taking oath, on abdicating his right to the th...
taking oath, on abdicating his right to the throne, in order to get the fisher girl married to his father . (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Ever since Star Plus aired  the first promo of one of it’s most ambitious shows till show, I was waiting with bated breath for the date of its airing – The principal reason being that  Krishna( playing flute in the promo) was to be portrayed by the one I adored in “Devon Ke Dev…Mahadev)-Saurabh Raj Jain. Yes the show was “Mahabharat”

News articles buzzing everywhere since months highlighted some very important factors which succeeded in setting the expectations very high: a budget of whopping over 100 crores; fifty-percent of the show being shot outdoors; huge production house( Swastik Productions). Big names had been roped in: dialogues by Mihir Bhutia, set design by Omung Kumar, costume design by Bhanu Athaiya and Nidhi Yash; action by Ram Shetty . The setting of  Mahabharat museums  in eight cities was a masterstroke as far as marketing strategy is concerned.

It was evident that the show would be compared to B.R Chopra’s ‘Mahabharat’ that aired between 1988 and 1990 but after the show debuted on 16th September 2013 at 8:30 PM,some strong criticism of the show confirmed that some section of viewers were ready to negate the efforts even before the show started. They forgot that even Chopra’s version of the show wasn’t accepted since first show only and neither did the other milestone of 1980s Ramanand Sagar’s ‘Sampoorna Ramayan’.It was only once the story was well on it’s way that people garnered interest and rest as they is history.

It would be completely unfair to compare this show with that show or  negating it because of some reviews on net. Although some social media users (including me) do review the show every day and sometimes we criticize the show too but it is always on lighter note and open. Any review is not final.

Honestly I have seen only some parts of B.R Chopra’s version but have seen ’Mahabharat’ in Ramanand Sagar’s ‘Shree Krishna’ .

Mahabharat-on-Star-PlusTalking of this version, it set the mood of the show from the start. In the first episode itself, the ambitions and dilemma of Satyavati and Shantanu respectively were conveyed effectively and then came the battle scene with hundreds of extras(with prosthetic make-up)– something that reminded me of Lord of the Rings! , followed by introduction of Ganga,Devvrat’s Rajyabhishek, and his meeting with Satyavati. Second episode resulted in disappointment as I had high hopes after the stunning pilot one.

It picked up momentum in third with Amba,Ambika and Ambalika’s Swayamvar and precap of promising fourth one, featuring Lord Parshuram(Played by Puneet Issar,Duryodhana in Chopra’s Version).The fourth episode delivered as it promised.

However, the fifth one again lowered the flow like second one with important scenes left out.

A round of applause to the writers for writing some interesting sequences. Some of these include:

  • Satyavati and Shantanu’s scenes(Sayantani portraying Satyavati stole the show)
  • The Rajya-abhishek scene(Special mention to aptly chosen Aarav Chaudhary,playing Bheeshma)
  • Lord ParshuRam’s introduction(One of the best entries I’ve seen)

I haven’t mentioned about the visually stunning colours, out-door locations, set, costumes, and action because the more be said the less it would be. The dialogues are excellent, relatable and some of them gave me goose bumps. Every frame of ‘Mahabharat’ is impressive.

mahabharat-gifI read some points in a review about the first episode that I disagree with

  • Satyavati was shown fishing with Hills in the background:No one has ever been to Dwapar Yuga so how do we know Satyavati did fishing in ocean or Himalayan river!
  • Krishna has been shown Sutradhaar while he hadn’t even been born then as he was Pandava’s contemporary: Krishna is not playing Sutradhaar (But yes his role is not continuous).He only points out important questions based on the epic that one should ask himself.
  • Bharatnatyam in Hastinapur palace was irrelevant: This was the funniest. We have read that kings in ancient times lived lavishly. Their ornaments or costumes all would be prepared by specialized artists, who may be from any part of the country. And why couldn’t’ they bring in bharatnatyam  artists? Rajyabhishek is no small event!

Yes I agree there are some major flaws too, like it’s over-editing in parts and introduction and exit of characters without any explanation. Some parts that I missed are

  • Marriage of Ganga and Shantanu and his promise
  • Vyas born to Satyavati and Rishi Parashar
  • King Shalva’s refusal to accept Amba
  • Presence of Vyas at the birth of Dhrutrashtra & Pandu

Also, there is no continuity between episodes and frames looked random.

But still I’ve been glued to the show since day one and looking forward hoping the sequences further will be more relevant and characters would be allowed to grow.The makers should avoid taking liberty too, as feelings of viewers must be respected. I was shocked when Parshuram was shown kicking Bheeshma in the promo.

Ending with Shri Krishna’s quote from Bhagwat Gita as I am happy the show is following a different path and setting a benchmark for rest to follow:

“It is better to strive in one’s own dharma than to succeed in the dharma of another. Nothing is ever lost in following one’s own dharma. But competition in another’s dharma breeds fear and insecurity.”

Akanksha is a viewer and regularly participates in the discussions on various TV shows on the twitter profile of dramas and dreams. @dramasd .If you too want to turn into a reviewer-viewer here, please write in about your favorite shows to us.


10 responses to “Mahabharat of Star Plus : By Akanksha”

  1. It was a well written piece! Loved it Akansha! U have very well brought listed the flaws and the plus points!
    Though one question I’d like to ask is that didn’t he himself mention that he’s the sutradhar? I forgot actually!

  2. Thanks for your precious words Simran.
    Yes,I had heard about it too.But he has not been shown as such.Being a sutradhaar,there would have a proper timing of his appearing,either at the start or at the end of the epi. and his words would have reflected the flow and continuity of the episode,but this is not the case here .It is yet to be known exactly how his role suits the situation 🙂

  3. A very apt and precise analysis of the start of this series, A. You spoke for all of us…thanks.

  4. Most welcome Anju.Really appreciate 🙂

  5. Nice yaar.. A fresh approach this epic that has to compete with a highly competent benchmark. Despite this Akanksha’s positive approach towards Mahabharat.. Interesting write up.. :))

    1. Thank you

  6. great attempt dear. highly appreciable……

    1. Thanks sweetie.You know your view matters much 🙂

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