What do you think of the new Mahabharata series being started by Star Plus?

Mahabharat reborn in Saas Bahu Style!!!!

(Even the poster screams exactly the same!!)

The new Mahabharat focus too much on attracting the masses. They made it like a daily soap opera. Maybe they want to be the Chennai Express of soap operas.

The producers of the show claim that they have focused on the content of the show. I have been regularly following the show since the first episode. They have indeed given some thought to content and I must say that they have taken creativity to a new level with some episodes.

Most of the money for this show is spent on expensive sets, costumes, special effects etc. I feel like they are focusing way too much on music and special effects. Most of the episodes, the creators of the show are toying with my patience. Some events which can be told in 10 min, they took 4 episodes to complete it. Some stories like the origin of Bheeshma and the marriage between Ganga and Shantanu are not explained.
 

                                  I think the creators of the show want it to be very diffferent from BR Chopra's Mahabharat. So, they are tweaking the story to present us with a modernised Mahabharat where people really have emotions and react to things unlike what we have read in the epics. Plainly speaking, if we are the characters in Mahabharat and faces a similar situation, what would we do? The show gives us that version combined with some slow motion effects which last like half the episode.
                                   
                                   The show is said to be targeted at the youth of the country. The producers of the show claims that the youth are gonna love it. Guys!! I am part of that set and I will tell you this much, The presentation is good but please don't toy with our patience. I am writing this answer out of frustration on watching an episode tonight. In tonight's episode, Arjuna is said to have insulted Karna and is asked to apologise to Karna by washing his feet(This incident is never mentioned in Mahabharat) and they took 2 episodes to show this event. In this serial, facts are bent to provide a dramatic feel and effect which I think would  appeal to the audience of regular soap operas.

Update:  Now that this series is almost over, I have to say I am really disappointed. I chose to ignore many twists and turns they have included in the story taking it as the writers creative freedom. But they have twisted the story so badly that this great epic  is now another regualar soap opera.

19 Replies to “What do you think of the new Mahabharata series being started by Star Plus?”

  1. whats hot:
    1. Showing only the important events,
    2. Show’s title song resonates and reverberates,
    3. Background score throughout blends beautifully with the story telling(Composers= Ajay-Atul),
    4. Costumes look magnificent & do not cross the line of being unnecessarily gaudy(costume designer=Vidhi Yasha)
    5. Interesting scenery.
    whats not:
    1. Average acting by Krishna,
    2. Losing seriousness due to unnecessary special-effects,
    3. Weightless acting (by some important actors),
    4. Average casting by casting director,
    5. Action sequences feel to be less realistic.

    EDIT:
    Yes, I beg your pardon that I couldn't clearly point it out. so, here's the explanation for the 1st point:
    Saurabh Raj Jain playing the role of Krishna, looks visibly uncomfortable and unconfident in the soliloquy scene in this very serial. Krishna’s introduction with all the color and grandeur was shot brilliantly, but Saurabh could not do justice to the aura created via his punctured performance. He has to buck up given his character’s importance in the plot (someone needs to push him a bit. He is talented).

  2. Before answering, I must admit that I am a huge fan of BR Chopras Mahabharata.
    The series definitely begins with with a bang..

