Cast: Darshan, Ambareesh, Ravichandran, Arjun Sarja, Srinivasa Murthy, Shashi Kumar, Nikhil Kumaraswamy, Danish Akhtar Saifi, Sonu Sood, Sneha, Meghana Raj, Hariprriya and others
The opening credits show that the story of this movie is penned by none other than the producer himself, which leaves many wondering on what could be the difference between the actual Kurukshetra from the epic Mahabharata with that of Munirathna's Kurukshetra! Well, after watching it for 182 minutes, it is a simple case of epic plagiarism. Any direct descendants from the times of Kurukshetra with ample proof can fight a battle of a different kind over such claims but jokes apart, the warfare presented in here from the point of view of Dhuryodhana is an entertaining one.
While there are several versions of the epic being re-written by many over the centuries but it is the colourful personality of Dhuryodhana which stands out amongst the most. It is even dealt extensively by the ancient poet Ranna in his work 'Rannana Gadhayuddha'. Coming back to the present epic made in the 3D version has several highs and lows but mostly remains true to the ancient epic.
When a story of such magnanimity is being made into a movie, the curiosity is always zeroed in on the cast and the making of it involving the best of digital technology available to re-create the ancient times on the screen. It is these factors which pull the audience to theatres, and the filmmaker here has managed to some extent to pull in a bunch of extremely talented cast and crew. However, as expected after watching the trailer, it is is the digital works which spoil the fun.
Darshan who is fondly referred to as 'challenging star' marks a milestone in his career with this one being his 50th film. He nearly scores a 100 per cent with an impeccable performance as Dhuryodhana. It is he who shoulders this epic battle on screen with the rest of the cast at their best. While Ravichandran as Lord Krishna is a treat to watch, Arjun Sarja as Karna and Ravishankar as Shakuni stand out too. Of them all, Ambareesh who played his last role on the silver screen as Bheeshma Pitamaha is another highlight.
Also, watch out for the beautiful ladies including Meghana Raj and Hariprriya for their dancing skills, and Sneha as panchali.
The first half is more or less about Dhuryodhana and the evil schemes of Shakuni before the war of wars becomes inevitable. But the later part in which Abhimanyu played by Nikhil Kumaraswamy, son of former chief minister HD Kumaraswamy, is what drags on for obvious reasons.
The sequences are written to praise not just the valour of Abhimanyu but also his father Arjuna! However, on a lighter note, the scene in which Bheeshma Pitamaha talks to Abhimanyu about his father's skills, bravery and so on, the audience just cannot stop drawing imaginations of actor's real grandfather talking to the actor about his real father! The entire experience of Abhimanyu's sacrifice which is one of the most emotional parts of epic Mahabharata gets drained. It evokes no emotion at all.
There are quite a few epic mistakes when it comes to dialogues but it is the effort and the honest making despite the technical disappointments, Munirathna's Kurukshetra deserve applause for pulling out a decent entertainment with Darshan, Ravichandran, Arjun Sarja, Ambareesh and few others putting up a great show in the end....