Two odd war movies: 300 vs Asoka 21/40

March 13, 2007 at 7:30 am | Posted in Bollywood, Entertainment, Film, Stars, Youtube | 3 Comments
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I’ve got some thoughts on my mind about the relation between the consumerist mindset, the popularity of wellness products and services and the ever spreading belief of some people that they should ‘learn to do something for themselves’, relating furthermore to a certain tendency with some to assess friendship on the basis of its ‘what one gets out it’ value. But before I formulate this any clearer, I’d like to wait for a response from Jetsam on my response to his most recent Baudrillard post (don’t feel pushed into anything though!).

While that thought keeps fermenting, I’d simply like to juxtapose two films featuring scenes from the battlefield – the upcoming film 300, directed by Zach Snyder and based on the graphic novel by Frank Miller on the one hand and the already mentioned Asoka on the other, directed by Santosh Sivan, featuring Shahrukh Khan, and loosely based on the life and times of the Indian emperor Ashoka who embraced Buddhism after realizing the cruelties of the wars he had waged.

While the former aspires to a hitherto unseen, graphic, formally aesthetic depiction of the fights on the battlefield, the latter eschews graphic detail, in spite of the numerous fighting scenes. The former relies heavily on the bluescreen, the latter on costume and physical abilities. The former is graphic eyecandy, the second a family movie and vehicle for SRK.

I didn’t manage to dig up a fighting scene from Asoka, so you’ll have to make do with the trailer. Please appreciate the suggestions of bloodshed which can be found throughout the movie, for instances splashes of red water against the sea shore. But for most of the time, choreography hides the bodily part where the wound is afflicted.

The piece from 300 was heralded as the ‘most violent scene in the entire film’. Please appreciate in particular the achievements of the Foley artists, in particular the sound of blood gushing out of the fresh wounds. Sounds pretty much like a bathroom party to me;-)

I don’t know how you feel about 300, but I am no more interested in watching it. According to Jetsam’s review, the images are stunning, but the characters contrived and uninteresting. Judging from the footage and screens I have seen, you can expect a photorealistic trying to be surrealistic image overflow – but I’ve already grown tired of CGI, to be honest.

On the other hand, the swords and armament in Asoka resemble the equipment of toy soldiers all too often – neither is the story the most intriguing ever told, but hey: it’s got SRK in it. I am afraid to sound too fanatic or naive – but SRK is definitely the best reason for watching the film. If anybody has the magic aura of a star, then him – goofy nose, warts and all. You just don’t want to take your eyes of him – from the blood feast in 300, I do happily want to avert my eyes.


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  1. Jana
    Asoka was a big disaster when it came out in 2001. I remember I watched it with so much enthusiasm but it was not well done. SRK didnt play the character well…infact it was not much his fault..script, characters and situations were nowhere near it should be in that historical was an ambituous project which failed to deliver.
    I personally feel to make a good movie of such historical importance and characters, one needs to do not only much more research , but budget has to be also magnamious. Bollywood has it’s limitations in both these aspects.
    Nevertheless, Iam looking forward to Jodha Akbar by Asthutosh Gawariker who gave us Lagaan and Swades..Iam told he is really putting his act together and going about it in proper way..

  2. Jodha akbar is based on love story between Akbar, one of the prominent mughal kings of medieval India , and Jodhabhai.

  3. I guess it is ok to digress big time from actual history – and the film had enough pointers too that, even openly admitting that characters and event were added in the opening credits. I suppose it didn’t have enough dancing in it to be a proper Bollywood movie – that one villager scene was hardly enough. So the single remaining point was clearly SRK – I must still say that I found him quite impressive (as usual), although the film certainly didn’t give him sufficient opportunity to cry his beautiful tears – I don’t know a single actor that cries more beautifully.

    I don’t care about Kareena Kapoor too much, I think she looks like Paris Hilton. He he, I think I need to post about that tomorrow, because it is true:-)

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