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Eklavya -The Royal Guard
Director: Vidhu Vinod Chopra
Amitabh Bachchan, Sanjay Dutt, Jackie Shroff, Saif Ali Khan, Vidya Balan, Sharmila Tagore, Boman Irani, Jimmy Shergill, Raima Sen
Film Information:
Contains moderate violence
1hrs 48mins
Release: :
Friday 16th February 2007 by EROS International
12 certcamera
Amitabh Bachchan as Eklavya The Royal Guard
Amitabh Bachchan as Eklavya The Royal Guard
This tale of relationships, love, greed and betrayal turns out to be an opulent masterpiece from director Vidhu Vinod Chopra.

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Contemporary India, a majestic fort and a royal dynasty that no longer rules forms the focal point for this Bollywood spectacle. It is a tale of relationships, love, greed and betrayal.

Eklavya is the royal guard of Devigarh palace whose main purpose is to protect its members. But he harbours a dark secret which will affect all concerned.

Jealous king, Rana Jayawardhan, won't allow his wife Rani Jayawardhan die in peace. She's uttering Eklavya's name with her final breath.

Rana's scheming brother Jyotiwardhan and nephew Udaywardhan are plotting against the king.

The arrival of Rana's estranged son, Harsh, after his mother's demise, brings further complications.

But it is Harsh's mentally challenged sister, Nandini, who sets off a chain of events which forms the turning point for this complex tale.

As Jyotiwardhan and Udaywardhan start their devious schemes against the king, a series of grisly events unfold, calling for lower caste police officer (Sanjay Dutt) to investigate.

These include the assassination of the king at the railway crossing amidst a speeding train. The gun shots that ensues causing the camels to run randomly in sheer panic is also an excellent scene.

Watch out for the scene involving the murder of Udaywardhan followed by Jyotiwardhan and nephew Udaywardhan which will make your hair stand on end!

This is director Vidhu Vinod Chopra's best work to date. His meticulous handling of the dialogues, colourful visuals, crisp editing and powerful scenes are worthy of awards.

But at the centre of this intriguing drama is Amitabh Bachchan. He proves that age is no barrier when it comes to brilliant acting skills.

Saif Ali Khan too, has come leaps and bounds since his performance in Parineeta and Omkara. It's a pleasure to watch such an on-screen natural.

But it is Raima Sen in a significant role as the mentally challenged Nandini and Jimmy Shergill in a villainous role which lingers in your mind. These two actors have finally gained recognition for sheer hard work.

As for Boman Irani, he brings some eccentricity into his character as the king although he can go over the top at times.

In its opening weekend, the film has collected
£163,783 on 40 screens, with the per screen average working out to £ 4,095.

A gripping emotional drama, Eklavya is one of the finest works to come out of Bollywood. Makes compelling viewing for every movie goer. A must see!

Reviewed by Manish Gajjar,
BBC Bollywood Correspondent
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