    but it had missed many important aspects(2nd December) and had some errors:-

    1. Emperor Bharata is absent
    2. Shantanu and Ganga story missing (Ganga just makes a brief appearance in new Mahabharata)
    3. Ganga immersing her 7 children in the river.
    4. Devavrata's(Bhisma) birth (he is Ganga and Shantanu's 8th child)
    5. Satyavati's father does not make an appearance, he is the one who made Devavrata take the oath, instead Devavrata is shown taking the oath in front of Satyavati.
    6. Satyavati's past life not shown(before meeting Shantanu) i.e Meeting with Parashar Rishi and Birth of Vyasa  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sat
    7. Chitrangada's is absent (Shantanu and Satyavati's elder son), he is just mentioned briefly
    8. Rishi Vyasa is absent till now
    9. Niyoga not properly shown, Ambika and Ambalikas reaction after seeing Vyasa, one closes her eyes and other faints, that is why Dhritarastra was born blind and Pandu was born white and weak.
    10. To much highlight on Bhisma and Amba story, again, Amba's death not shown properly.
    11. Dhritarashtra is shown very selfish, his enthrallment towards the throne is exaggerated, he is also shown detesting Gandhari too much because she chose to live the rest of her life blind-folded, I doubt if that was true.
    12. It is shown that Gandhari had got the boon of 100 sons from Lord Shiva, but actually Gandhari had that boon from Sage Vyasa.
    13. Mahabharata does not make any mention of Arjuna trying to kill Karna in an assembly (rajsabha) and that he is ordered to wash his feet as an act of forgiveness.

    Overall:- It is just turning out to be one of those daily saas-bhau episodes of Star-Plus
    P.S:- This is my own perspective, suggestions and comments welcome,
    I may keep updating the answer episode wise

  3. Pros:
    Special effects.
    Art direction.

    Cons:
    Everything else, most notably casting. Most of them do not have any screen presence, including the guy who has played Arjuna. The only good casting seemed to be Bhishma, Shakuni, Gandhari and Vidura.

    Dialogues – Did not find any depth in them, like in the BR Chopra series. Too shallow and sometimes insulting. I also noticed a few Urdu words mixed here and there.

    Direction – Direction and screenplay are too "saas-bahu"ish. Story mostly progresses only on conversations and dramatics. Although Krishna's pravachans seems well intended, it might put off certain young viewers.

    Krishna – Every Indian knows that the most critical character in Mahabharat is Krishna. His casting is extremely crucial. Saurabh Jain has portrayed it as a soft-spoken character, unlike Nitish Bharadwaj who combined wit, charm, smartness and righteousness. On top of that, Nitish Bharadwaj had awesome screen presence.

    Story – Many important sequences seem to be left out of the story. E.g. Bhishma's birth, Ved Vyas connection, no Chitrangada, only 2 episodes of Vichitravirya, etc. Karna's story has been twisted.

    One dimensional characters: A lot to write here:
    – No character in Mahabharat was truly one-dimensional, including Krishna and Duryodhana. Bhishma might be an exception (maybe that's why he was called Bhishma).
    – I was alarmed to see Dhritarashtra shown as a selfish person. He was anything but that. It's just that his crazy love for his son screwed up things.
    – Madri was shown as a cunning woman, who competed with Kunti for Pandu's affection.
    – No quivers??
    – One of the recent episodes showed Arjuna "representing" Pandavas. This is just too terrible. It is common knowledge that every Pandava had great respect and obedience towards Yudishtira.
    – Bhishma being a mute spectator to Satyavati's decisions. This is the limit!!! In fact, Satyavati was eternally indebted to Bhishma for his sacrifice. Bhishma shepherded the entire Kuru race single-handedly, atleast until Pandu ascended the throne. Bhishma chose his death only after he was convinced about Pandavas' victory in Kurukshetra and Krishna was there to guide them further (I can also say he was selfish in his own motive, to attain salvation at the hands of the Paramatma himself. In fact, Bhishma was the only person in Mahabharatha who was given moksha by Krishna directly).

    I had wished this was made as a mythological epic, instead it just turned out to be another "Star Plus" soap-opera.

