As Indians, each one of us has grown up immersed in stories of Shiva, Krishna and Hanuman. These legends were our superheroes and a part of our countries folklore. Mythology and superstition are embedded in our daily lives. To people from societies’ other than ours, Shiva might simply be “the blue god” and so on.
Watching Peter Brooks version of Mahabharata brings in another perspective on how people with different beliefs open their minds up to a particular subject. Watching this, gives the Indian viewer a taste of an outsiders standpoint. It may not be what we expect but the effort is applaudable. Brooks film manages to put across a very important point-A keen interest taken in an exterior culture and the willingness to recreate and represent.
The movie does not follow the typical norms of depiction of the Mahabharata but there is a visible effort put in. The movie is in the form of a narrative in which an elderly re-counts events from the epic to a young boy. The set-up changes as we lapse through time moving back and forth between the story and real time. The use of non-Indian actors brings to the table a difference in accents, depiction and understanding, which in my opinion was slightly hard to keep up with.
Overall, I find it hard to decide whether to be critical and look for flaws in nooks and corners of the film or to be slightly more optimistic and appreciative.