Film: Krishna Aur Kans (Animation)
Director: Vikram Veturi
Cast: Prachi Save, Om Puri, Juhi Chawla, Sachin & Supriya Pilgaonkar, Manoj Bajpayee
When Arjun: The Warrior Prince released in May this year, this reviewer was convinced that India's animation industry is headed in the right direction, where storytelling and technological advancement go hand in hand and no difference is made between adult and children audiences. Arjun grabbed and retained the attention of both. Three months later, sadly, the same cannot be said about Krishna Aur Kans that was shot around the same time as Arjun.
One may defend the makers saying you cannot play around with mythological tales. But there's no excuse for lack of innovation and general boredom. The vision of Krishna Aur Kans is myopic and dumbed down edu-tainment for children. Few sparks of innovation do dot the overall under-whelming imagery, one of them the analogy between a lotus and the seven children of Devaki that Kans kills. The violence is considerably played down in visuals and Shantanu Moitra's appropriately composed background score make no discounts.
As the legend goes, Kans is the monster king of Mathura who is told that his sister Devaki's eighth child will spell doom. Kans is born to unleash terror and Om Puri's voice sends chills down your spine. When the child, Krishna, an incarnation of Lord Vishnu is born, he is brought up in Gokul by Yashoda (Juhi Chawla) and Nand (Manoj Bajpayee). The little boy is a master of pranks that lighten up the village belles, and make him mother Yashoda's favourite. Boosted by divine power, Krishna destroys all demons sent by Kans to kill him. Where Kans dominates the first half, Krishna's antics make for delightful moments that will appeal to kids. Voiced by Prachi Save, Krishna is the quintessential adorable kid with a glint in the eye and an insatiable liking for milk and butter.
Director Vikram Veturi has made a film for children. As it is, it's difficult to hold the attention of kids, and the 2 hours length could be daunting for parents. Though technically the animation is not poor, it rarely manages impress. The battle scenes between Krishna and Kans' evil men piques interest, then takes a plunge into boredom inflicted by an unnecessary song. A highly inappropriately conceptualised and executed item number featuring Putna the demon is enough to put you off Krishna Aur Kans. You definitely don't want explain 'Sthan mere vish bhare/Pran ke pakheru udd jate hai' to your kids.
But let it not pull you back for there is enough education in mythology for little children. The Hindi is heavy and understandably repulsive for children. However, voices by renowned actors like Om Puri, Juhi Chawla, Sachin & Supriya Pilgaonkar and Manoj Bajpayee do justice to the intensity of the characters. It's time to introduce your kids to Krishna the prankster god.