This is a review from 11 year old Miss. K. Born and living in the US, she has never seen or heard of B.R.Chopra’s Mahabharata. However, she is an avid reader of Amar Chitra Katha comics and is very familiar with the stories of the Mahabharata presented there. She had no difficulty understanding the storyline, despite the jumps in time from one day to the next, thanks to this background knowledge of the text. She doesn’t know Hindi at all, and relies on subtitles and the acting to understand the story.
This was written as an email to her grandparents, I thought it was worth sending in, as a review from a viewer, completely unbiased by previous versions!
I saw a new show on TV this week, called Mahabharata. It was in Hindi, which I do not understand, but there were subtitles. The show (of what I have watched so far) is pretty interesting.
Some of the parts that I like are the graphics and many of the sets. For example, the scene where the king of Gandhar (Gandhari‘s dad), talks about his daughter’s marriage, the set of the palace and the garden was very realistic and grand. Amma explained that Gandhar is modern Afghanistan, and I think the costumes looked real too. The room where Gandhari sleeps looks very nice with all the lamps. But SO many lamps! My only concern was the fire hazard with curtains being near lamps. The bed didn’t look too comfortable though. How do they sleep on those dhindus? (she meant those roll-like pillows). The way they showed that Gandhari does not like and is scared of the dark, creates a wonderful backstory, with all the lamps, even if it is not real. (Amar Chitra Katha did not state this). But I thought the servant lady was prettier than the princess.
I saw the episode which showed the war between Parashurama and Bheeshma. It was quite nice, especially the graphics. The final weapon battle of Parashurama and Bheeshma (blue light, red light) was very cool with them merging into the ball of light coming down, which then turned out to be Shiva‘s third eye. Shiva was a surprise! He was the same Shiva from Devon ke dev Mahadev, the show that amma watches.
Some of the actors and dresses are good. I like Bheeshma a lot but I particularly did not like the makeup and clothing on Amba. It looked very fake and was too much. It also looked like a size too large on her. And Amba should not get that hurt and bruised by meditating. I liked Satyavati, but why was she so upset with Vidura? Baby Dhritarashtra, Pandu and especially Vidura were cute, though the Vidura baby kept crying. But I thought Parashurama and Bheeshma fought the Amba fight before Ambika and Ambalika had children. But amma says TV shows often change the timelines for drama. I saw another episode with babies too (Sorry – lots of babies this week I think): the birth of Shikandini – Draupada sure wears lots of gold. It looks quite uncomfortable.
Another thing that I found very strange was the fact that Krishna came up as the narrator, but also teaches life lessons for parents on how to teach their kids and if they did it right.And Krishna was not blue but amma said they don’t usually show him that way in the Mahabharata. The lessons were pretty good, but it was weird having them in between battle-action story!
But I like the show and plan to watch it everyday, it is only 30 minutes.