As the first few minutes of Drona unravel, the narrator tells you about how it all began… in a time beyond time, a world beyond geographical definitions.
But then Drona is a ‘fantasy flick’ mounted on a lavish scale, and featuring a pretty interesting cast and crew: Abhishek Bachchan, Priyanka Chopra, Kay Kay and with a rather experimental and stylised score set by Dhruv Ghanekar.
The plot is a mishmash of Hindu mythology and Harry Potter. It’s about a lonely boy wizard Aditya (Abhishek Bachchan) who lives with his foster parents in an European town suspiciously similar to Privet Drive. A magical petal leads him to a wristband which is supposed to be key to achieving immortality. With the help of a royal guard Sonia (Priyanka Chopra), Aditya soon discovers he is the protector of the precious Amrit (which makes you immortal) and understands the truth about his existence. An evil magician Riz (Kay Kay Menon) sets his eyes on the Amrit and this leads to the ultimate battle of good Vs bad, which also involves Drona’s long lost parents. Confused? Well we won’t blame you.
What we liked about the film:
Drona is obviously inspired by graphic novels which have been adapted for the big screen, for example Sin City. It’s got some amazing special effects for a Hindi film. And the director’s intention to create a make-believe world with characters zipping across continents and time zones, is stuff of childhood fantasies. The whole sequence in which Aditya is transformed to Drona has also been executed well. Even if it is all too predictable.
But once he becomes Drona everything seems to happen too easily.
What is not so magical after all
Vague clues written in incomprehensible Hindi and Sanskrit, leading Drona to his goal, the complete lack of information about what exactly are his strengths, (by simply lifting his sword and chanting a random mantra Drona gets new sets of powers during the course of every fight) are just some of the many questions that are left unanswered.
Morever, Drona, hardly ever fights! For most of the film it’s his sexy guard who takes care of all the action or the evil magician who is getting the better of him. Come on AB, we have paid to watch you knock the daylights off all evildoers. Why so much rona Mr Drona?
The magician Riz who lives in a world of his own, sits all alone in a castle while his few odd caped soldiers get knocked out in single blows. Certainly not the kind of guy who can rule the world. His character is on the lines of a Spy Kids villain who has a reality show of his own. But what makes him so dangerous is never known.
It’s however Kay Kay’s convincing performance that keeps you glued to the screen. His act is a mix of Jim Carey’s Riddler and Heath Ledger’s Joker and even though he goes over the top (all flamboyant super villains do that) in a few scenes he towers above the rest.
Priyanka Chopra is once again saddled with a disastrous wardrobe but rocks in the action sequences. From Don to Drona she is just getting better with the punches. But when Drona finally decides to show some muscle, her oh-so-powerful character is suddenly relegated to being the hero’s arm candy.
Jaya Bachchan’s role as Aditya’s mother is the weakest link in the story. The mother-son reunion scene looks straight out of K3G! But if that sequence made you shed a tear here it evokes unintentional laughter. Jaya Bachchan has exactly a single expression that of being in perpetual shock. And she should do her fans a favour by not doing any more of these cranky, depressed mommy roles.
You do not need a compulsory maa-beta emotional track for a film to work. In fact, Behl surprisingly sticks to a number of done to death clichés. Even the songs come at the most predictable moments. You have the intro-dance number, a mother-son lullaby, a romantic song when the protagonists realise they are in love and a closing music video. Dhruv Ghanevar’s experimental score is absolutely ineffective on screen.
Yet it’s Drona‘s story, so everything can be forgiven if his sword can cut through the screen and capture your hearts. Krrish despite its numerous clichés worked because you rooted for Hrithik every time he flew. Abhishek says his lines sincerely but for mankind’s only hope he looks terribly out of shape. His shabby hair, stubble and ill-fitted white costume hardly make him the super hero kids would like to imitate. Because if Drona is actually meant for kids, it’s way too dull with complicated dialogues for the little ones.
Flashback to any fantasy or superhero film that you have liked. Apart from the action, what stays with you are the dialogues, replete with memorable one-liners or wisecracks. Drona‘s dialogues have neither the bite nor the wit to engage you. Everyone is forever frowning and the ‘wannabe’ comic book fantasy ends up taking itself too seriously.
Verdict: Drona threatens to return as a sequel. We just hope in his second outing Drona gives the audiences something to cheer about and not an unintentionally comic rehash of Amar Chitra Katha. The great styling notwithstanding, this Drona is more of a groan(a). (Ibnlive)