks lovely but I hope she gets to do more in her next film.


In an interview, Ashutosh had requested viewers to suspend disbelief when they see the film.   I really tried.  But eventually Maham’s horned headdress defeated me.



I’m going with one and a half stars.

Did you like this blog?*
How did you find this blog?*
What kind of articles would you like to read on the blog?*

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More in Anupama Chopra

  • Anupama Chopra’s Film Review of 102 Not Out

    Director: Umesh Shukla Cast: Rishi Kapoor, Amitabh Bachchan, Jimit Trivedi Review by: Anupama Chopra. 102 Not Out is a testament to the talent of Rishi...

    BMS EditorMay 4, 2018
  • Anupama Chopra’s Film Review of Daas Dev

    Director: Sudhir Mishra Cast: Rahul Bhat, Richa Chadha, Aditi Rao Hydari, Saurabh Shukla, Vineet Kumar Singh, Vipin Sharma Review by: Anupama...

    Anupama ChopraApril 27, 2018
  • Anupama Chopra’s Film Review of Avengers: Infinity War

    Directors: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo Cast: Robert Downey Jr, Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Don Cheadle, Benedict Cumberbatch, Josh Brolin, Tom Holland, Chadwick Boseman, Zoe Saldana, Tom Hiddleston, Paul Bettany, Anthony Mackie, Elizabeth Olsen,...

    Anupama ChopraApril 27, 2018
  • Anupama Chopra’s Film Review of Baaghi 2

    Director: Ahmed Khan Cast: Tiger Shroff, Disha Patani, Manoj Bajpayee, Randeep Hooda, Darshan Kumaar, Prateik Babbar. Review by: Anupama Chopra. Baaghi 2 is...

    Anupama ChopraApril 5, 2018
  • Anupama Chopra’s Film Review of Raid

    Director: Raj Kumar Gupta Cast: Ajay Devgn, Saurabh Shukla, Amit Sial, Ileana D’Cruz Review by: Anupama Chopra Raid comes at the right...

    Anupama ChopraMarch 16, 2018
  • Anupama Chopra’s Film Review of Lady Bird

    Director: Greta Gerwig Cast: Saoirse Ronan, Laurie Metcalf, Tracy Letts, Lucas Hedges, Lois Smith, Timothée Chalamet Review By: Anupama Chopra Within...

    Anupama ChopraMarch 2, 2018
  • Anupama Chopra’s Film Review of Pari

    Director: Prosit Roy Cast: Anushka Sharma, Parambrata Chatterjee, Rajat Kapoor Pari is an odd film. It’s horror, romance, emotional drama and...

    Anupama ChopraMarch 2, 2018
  • Anupama Chopra’s Film Review of Sonu Ke Titu Ki Sweety

    Director: Luv Ranjan Cast: Kartik Aaryan, Sunny Singh, Nushrat Bharucha, Alok Nath, Virendra Saxena, Ishita Raj Review by: Anupama Chopra In one...

    Anupama ChopraFebruary 23, 2018
  • Anupama Chopra’s Film Review of Welcome to New York

    Director: Chakri Toleti Cast: Karan Johar, Diljit Dosanjh, Sonakshi Sinha, Riteish Deshmukh, Rana Daggubati Review by: Anupama Chopra There is a scene...

    Anupama ChopraFebruary 23, 2018

All articles/blogs are intended to inform, entertain and amuse. We make no representations or guarantees about the truth, accuracy or quality of any content.

Copyright 2018 © Bigtree Entertainment Pvt. Ltd. All Rights Reserved

Subscribe To Our Newsletter
Subscribe to our email newsletter today to receive updates on the latest news!
Thank You For Subscribing To Us!

Now get regular updates on the latest entertainment news and style trends.

Providing you with the best of Bollywood, Hollywood, style and more.
Get the best in entertainment, while keeping yourself entertained!
We respect your privacy. Your information is safe and will never be shared.
Don't miss out. Subscribe today.
WordPress Popup