  4. I have seen the br chopra version almost 2 decades ago as a child. It was excellent and received a cult status. It was taken in a very correct and orderly manner. Each episode used to be each part of the epic. Each and every actor were like the real portrayal of the character. But the star plus version lacks everything of mahabharat . All it has is lavish sets , gaudy jewellery and guys with 6 pack abs and ladies with exposing clothes. They have made a joke of the characters. Well everything can still be forgiven but not the change in the epic story. The story should be shown correctly with proper dialogues (well it's not possible to beat rahi masoom reza dialogues but still could be made a lot better).I mean they have skipped a lot of important things in mahabharat and focused on some non important stuff for many episodes together. Krishna has been degraded in this series. For anything and everything pandavas are made hero. Duryodhan was arrogant but he had certain great qualities in him. He had only one wife unlike others and most importantly he loved karna a lot. Even today the friendship of Duryodhan and karna is taken as a great lesson in friendship. But here in this serial Duryodhan just used karna for the purpose of power. And most importantly Duryodhan never never called karna suth putra. But he does so in this series in front of shakuni. Another thing I noticed is that king drupad was always proud of both his daughters panchali as well as shikandhi.  But here again they showed him as a male chauvinist. What a shame. Another thing is that the whole vanvas and agyatvas part was shown wrongly. At least most of it was wrong. Bhima met with hangman in the forest when he went to pick up some flowers known as kalyanasougandhikam for panchali. In fact there is a whole different classical dance formats for that particular story. It is so famous. But here in this serial they show some crap related to Bhima s food interests. It is better not to mention about the agyatvas story. They have changed it completely. Then later on in reality after the virat king of matsya comes to know about the actual identity of the pandavas he wanted to marry his daughter uttara to arjun. But arjun was uttaras teacher in the form of an eunuch. So he explained to the virat king that the teacher student relationship is like that of a parent and child. Moreover arjun was more than double her age so he kept forward his son abhimanyus proposal for uttara. That's how they got married. But again in this serial Krishna gets the proposal. So basically they have trivalised the entire 3rd. Last but not the least the way they portrayed the kurukshetra war. It was horrible. Krishna emotionally blackmailed bhishma, drona and karna to surrender to get killed! !!!.and karna actually requests arjun to slay him! !!!!.and Dron did the same thing to drishtydyumna. What the hell is all this. Ultimately my sincere request to all persons and youngsters who are not aware of the mahabharat and are watching the star plus version. Please don't believe it .If you want to know about the real story watch br chopra's mahabharat or read the book .

  5. So first of all let's not compare it to original Mahabharata.i have seen star plus Mahabharata many times so I think I am eligible to review this one and it is great but there r some negative points http://too….so lets 1st see positive points of this Mahabharata —

    1)Bgm score and theme songs are really superb specially theme songs of shakuni,Krishna,karna,drona and abhimanyu r outstanding.while Krishna song “murli manohar” and flute theme is soothing u can listen to it multiple times and never get bored.karna theme song is energetic and has mass feel to http://it.so overall soundtrack is 10/10

    2)Now coming to visuals and vfx both r good but not great with a budget of 120 crore they could have done great.. nonetheless it's is good 6/10

    3)Coming to story line up they have kept the essence of original and not deviated too much from storyline up but they have changed certain things to look it entertaining…it would be 7/10

    4)Now let's talk about performances of actors…saurabh Raj Jain as Krishna is outstanding while same can be said for praneet the guy who played shakuni and I was awe struck by their performances 10/10….while the guys who played karna and bhishma were great too 8.5/10 same for Pooja who played the role of draupadi…all other actors were good in their places except the guy played duryodhan this guy seriously needs some acting classes only eyebrows movement is not enough to act.

    5)The lessons by Krishna r great and meaningful u can learn so many things from that and apply that in real life and Geeta updesh is brilliant as given by Krishna to arjun.

    6)To look glamorous they have shown one arrow fragments it into 100 arrows but that looks good according to me as it's 2014 not 1990 and it is fast paced made according to today's generation that was quite a master stroke.

    7)They have shown bonding between karna and kunti from the start that might be fiction but still hits the chord of heart and songs like yeh kaisi duvidha and daataon ka data in background is more than sufficient to make ur eyes wet.

    8)This is not quite a point but I will like to mention the performance of the guy who played shishupala he was really funny.

    9)1st fight between karna and Arjuna is really well executed and wish it was long.

