After the recent mytho-animation Arjun, here comes India’s first ever animated stereoscopic 3D film. This one too digs into the golden treasure trove of India for some timeless bedtime anecdotes that tell the story of Krishna defeating mean maternal uncle Kans, highlighting the victory of good over evil.
The plot: Kans, the cruel yuvraaj of Mathura, is warned by the gods that his end will be wrought by his sister Devaki’s 8th child. Unnerved by the warning, Kans decides to kill his sibling right after her wedding but her husband Vasudev manages to convince him that he should keep her alive. In return, Vasudev promises to give all his children to Kans who imprisons all of them. When the 8th arrives, he is so special that the gods themselves guide Devaki and Vasudev to exchange him with someone else’s child. Kans therefore cannot kill Krishna who grows up in Gokul at Yashomati’s house. A valiant, charming child, Krishna cannot be destroyed by Kans who relentlessly wants him killed but Krishna is in no mood to oblige his vile and violent uncle.
The good: Like good ol’ desi khichdi served hot in pretty chinaware, the 3D with some brilliant special effects (Reliance Animation) succeeds to a certain extent in holding the interest of its target audience – children. The film covers up a lot of flaws with some really picturesque 3D visuals; especially the one where Krishna playing the flute under a tree sends Radha into a trance. The simple lesson of victory of good over evil and right over wrong makes it quite comprehensible for even tiny tots. Although the characters are animated and not flesh-n-blood, Krishna, the ultimate charmer’s personality comes out perfectly and he manages to reach out with his cute little antics as a child. It isn’t a cakewalk to get the detailing right in a mythology but the film does well in that department too, with the perfect start of an eagle on a balcony symbolising evil.
There are some good, heavy-duty voices behind the animated characters with Om Puri taking over as the villainous Kans and Juhi Chawla lending her voice as the motherly warm Yashodha Maiyya. Manoj Bajpayee as Nand and Anupam Kher making an audio-stint as the foreteller, who named Krishna, also give a strong boost to the animation.
The bad: The film is far too long to capture a child’s attention when even adults would find the slow ant pace a big drag. Some chopping and editing may have helped to keep it crisp and crunchy. The character of Putni is hideous and will have the kids crying at her appearance each time. And there is a disgustingly vulgar, full-scale song picturised on her, for no reason at all. While the narration is simplistic, the language used is such pure Hindi that tots would find it difficult to comprehend most of the words.
Overall: What could have made an interesting watch for children (and adults accompanying them) is ultimately such a long drag that a cosy bedtime narration would be more highly recommended than the yawn inducing visual viewing of Krishna & Kans.