Ashoka the Great (2001)

R   |    |  Action, Biography, Drama


Ashoka the Great (2001) Poster

The epic tale of King Asoka's life is recounted here.


6.7/10
12,492

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  • Shah Rukh Khan in Ashoka the Great (2001)
  • Shah Rukh Khan in Ashoka the Great (2001)
  • Ajith Kumar and Shah Rukh Khan in Ashoka the Great (2001)
  • Shah Rukh Khan and Hrishitaa Bhatt in Ashoka the Great (2001)
  • Rahul Dev in Ashoka the Great (2001)
  • Rahul Dev and Shah Rukh Khan in Ashoka the Great (2001)

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1 November 2001 | das-7
10
| Another 10 minutes would have helped
While this engaging film wonderfully depicts the evolution of a young man into the ferocious killing machine emperor called ChandAshoka (Wild Ashoka) it pays little attention to the much more vital legacy as DharmAshoka (Faithful Ashoka). Cutting two songs, and adding another 10 minutes of exposition to show his evolution into the enlightened and compassionate meesenger of Buddhism would have made the film much more complete, and raised it to the level of highest achievement. Ashoka made Kalinga into a centre of Buddhism that endured more than a millennium, until the Shaivaite and Vaishnavite Hindu Renaissance of the 12th and 13th centuries. His legacy as a prophet of multiculturalism, peace and tolerance was insufficiently explored. It might have helped to have had an English translation of the beautiful and profound rock edicts that were shown only as a visual element in the opening and closing credits. It is a shame that Ashoka's Greek ancestry is not even acknowledged in the film. His grandfather Chandragupta, who is seen as convert to the ultra-pacifist Jain faith in the opening scenes, married the daughter of rht edfeated Greek general Seleucus Nicator, who led Alexander the Great's forces to defeat in the Punjab. Ashoka was born of one of Bindusara's Indian wives, which makes Ashoka at least one quarter Greek -- he was the very fusion of the Greco-Indian classical tradition, snd it was he who caused to be erected the collossal Buddhas at Bamiyan, destroyed earlier this year by the Taliban government in Afghanistan. Despite these minor failings it is a superb film, and even today you can wander the sand dunes of the River Daya (Compassion) in southeastern Orissa (formerly Kalinga) and experience the fullimagining of the Ashokan battlefield. Best regards Satya

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Genres

Action | Biography | Drama | History | Romance | War

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