It was exactly two years back, almost to the day, that I sat watching in horror, India's so called first 3D digital animation film, Bal Hanuman 2. To call it a monumental bundle of errors would be actually giving it credit.
It was so unimaginative, the set design so disgustingly mediocre, the animation so pedestrian that at another level, it was actually surreal... to see that this, which was infinitely worse than most 'cartoons' on TV, could release in a theatre.
And I wasn't the only one not amused by the film. Many kids were crying their hearts out. But the parents, driven perhaps by their zest to introduce tiny tots to 'Indian culture' seemed unperturbed by these extremely vocal protests from their kids.
Around a year before this momentous monstrosity, I had seen the trailer of another film that looked promising and I hoped would release soon. That film was Arjun: The Warrior Prince, which found the projector light at the end of the dark tunnel last week, three years after its promos were first shown in theatres.
The film is all I had hoped for.
And despite some problems, Arjun sparkles with the lightness of its own brilliance.
What summed up the film was a comment from a fellow critic who said, "There are some fantastic turns in the film. I wonder if it was part of the original Mahabharata."
Turns out it is accurate to its source. To thus manage twists in one of the world's most popular stories calls for extremely skilful writing and conceptualisation.
The second, very subtle brilliance of the film lies in its almost complete removal of religious elements from the story.
Thus Krishna is merely a good friend of the Pandavas, best friend of Arjun who helps him realise himself, and not a god who can do magical things. Even the angle of Shiva testing and granting Arjun divine weapons is done intelligently without pandering to religious cliches.
The film thus has a clear intention - focus on political conspiracy and the evolution of a boy into a warrior prince. And in the hesitation of Arjun to be true to his self before finally discovering it, it endears itself to its target audience, teenagers.