After Nikhil Advani's Delhi Safari, it's perplexing that Indian filmmakers don't choose to create make-believe worlds, or use animals and contemporary environments as subjects of their animated efforts. There's rarely any payoff trying to achieve photorealism while portraying real humans, because liveaction does that far more convincingly. However, unlike this year's Kochadaiiyaan, director Harry Baweja chooses a valuable story to retell.
Chaar Sahibzaade, a traditional term denoting the four sons of Guru Gobind Singh, centers around the brave deaths of the two older sons during the battle of Chamkaur, followed by the two younger sons (Baba Zorawar Singh and Baba Fateh Singh) being killed together by the Mughals at Sirhind. The screenplay boasts of considerable research, but the core involves actual history over mythology. Compelling human elements like emotions; facial expressions, drama, dialogue and gait invariably assume importance over imaginative landscapes.
This is where the performance-capture technology, or lack thereof, lets the experience down. After a point, all faces and eyes resemble a single prototype, and emotions are to be invoked solely through sound design (painstaking, but impressive), voiceovers and devotional music. The onus is so much on factual representation and conveying information with general sensitivity that the art of storytelling is often overlooked.
There are plenty of potentially explosive interactions, most of which involve the younger sons brazenly back-chatting the Mughals on their own turf, but their robotic video-game movements make it difficult to empathize. This is especially frustrating during their final sequence well crafted, rousing but lacking flexibility. Apart from mandatory weapons piercing the screen, the use of stereoscopic 3D is unnecessary, jarring even, because of obvious lighting inconsistencies.
Perhaps a live scale period recreation would have inspired authenticity to further stimulate impressionable young minds; children keen to be educated about history in ways other than books. Even if this is a passable watch for those unexposed to Pixar, it's time to move past the embryonic stages of a universe aching to be explored.
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Source : mumbaimirror.com