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One of the great masterpieces of world literature comes to vivid life in an elaborate production from acclaimed theater and film innovator Peter Brook (Marat/Sade, Lord of the Flies). This collection of ancient Sanskrit stories (composed into the longest book ever written) comprises a series of enlightened fables at the heart of countless beliefs, legends, and teachings; indeed, its very title means "the great story of mankind." Brook and award-winning writer Jean-Claude Carriere worked for eight years to develop this epic concerning two sides of a royal family, the Pandavas and the Kauravas, whose struggle leads to a fascinating voyage of emotions, contradictions, and dreams, filled with subplots which are alternately comic and tragic but always gloriously entertaining.
Famed Royal Shakespeare Company director Peter Brook helms this multinational production of India's greatest epic myth. A seemingly simple tale of two sets of semidivine brothers vying for the throne spirals out to include wider themes of fate, free will, and the problems of behaving dishonorably to preserve the greater good. The film, adapted from Brook's stage production, uses a presentational style, with the epic's narrator slipping in and out of the action and characters stopping to address the camera. The international cast and simple costuming add to the timeless, dreamlike feel of the story. The Mahabharata does an excellent job of reverently presenting a cherished myth without losing the passion and excitement of the story. The DVD edition includes "The Making of The Mahabharata," an interesting look at both the layers of meaning to be found in the story and the challenges in adapting it for a Western audience. --Ali Davis
- "Making The Mahabharata" (55 min.), featuring interviews with the principal cast and crew
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Top Customer Reviews
Briefly, the Mahabharata is a tale of two rival sets of brothers, cousins to eachother, each born into royalty and with divinely guided paths in life. The result, however, is a great war, death, destruction, but a final glimmer of light preserved. Vishnu after Shiva.
Peter Brook's five-hour version of the Mahabharata is theatrical, philosophical, spare, poetic. It is rendered in gentle, nearly monochromatic hues and with often silent backgrounds, interspersed with periods of hauntingly beautiful music. The actors are gifted, if a bit too grand and mythic in their presentation. As in the written versions, the characters motives are seen to be, in turns, grounded and human, and unearthly and enlightened.
Such a powerful mix, and such a penetrating vision of life -- all from over three thousand years ago!
I highly recommend this film, anbd the special features of the DVD make it that much more valuable.
Buyer beware! This is not the original, full length version.
I bought this as a birthday present for my husband, after five minutes of watching painful cut after painful cut, we had to turn the film off. I will be returning it ASAP.
I have NO IDEA why the studio did this.
Amazon.com should mark this as an ABRIDGED VERSION.
I can only hope that the studio comes to their senses and released a version of the DVD that is the full 325 minutes, because the VCR tapes I bought 14 years ago are wearing out...
This has nothing to do with the Mahabharata but a friend of mine was in the Catholic seminary and got a perfect score on his greek test but the prof gave him a 99. George complained and the prof said "100 is for God, 99 is for man". OK so off the subject but 4 stars for this movie but 5 for the doctor.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The menus are in German.Read more