8 June 2014 | jon_s_chan
A pitiful excuse for a biography of one of the most influential historical figures of Asia
I understand that movies are made for the sake of entertainment, but I am ashamed that the only type of entertainment that is appreciated by Indian viewers is romance, which this movie is really about. I read the comments section of this movie and I see a lot of people make excuses to why so much romance was involved in what should have been a serious dramatization of Asoka the tyrant and Asoka the saint. They say that without romance the movie would not have been entertaining. The ones that say this likely have never seen the real good stuff such as Lawrence in Arabia.
Seriously, imagine Lawrence of Arabia movie, not imagine if several scenes portraying his multilayered character were replaced with some romantic scenes with a scantily clad beauty in the desert. That movie would have been laughed at globally. A similar form of adulteration was done in the plot of Asoka. I am startled by the kind of praise this movie has received despite the utter dilution and corruption of topic at hand.
The problem with general Indian audience is they do not even know what makes a good movie. If someone made the movie Asoka without romance and mostly focusing on conquests and spiritual messages, the same fans who are praising this movie would have loved it and probably called their all time favorite. Problem with Indian movie making industry is you very rarely get movies that have been flawlessly directed and focused on a certain topic. This has made the fanbase laud mediocrity.
I am terribly disappointed in Santosh Sivan who went this route, possibly at the behest of producers. I do not doubt Sivan's credentials, but someone like Gowariker would have probably made a far superior flick by condensing the romance to about 10% of what we saw. Sivan and SRK probably took this route to earn profits, but this movie was a huge disappointment at the box office. I believe that if this movie got a Gowariker treatment where he would not give two f***s about catering to the masses, the movie would have done much better.