Asoka

NR, 150 min. Directed by Santosh Sivan. Starring Danny Denzongpa, Hrishtaa Bhatt, Kareena Kapoor, Shah Rukh Khan.

Not reviewed at press time. This two-and-a-half hour Indian epic is directed and shot by the maker of 1999's highly acclaimed The Terrorist. Filmed on a grand pallette, the movie relates the story of one of India's most important figues, Asoka, the emperor of the Mauryan dynasty from 274BC to 232AD. Best known for uniting most of India under one rule and for having raised Buddhism from obscurity to the level of a wide-reaching religion, Asoka only reached his enlightenment after a bloody past. As a young emperor he waged devastating campaigns which ravaged and wasted his opponents. Tortured by the effect of these actions, the emperor renounced violence and war and became a Buddhist for the rest of his days. A real-life Xena maybe? This being a Bollywood production you can count on the reportedly stunning battle sequences and other visual treats to be broken up by numerous musical numbers.

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This story about life and love in southern India during the twilight of British rule is exquisitely photographed but emotionally overwrought.

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KEYWORDS FOR THIS FILM

Asoka, Santosh Sivan, Danny Denzongpa, Hrishtaa Bhatt, Kareena Kapoor, Shah Rukh Khan

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