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Hanuman

At first glance, it is easy to be dismissive. But a little while into the film and you get into the swing of things.

Hanuman
Hanuman
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+0553
Starring: Animation with the voice of Mukesh Khanna as adult Hanuman
Director: V.G. Samant
Rating: **


At first glance, it's easy to be dismissive about Hanuman. The 2-D animation, its bright colours and fluid lines notwithstanding, looks a tad archaic and old-fashioned. It's a peculiar mix of Amar Chitra Katha and Chandamama with a dash of The Lion King and The Jungle Book. At a time when computer-generated animation in Hollywood is getting slick and sophisticated with cartoon figures becoming almost human, Hanuman's back-to-the-basics drawings could be quite a visual turnabout. But a little while into the film and you get into the swing of things. It's because animation films don't just need the sketches and cartoons but compelling stories and rounded characters as well. And trust our epics and myths to provide them in a good measure along with dollops of colourful adventures and vivid fantasies. At the centre, of course, is our desi superhero Hanuman and the film is, in a way, Ramayana retold from his point of view. It's narrated by the adult Hanuman in a flashback of sorts. We start with how Hanuman was born, how he was Shiva's reincarnation who came into the world to rid it of the negative forces and to bring back peace and harmony. He was born to the god of wind (Vayu) and had the unique gift of immortality. He could not be destroyed by fire, water or weapons, could assume any form and size, from the smallest to the largest. Enough material for an animation film to run riot.

The best part of the film is the toddler Hanuman. There's much about him that harks back to Mowgli as he swings from tree to tree, saves bear cubs from crocodiles and lifts elephants on finger-tips. Cute, cuddly, adorable. Particularly endearing is the sequence when the infant Hanuman jumps to gobble up the sun thinking it's a mango. The second half is about meeting Rama during the vanavasa and rescuing Sita from Lanka. That is when the film becomes a little dreary. Perhaps an overdose of the Ramananda Sagar Ramayana is to blame. However, there's one more thing worth appreciating—the zingy music, particularly the song Akdam Bakdam and the electric in the background.

India's first full-length animation film may have come a bit late in the day, but with all of 40 characters spread across an epic canvas, it's still no mean achievement.

INDIAN Top 5
1. No Entry
2. Salaam Namaste
3. Hanuman
4. Koi Ap Sa
5. Main Meri Patni Aur Woh

US Top 5
1. Doom
2. Dreamer: Inspired by a True Story
3. Wallace & Gromit in The Curse of the Were-Rabbit
4. The Fog
5. North County

Courtesy: Film Information

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