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8 reasons why Mohenjo Daro trailer is disappointing

The sneak peek at the Ashutosh Gowariker film was not as exciting as expected. Here is why.

Suparna Thombare

Mohenjo Daro is one of the most awaited films of 2016. Expectations of the magnum opus directed by Ashutosh Gowariker are high, and naturally so. Gowariker has made successful and acclaimed period films like Lagaan (2001) and Jodhaa Akbar (2008). Plus, with Hrithik Roshan as leading man you expect a certain quality and a high entertainment quotient.

Simply put, the Mohenjo Daro trailer is disappointing on both counts. I am not getting into the authenticity of the look of the actors, or the designs of the costumes and sets, or whether Gowariker carried out sufficient research, which I would like to assume he did. The fact that historians are already finding inaccuracies, pointing out that no horses, silks, or iron weapons were found in Mohenjo Daro, among several other bloopers, is also not what I am getting at. Simply, as a trailer, I did not like what this sneak peek had to offer.

1) Hrithik Roshan plays Sarman, a farmer who travels to Mohenjo Daro (or does he travel through time back into the era? Or is it punar janam?), falls in love with a princess, and turns out to be the saviour of an entire civilization. Hrithik Roshan, as we all know, is a hard-working actor. He has the tattered clothes, bronzed complexion, and quite a modern hairstyle to look the part. But he makes no bang in this one. It is standard fare from him. 

2) The leading lady, Pooja Hegde, who makes her debut, is introduced in the most banal fashion. She is seen giggling in the market with friends, then dancing in circles and carrying a basket of flowers.

3) Mohenjo Daro comes across as an archetypal period romance. It's a love saga involving a poor man who falls in love with a princess and has to fight an over-the-top villain to save the day. Heard this one before? The love story is so clichéd that it would put some of the 1990s films to shame. Gowariker adds the social conflict angle though, the way he did in Lagaan and Swades: We, The People (2004).

4) The trailer has come in for criticism for poor special effects, and rightly so. The scene in which a crocodile leaps out of the water is especially ridiculous, irrespective of the quality of special effects! The last shot of a ravenous river breaking the dam is also not up to the mark. Overall, quite below average by today's standards.

5) One of the major attractions of the film is the sets of the ancient civilization and the cinematography. The sets are well done, but using the same old beige tinge in post-production as Gowariker did in Lagaan and Jodhaa Akbar is no fun.

6) The characters speak in chaste Hindi, which is great, but there is not even one cheer-worthy dialogue in this period adventure drama. The writing is yawn-inducing.

7) Kabir Khan, who wears a bull-horned crown, comes across as a clichéd, over-the-top antagonist, almost a caricature.

8) The trailer is three-and-a-half-minutes long and still does not pull you in or get you involved with the plot, characters, or the Mohenjo Daro world. It did not give me anything to get excited about.

Now, I can't shake the thought that Gowariker is the same filmmaker who also made a film like Khelein Hum Jee Jaan Sey (2010). And yet, I find myself hoping that this movie turns out to be better than the dull trailer.