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Asoka
     

Asoka

4.6 11
Director: Santosh Sivan, Shah Rukh Khan, Kareena Kapoor, Danny Denzongpa

Cast: Santosh Sivan, Shah Rukh Khan, Kareena Kapoor, Danny Denzongpa

 
Cinematographer turned director Santosh Sivan follows up on his acclaimed 1999 opus Malli with this sweeping historical epic. Asoka, the emperor of the Mauryan dynasty between 274 and 232 B.C., was famed for having unified much of modern-day India and for raising Buddhism from obscurity to the ranks of a world religion. Early in his life, as Emperor of the

Overview

Cinematographer turned director Santosh Sivan follows up on his acclaimed 1999 opus Malli with this sweeping historical epic. Asoka, the emperor of the Mauryan dynasty between 274 and 232 B.C., was famed for having unified much of modern-day India and for raising Buddhism from obscurity to the ranks of a world religion. Early in his life, as Emperor of the region of Magadha, he waged a brutal campaign against the neighboring fiefdom of Challenge, leaving the land bloody and ravaged. The war paid a toll on the young king; having realized the full horror that he wrought, Asoka renounced violence and turned to the spiritual sanctuary of Buddhism. This film was screened at the 2001 Toronto Film Festival.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide
In contrast to The Terrorist -- the film Santosh Sivan is best known for outside of India -- Asoka is pure Bollywood exuberance on a grand scale, full of flashy costumes, sword fights, and energetic, nonsensical musical numbers. In order to stuff his film with the requisite action and splendor, director Sivan takes quite a few liberties with the facts of Asoka's life (which became the source of some controversy in India). He even leaves the most important detail -- Asoka's conversion to Buddhism -- to a scrolling text at the very end. Instead, the film focuses on the years of exile and bloodshed that led to Asoka's eventual conversion. Exiled after his father abdicates his throne and converts to Jainism, Asoka (played by Bollywood heartthrob Shah Rukh Khan) meets and marries Princess Kaurwaki (Kareena Kapoor), though neither of them knows the other's true identity. After being called back to his kingdom upon his father's death, Asoka ascends to the throne and embarks on a reign of cruelty that begins with the slaughter of his treacherous brothers and ends with a final battle complete with elephants, cavalry, and legions of soldiers. Like Lagaan, Asoka is a lavish, epic-adventure designed to broaden Bollywood's audience outside of India. It makes for great fun for those able to ignore its blatant disregard for historical accuracy.

Product Details

Release Date:
04/23/2002
UPC:
0687797954091
Original Release:
2001
Rating:
NR
Source:
Alchemy / Millennium
Sound:
[Dolby Surround, Dolby Digital Stereo]
Time:
2:30:00

Special Features

Closed Caption; "The Making of Asoka" featurette; Theatrical trailer; Scene selections; Dolby stereo or Surround sound option; Cast filmographies

Related Subjects

Cast & Crew

Scene Index

Side #1 --
1. Asoka [24:59]
2. San Sanana [18:12]
3. Aa Tayar Hoja [15:37]
4. O Re Kanchi [10:01]
5. Roshini Se [25:59]
6. Raat Ka Nasha [12:09]
7. Pawan [4:14]
8. Conspiracies [3:23]
9. Sons & Brothers [4:41]
10. Conqueror [11:29]
11. Battles [6:31]
12. Credits [27:26]

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Asoka 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 11 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
First, I am not that familiar with foreign films and no virtually nothing of Buddhism. Given that caveat, I hope my review will appear objective. ASOKA offers a good portion of various elements that make a good movie: drama, suspense, political intrigue, romance, dance and song (very good choreography), comedy (natural, not pasted in), irony, characterization and character development. It also contains conflicts at various levels: conflict with self, nature, society, and perhaps (in a quasi-mystical mode) conflict with the supernatural. I may be obtuse in saying this, but the film does not get into Buddhism, though it slightly mentions it. The premise of the movie is the rise of ASOKA as a prince, a wanderer, to ruler/emporer. Only in the denoument (end) of the film does it get to associating ASOKA with Buddhism. In other words, the movie follows ASOKA to that point where he embraces Buddhism. I rarely buy DVD's; as I prefer to rent, but this one is definitely worth adding to my meager library of DVD's.
Guest More than 1 year ago
asoka is very interesting, and historical.It has great music, actress, and actors.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Asoka was the best movie I have seen in the past several years. I had to watch it twice over a period of two days to take everything in. It was breathtaking in every sense. Great, great movie.
Guest More than 1 year ago
- Even though Asoka is a popular film, it's going to have to do more to win the world's love. Kareena Kapoor may be a good fighter, but she needs to do more that strip in order to be called famous!
Guest More than 1 year ago
The music and story line have stayed in my head long after the movie was over.I have never rented an Indian movie before because I am not familiar with their history and culture but it is now part of my dvd collection. I guess love is a universal language.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I was overwhelmed by the overall quality of this film. One of the few wonderful movies produced recently by Bollywood.
Guest More than 1 year ago
As a Buddhist I have read the character of Emperor Asoka at school. He has played a great role in spreading the message of Lord Buddha. Watching the movie brought everything alive for me. The cast does full justice to the movie. It depicts the events in a very sensitive, emotional manner. Shah Rukh Khan¿s portrayal of the character of Emperor Asoka is excellent which puts him in a class above all. The movie was screened in Sri Lanka two months ago. Until the final run of the movie, the main theatre in Colombo was house full, every day. The moviegoers would not give up. They waited for hours in queues to get into the theatre. The Sri Lankans of course loved the film. IT IS A MUST WATCH MOVIE!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I think its a great movie.Shah rukh's acting is good but its just that Kareena looks too much of a guy than a girl to act in it as shah rukh's love.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
This film being my first exposure to Bollywood productions (I picked it up on a whim one night at my local video store)Every aspect of the film was absolutely magnificent from the breathtaking costumes to the artfully crafted cinematography. I found the storyline and acting in the first half of the film to be a little slow and uncomfortable to watch in some parts, but the second half of the film completely blew me away. The acting and storyline in particular had matured greatly and coupled with the allready brilliant aspects of the film, made this to be an eye opening experience for me towards Bollywood. I was awe struck and intend not only to have this film in my dvd collection, but also to spend a lot more time watching films from this area of the world.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This film is candy for the eyes, and in some parts - for the soul. The story is beautiful. The actors are beautiful. If you enjoy Indian music videos this film is a treat. The film is funny and touching.