    10)Special mention to Pooja Sharma who played the role of draupadi she was the soul of Mahabharata and intensity in her eyes was quite visible

    Now let's talk about negative points that r few but hold a great importance —

    1)First thing is they showed that Bhishma and drona r invincible (not directly) and all other warriors r like kids in front of them I m not saying that it's not true I m great fan of bhisma but certainly all 4 bhisma,drona,karna,Arjuna are nearly of same calibre.i will tell u what they showed on scale of 10……if Bhisma —10,drona-8.5,arjuna-7.5,karna-7..but what I think actually true is if bhisma —10,karna-9.5, drona—9 and Arjuna —8.5

    2)Now coming to friendship between duryodhan and karna they showed like as karna was like slave to duryodhan and friendship between them was just for the sake of benefit of duryodhan that is not true duryodhan loved karna more than anyone.

    3)Aswasthama was one of the greatest warriors of Mahabharata but they showed that he was a coward and always runs to save his life and was dependent on others to save his life but as we know it was really difficult to kill him but we all know how powerful he was when he becomes angry

    4)Now it is the most important point they showed pandavas were like saints and whatever they do is right and they showed kaurvas specially duryodhan was the most evil person ever born and during the gambling and cheerharan episode they showed how yudisthira was compelled to play but he actually played due to his addiction.this was the worst thing about this Mahabharata.

    5)Duryodhan was a powerful warrior as we know more skilled than bhima as said by balrama in mace fight but they showed all he was doing was planning evil traps for pandavas and has no fighting skills as compared to bhima.seriously under writing the character of main antagonist

    6)Shakuni and all other kaurvas r shown they r running to save their lives from pandavas that is a bogus thing… all warriors from both side were brave and not scared of death…so insulting great warriors of mahabharta huhh

    7)Now coming to one of the most underrated character of mahabharta “suryaputra karna” his actual strength is not shown properly and it appears as he is nothing without kavach and kundal they tried to show us.heroics of karna r neglected like he pushed chariot of arjuna, nearly kills Arjuna but spared his life as it was sunset, defeats all pandavas,caused maximum damage to pandavas in less time,no mention about all curses given to him which were instrumental in his killing,how he breaks strings of arjuna bow gandiva.also there is no proper mention of Vijay dhanush of Lord Shiva which was used by parshurama and used by Karna in final battle which is the most powerful bow ever made even sound of it's strings can cause fear in whole army much powerful than gandiva and if u r carrying this dhanush no one can win over u even brahmastra and sudarshan chakra can be countered through it carried by karna.and one of the most disappointing thing was in final battle Krishna tells karna don't have caliber to win it alone for duryodhan and he can only stop pandavas army for few days and not have potential to defeat him seriously ? This was the worst thing I saw as we know according to original text Krishna says karna is most powerful warrior of mahabharta and was favorite disciple of Lord parshuram and named mrityunjay by him.

    Can't neglect the negative points as they r quite important still it was entertaining and I really liked it so I would rate it 7/10

  6. Both Chopra's version and this version have one thing in common.  They haven't done justice to this epic.  I guess the producers of both the version are cashing in on the Hindu's sentiments and religious beliefs rather than looking at this story as plain Good Vs Evil with righteous living message.  Truly speaking, if the original version has to be produced then children should not be allowed to watch for the extensive violence, sex and the lifestyle of the characters.  If the story can be made into a 6-7 episodes of feature film movies like LOTR with more depth in human emotions rather than being over dramatic and have a mature Krishna who is just shown as a Mortal (and only Vishu as the God) and some intense research on architecture, fashion, lifestyle etc., it will be really worth while to watch.  For me Mahabharatha is umpteen times better than LOTR.  If LOTR has come out so well, I assume Mahabharatha can be made much bigger, better and close to our hearts.

