With Bollywood movies, one can always discern within the first ten minutes if a film has potential or not. If it does, I stick around. If it doesn’t, I make a run for it.
In Mohenjo Daro‘s case, the Exit sign in the theatre was calling for me like a fucking foghorn.
The set-up of the film alludes to every godawful Hollywood epic we’ve seen growing up. Unlikely hero from a remote village doesn’t know what his true purpose in life is, his uncle and aunt who raised him are withholding life-changing secrets from him. He sets off on an adventure to find out who he is and is accompanied by a fat, bumbling sidekick who’s there for comic relief.
“More derivative than Melania Trump’s speech. This film sucks balls.”
The fact that this came from one of Bollywood’s only Academy Award nominated filmmakers (Ashutosh Gowariker) is disheartening.
Unlike Gowariker’s last epic, Jodhaa Akbar, with its endlessly engrossing story that advocated for coexistence in a country where sectarian tension is always rife, there is nothing remotely clever to take away from the cliche-ridden Mohenjo Daro, where it seems that its modus operandi is solely to tell an epic story. It could care less that it’s more derivative than Melania Trump’s speech.
Gowariker had the opportunity to pillage through all kinds of world epics – Mesopotamian, Egyptian, Biblical- for inspiration but he instead lifts tired old Hollywood epic tropes wholesale to form his story from Ben-Hur to Star Wars to the Hobbit.
This film sucks balls.