1965, regia di Babubhai Mistri
Scheda: Nazione: India - Produzione: A.A. Nadiadwala - Distribuzione: Baba Digital - Soggetto: dal Vedavyas - Sceneggiatura: Pandit Madhur, Vishwanath Pande, C. K. Mast - Fotografia: Narendra Mistry, Peter Pereira - Musiche: Chitragupta - Effetti speciali: Babubhai Mistri - Formato: Technicolor, linguaggio hindi - Durata: 163' (180').
Cast: Pradeep Kumar, Padimini, Dara Singh, Abhi Bhattacharya, Jeevan.
Plot Summary, Synopsis, Review: IMDb - babadigital.com - uiowa.edu: «... Given the infamous length and complexity of this text [Mahabharata] - 100,000 couplets comprising a veritable encyclopedia of classical didactic and narrative literature - any cinematic adaptation is inevitably going to be partial and significantly condensed. In look and spirit, Mistry’s production most closely resembles a popular “Amar Chitra Katha” comic book come to life, presenting a synopsis of the epic’s core story of warring clans of cousins as a series of brief episodes, most of which are centered around tableaux that closely adhere to the conventions long established by popular visual artists—the creators of the ubiquitous and brightly-colored “god posters” of the Indian bazaar. The director assumes that his audience is already familiar with these episodes, allowing for even greater condensation; some key narrative events, indeed, are merely alluded to in passing. ... Though there is little in the way of original interpretation here, this brightly-tinted spectacle appears to have helped cement some of the visual and character conventions that, decades later, would be echoed B. R. Chopra’s hugely-popular (and hugely huge) 94-episode television serialization. The film entirely skips the complex origins of the disputed succession to the throne of Hastinapura (“city of the elephant”), contested by the descendants of the half-brothers Pandu and Dhritarashtra - the Pandavas and Kauravas - and opens with the “graduation” tournament in which all these princes, schooled in weaponry by the brahman preceptor Drona, show off their skills. We see the mace-fight between the second Pandava brother Bhima (played by champion wrestler and stunt-film star Dara Singh) and his arch-enemy Duryodhana, which is ultimately interrupted by the elders when it threatens to become too violent. This is followed by the surprise challenge to the supreme archer Arjuna (Pradeep Kumar), by his near-double Karna—ostensibly a lowly charioteer’s son, though in fact the illegitimate first son of Arjuna’s own mother, Kunti, begotten by the sun god himself. After being ridiculed in the arena as a non-kshatriya (non-aristocrat and warrior, and hence an unsuitable sparring-partner for Arjuna), Karna is befriended and given a nominal kingdom by the senior Kaurava prince Duryodhana, resulting in his fateful oath of lifelong loyalty to his benefactor...».
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