  7. As a fan of old Mahabharata, I found this one lagging casting leaving one or two, twisted reporting of facts (which I have never heard or read anywhere), models trying to act rather than act

    Effects wise technology has been used well, but it doesn't work if the series lags at story line and acting

    This one doesn't even comes close to B R Chopra's version

  8. The beauty of the Mahabharata is it's narrative style which allows you to contemplate and self-evaluate. The story is not at all important. The ending is know in the first part of Adi Parva. The purpose of the book is to make you think and transform into better human beings. This TV drama fails to do that. It is far too melodramatic, jazzy and loud to give you the space to think. When one reads the Mahabharata, one feels like it can be very powerful in performance, but I have never seen any performance that has managed to meet my expectations. Should anyone find anything interesting, please let me know.

    However, I must acknowledge that there has been considerable effort put into humanizing Krishna. The purpose of which is dissolved. If he was humanized then they should have allowed for critical thinking but they don't manage to do that.

  9. Bad casting
    Bad acting
    Bad Dialogues
    Bad/Rubbish CGI
    Lack of Pros
    Lack of Enthusiasm Shown in Major Scenes
    Fake and CGI sets kill the feeling
    Zero Sense of Direction

    I stopped showing it because, I couldn't tolerate such stupid things for great epic.

    BR Chopra done very nicely. It is the one what I watch again and again

  10. I am just crazy about mahabharat. The day of mine can go without sleep and food but not before seeing mahabharat. The actors , specially  krishna have done remarkable and excellent acting . The sets and music of mahabharat are just perfect . I am surely going to cry when mahabharat will end.

  11. It's awesome. The casting is pretty good (especially Praneet Bhat as Shakuni, Aham Sharma as Karna, Pooja Sharma as Draupadi, Arpit Ranka as Duryodhan, and Rohit Bahradwaj as Yudhishtira). The sets are awesome! And yeah, it is worth your time.

  12. The old one was good for its time. But the new one could have tried to make sense with today's technology and understanding. But they totally disappointed. Should have taken at least some idea from level of detail and effort taken from series like game of thrones.
    They could have done some more research and experimentation with such a huge potential.

  13. It had huge potential but it disappointed me because they have  completely twisted the story of the great epic Mahabharata. It is an  unforgivable crime,  what if youngsters who doesn't know the story watch  it and take it as the gospel truth?And also like a typical saas-bahu  serial they lag and streach the scenes a lot which is a waste of time in  my opinion, Indian TV has still to evolve a lot if it has to survive  with such tacticts. I suggest people to watch the old Mahabharat which  is 1000 times better than this and available in youtube or better yet  read the book. But there are some good points to this as well it is  definitely entertaining and addictive, has some good music, costumes are  nice. I liked the acting of Krishna, he was very charming like how  Krishna is supposed to be.

  14. i definitely like it……bt ys it is commercialized.
    vfx r good, dialogues are  10/10. krishna's seekh is very motivating nd helps us to follow dharama.
    Those event which r famous r more focused instead of focusing everything equally bt acceptable as per today's condition.

  15. Ya I think so Mahabharata must start as soon as possible because before the starting of Mahabharata I didn't like to watch this kind of religious serial but after the starting of Mahabharata in new version l m fan of this serial &BR Chopra thanks to him he showed about our great and beautiful religion story

  16. Their Motto is commercialisation.

    And any bhagvat activity which comes through the channel of professionalism/commercialisation is like the Milk being touched by poisonous snake.

    it's only effect is harm harm and nothing else.

  17. All i have to say is Late B.R.Chopra must be crying in heavens after seeing what they have done to one of the greatest epic in the history of the world

  18. I haven't seen the old Mahabharata, just heard some part of that. That was first mahabharata at that time, and made good as per popularity.

    But new mahabharata looks quite interesting till to date. As per new generation who didn't see old one, they will definitely like this new one.

  19. Hope that star plus shows the Mahabharata of Vyasa and not the Mahabharata of its own. But the promos are very exiting. It is said that the production team has done a lot of research.

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