The Indian epic Mahabharata has been interpreted in numerous ways over time. One of the most unusual and eccentric interpretations that I have come across is Peter Brook’s version.
For years now, films are made on ‘religious texts’ and find an immediate connection to the crowd it caters to. However, the film with its casting and associations catered to a vast audience and ensured universal connotations. It was definitely a factor that takes you aback initially, just because of a shift in the perception of Mahabharata and how we usually associate it with visuals that are implanted in our minds.
The film starts with a little boy, finding his path through enlightened spaces searching for something, when he stumbles upon a Guru. Here on, the narration of the epic begins and the film constantly moves between this epic and the present narration.
The film was highly dramatic with the birth of a rock and the sexual scenes of the people. Parts of the film actually seemed humorous. There were other parts where one finds themselves extremely lost and confused. However the surroundings and the sets completely immersed the viewer in that era and that point in time. The film was lengthy and dark with very few moments of extreme brightness.
All in all, The Mahabharata was intriguing to watch and creates an open mind to the idea of interpretation and representation.