One of my childhood's beautiful memories is having an impressive collection of Amar Chitra Katha comic books. In fact, the comic books were hugely popular [I am sure, they still are!], with several kids showing off their prized collection to friends and relatives. I distinctly remember, the comic books had gorgeous imagery and each story was wonderfully simplified for kids to decipher.
In a major move, Amar Chitra Katha now ventures into production of animation films and in collaboration with Cartoon Network unveils its first offering, SONS OF RAM, in 3D. Ramayana and Mahabharata are the two great epics of India -- much admired, revered and adored -- and though we may have heard the stories over and over again, besides witnessing the plot and legendary characters on television and also on the big screen, the joy of reliving Ramayana and Mahabharata remains unrivaled to this day. One of the key reasons being, the stories are packed with bravery, heroism, treachery, betrayal and tragedy.
Not everyone who saunters into a cineplex to watch SONS OF RAM may be well tuned with the premise or familiar with all its characters. So the real test lies in telling the story. To its credit, SONS OF RAM succeeds in narrating the story of Luv and Kush most adroitly, besides highlighting episodes that the kids and also many grownups may not be too well versed with. But the film lacks the epic feel that one associates with Ramayana. The imagery is plain ordinary, while the animation appeals in parts. The year 2012 has witnessed several animation films leaving a mark and I'd like to single out at least two films -- ARJUN: THE WARRIOR PRINCE and DELHI SAFARI. Unfortunately, SONS OF RAM pales when compared to those films. Besides, what prompted the makers to opt for 3D? It hardly contributes here.
Lord Ram of Ayodhya was forced to send his beloved wife Sita into exile. Unknown to Ram, far away in sage Valmiki's ashram, Sita lives as Vandevi, raising their twin sons, Luv and Kush. Though not aware of their royal lineage, the twins imbibe wisdom, compassion and combat skills that would put any royal prince to shame. Accompanied by a steadfast gang of lovable friends, Luv-Kush's journey of discovery takes them from enchanted forests with mythical creatures, to the revered land of Ayodhya.
The voice-overs are okay, although the lip sync doesn't match at times. The background score is a high point.
On the whole, SONS OF RAM has a great story to tell, but lacks the epic feel that one associates with mythology.
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