Visuals, VFX, action stunts lend 'Drona' Hollywoodesque feel

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New Delhi, Oct 3 (UNI) It was a film which was preceded by great expectations in the run-up to its release -- a huge canvas promising to dazzle viewers and the premise of ''a common man realising the superhero in him'' -- whipping up excitement and frenzy among cinegoers a la 'Krrish'.

It was with considerable anticipation that one awaited Goldie Behl's 'Drona', a fantasy drama featuring Bollywood heartthrob Abhishek Bachchan as a 'superhero' out to rid the world of evil forces.

True to expectations, 'Drona' does not disappoint, thanks to its stunning visuals, VFX (Special Effects), state-of-the-art action sequences and brilliant performances from its cast, comprising Abhishek, Priyanka Chopra, Jaya Bachchan and Kay Kay Menon.

In the much-awaited movie, little Aditya was brought up by a foster family after his mother Queen Jayati from the family of 'Dronas' (messiahs) sent him to a safe hideout across the seven seas to save him from demonic forces.

The protagonist has never known love -- the warmth of a mother's lap or a father's hug. All he has known is the frequent taunts from his foster aunt that have come his way since childhood.

Further, a troubling nightmare assails him since childhood. He wakes up trembling with fear, wanting to be held and comforted but nobody is there except for a magical blue rose petal that comes wafting in his room, making him smile through his tears.

The blue petal leads Aditya to a bejewelled 'kada' (bangle), which, when worn by him, brings him face to face with his destiny as a 'Drona'.

He is the preserver of the secret that the descendent of demons Riz Raizada is after, as part of his grand plans, taking over the Universe.

Raizada, who is on the lookout for Drona in quest of the secret, comes face to face with Aditya one day and immediately recognises him.

Sonia, leader of a cult that believes Drona is their messiah comes to Aditya's rescue. In order to make him realise that he is indeed Drona, Sonia takes Aditya to his place of birth, the ancient kingdom of Pratapgarh, to meet his mother, Queen Jayati who explains him his heritage as Drona.

The film is about how Aditya, or Drona, who traverses a long journey through a labyrinth of mystical myths, legendary legacies, malevolent magicians and malicious curses and then fights the evil spell of Raizada to finally fulfil his destiny.

The first thing that strikes the viewers is the grandiloquent settings of the film -- the stunning visuals by Director of Photography Sameer Arya, shot in exotic locales of Prague, Bikaner, Kuchchaman and Namibia, instantly transport one to the world of comic books that all of us loved as children.

The VFX affects, like those depicting Riz Raizada's castle, tend to bring alive on screen the mythical world that one came across only in the 'Amar Chitra Katha', 'Tintin' or Indrajal comics.

The film has a distinct Hollywoodesque feel to it. The sequences, where the child Aditya trembles with fear on being assailed with a nightmare or yearns for his mother's lap after bearing the taunts and humiliation from his foster aunt, reminds one of the films from the Harry Potter series.

Stunts like the breathtaking action train sequence shot amid the surreal dunes of Namibia, featuring Abhishek and Priyanka, are a treat to watch and among the best shot for a Bollywood film.

As far as fantasy adventures go, 'Drona' is clearly one of the biggest films in the genre to come out from Bollywood in a long time, especially in terms of its production value.

In fact, it is better than the previous films of the genre in India like 'Parasmani' in the 50s, 'Pataal Bhairavi' in the 70s and 'Ajooba' in the 90s to name a few.

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