Two US- and UK-based media reviews caught my attention.
First, the NYC-based Village Voice carried this rave about Vidhu Vinod Chopra’s latest release, wherein David Chute writes:
Elkavya was filmed in two actual Rajasthani palaces, one for the endlessly receding gilded interiors and another for the crumbling facade. But the action that unfolds in these enormous spaces is almost a chamber drama, all intense two-shots and vehement whispered exchanges. And because the entire cast (with the single exception of the star) has been carried over en masse from the last several films produced by director Chopra (including Munnabhai M.B.B.S. and Parineeta), the movie often feels like a work created for a snug repertory company, with roles tailored to the talents of each familiar performer.
Bollywood movies have recently started to be screened for the English-speaking press, though not enough of them.
There are certain clichés about Bollywood films: they’re all too long, there’s lots of singing and dancing, with flimsy plots, but it’s not true. There are many different types of Bollywood movies. There’s action movies, movies based on Shakespeare like Omkara and Maqbool.
Interesting case in point, Eklavya, which has a Shakespearean tone to it.
It’s a two-hour movie, a melodrama, with one musical sequence that fits in the world of the film.
At the centre of it is Amitabh Bachchan, an absolutely magnetic presence. He’s magnificent, he has these deep whirlpool eyes, very intense face, who manages to convey extraordinary emotion without doing very much.
Very well directed, well put together, and very, very accessible to a western audience. A very fine piece of work.
And no, I haven’t seen it yet. (Curses!) But I hope to rectify that very soon…