Eklavya - The Royal Guard : Movie Review

Spoiler Warning - please be warned :)
The one question that is sure to come to every viewer's mind after he has seen Eklavya is "Why Vidhu Vinod Chopra, Why???". And it is only for answering this question that one can contemplate watching Eklavya (if at all one contemplates watching it which is not something advisable as far as this writer is concerned).
The movie has some good points, so like a true positive minded person, I will present those first.
  1. The camera work is very good, bordering on great at some places.
  2. All the actors have done a decent job.
  3. Thankfully the royal background has not been taken as an excuse to push unwanted and unnecessary songs down your throat.
  4. The makeup and costumes are also good.
  5. The total running time is just about 2 hours, that is a BIG relief.

Besides these carefully dug out good points, there is nothing worth watching in the movie. I read in an interview of the director that it took him some 5 years to write the story of the movie. It seems that he was not too happy with his effort at the end of 5 years and so just put together something in the next half hour and somehow convinced the likes of Sanjay Dutt, Amitabh and Saif to act in it.
The movie is an attempt to show in 120 mins something that should not have taken more than 15 minutes at best. The story, if you want to call it that, has been stretched a lot and has nothing to offer. There is the proverbial palace with the old King and the dying queen, the Prince whose homecoming is necessary because of the death of his mother, the scheming duo of King's brother and his son and the in-love-with-prince village belle to complete the quorum.

The prince has a letter from Mom dearest waiting for him when he comes back, and it has the funniest of secrets hidden inside it. It tells the prince that the palace guard is his real father; Take that class system. Then he has letters from (real) daddy dearest which were written but never posted coaxing him to complete his dharma. Then he has the paintings from his sister telling him about secrets in the Haveli...too much to handle, right?? But there is more in store for him...and the sad part is that the audience couldn't care less.
The role of Sanjay Dutt seems to have been added after a late realization that the movie is turning into a dud. But unfortunately, even he cannot salvage it even though he has an interesting little cameo.
Jackie Shroff and Jimmy Shergill are adequate, and their characters provide the negativity to the plot (although they are not the only ones doing so) which is hardly a novelty, or a surprise.
Vidya Balan is another VVC protege who cannot say no to his movies. Here she adds the love angle to the story. Also, she has this habit of whispering her dialogues which gets irritating sometimes, but she looks great as always :)

All in all, a waste of time and resources. I am not sure what VVC was thinking even after watching the movie. Try watching it if you must figure that out.