D for Drona; D for Disappointment; D for Dullness; D for Dawdling; D for Daft & D for Damnation! I may sound like Chunni babu in D for Devdas but those were my exact sentiments while trooping out of the theatre on a lazy holiday afternoon after watching Drona. For someone like me who can’t bring himself to leave back the brains at home while watching movies, watching a movie like Drona is nothing short of torturous! They say one ought not look for reasoning and logic in the horror and fantasy genres of movies and that’s fine as long as there is a semblance of a plot and a sense of excitement in the storyline. Drona fails on both the counts.
The storyline is nothing new, in fact I can say it borrows heavily from Harry Potter‘s earlier years. In far-away Prague, lonely kid Aditya (Abhishek Bachchan) is adopted by a family where the uncle is friendly enough but auntie and cousin are mean and treat him like dirt. Aditya grows up amidst the solace of fluttering blue rose petals which magically bestow him with all sorts of useful stuff including a (hideous) golden bracelet embellished with emeralds. Unbeknownst to him, he’s being guarded by a devoted posse of individuals including a nun, two poker thugs, a baker and a Lamborghini-driving Sonia (Priyanka Chopra) and when the time is right, heap upon him the secret of his destiny – he is in fact Drona, a superhero who is the descendant of an elite clan of warriors keeping guard over the nectar of immortality – Amrit. Drona has his nemesis in the form of Riz Raizaada (Kay Kay Menon), a magician but in reality a sorcerer and an Asura who is after the Amrit. Drona’s quest for answers to his questions brings him to Rajasthan and face to face with his Mother (Jaya Bachchan) who had sent him away as a kid to protect him from the asura. He learns of his past and the destiny that awaits but Riz follows him home and thus begins a struggle….the eternal struggle….between good and evil, light and darkness, day and night, white and black….the list is endless..
Interesting enough premise but the execution is lame. Loaded with oodles of special effects and razmatazzy visuals, Drona lamentably lacks a coherent narration and gripping happenings. The goings-on are pretty haphazard and unequally paced. There is an apparent confusion as to whether Drona is a superhero or a warrior and things are not helped by the villain who is nothing more than a mere caricature. He’s an apology of a villain (yeah, the bar has been raised pretty high by The Joker but in spite of that) who is neither menacing nor fearsome. And for all his sorcery and asura-esque capabilities, he fights in the end with just a sword! And I don’t even want to talk/think about his eventual demise! Abhishek Bachchan is saddled with a mis-fit of a role but he does well in parts. Wish he’d changed his look somewhat, the beard and slightly long hair doesn’t suit him at all (and worse, reminds me of JBJ). Priyanka Chopra has lesser utility in the movie than Drona’s horse. Let’s just think that she tagged along to add some oomph and glamour, but she’s woefully bad at that too! The lesser said about Kay Kay Menon’s portrayal of the villain, the better. If he’d have put in this role the same brooding intensity as with Vishnu in Sarkar, it would have been much better to watch. The music also is a big letdown…the best two songs of the lot – Drona and Teri Bandagi – occupy the least screen-space and the others are mere gap-fillers.
The visual effects are good at some places and appalling at others. Two clear inspirations from The Mummy and The 6th Day! There are several glaring wtf! moments too…for instance, where can one find a beach in the midst of a desert in Rajasthan? And another scene where Abhishek has to climb across walls & jump across balustrades to reach a hall but his horse reaches there as if by miracle! The Lamborghini (or was it a BMW?) in the first-half indicates a modern-day setting, but the absence of a single gun – the weapons include swords and blowpipes (sigh!) – seem to indicate otherwise. Some of the effects – the invisible settlement, for instance – are plain unnecessary. The locales are also not believable either. The centuries-old tombs of Drona’s ancestors stand tall and glimmering in all their silvery glory in the middle of the desert! And the location of the train-chase is the same one as in Dhoom 2!!! At the box office, this one might well go down as yet another failure for Abhishek Bachchan and a second consecutive one for director Goldie Behl (in case you’ve forgotten, his first directorial venture was Bas Itna Sa Khwab Hai). Maybe he needs to make his third one with Hrithik to taste success