If there is one historical weakness which has plagued India since aeon, it has been our reluctance to become united in the face of foreign invaders costing us our precious independence for centuries.
This same one-liner is the bedrock of the new Sony TV show, Chandragupta Maurya which seamlessly follows the ending of the earlier 8pm Sony show Porus (Laksh Lalwani) who had the audacity and gumption to stand up to none other than Alexendar the Great.
The story quickly moves to Magadh where the evil Nand dynasty emperor Dhananand (Sourabh Raaj Jain) oppresses his poor subjects in order to prevent them from rebelling. Sourabh is playing the part to T; you really want to slap him.
Chanakya (Tarun Khanna), who had unsuccessfully guided Porus’ one India dream, returns to Magadh a second time hoping to convince Dhananand of the dangers to Mother India coming from the invading Greeks. But he is humiliated and jailed and vows to end Dhananand’s reign. Nand does the same mistake; rulers after him kept joining hands with the invaders, striking an alliance with the Greek general Seleucus (Vikas Verma).
Interestingly, the makers (Siddharth Kumar Tewary’s Swastik Productions) have really added lot of fiction to history, for there is no record to the link of Porus, Chanakya and Magadh. There is no Indian reference to the existence of Porus who is only written about by the Greek historians.
Guess the makers wanted to carry forward the patriotic interest generated by Porus and time frame wise both did happen around the same time 300 BC. And given today’s renewed interest in Chankaya as someone who first had the vision of united India, it makes sense on part of Sony and Producer to take the story forward hoping to rake in the much-needed eye balls.
Also since ancient Indians were not very good recorders of history, there are not many authentic sources to fall back on. So obviously the writers have to really go on imagination as to what must have happened back then to carve a coherent tale. There is just one fly in the ointment, for we are interpreting history about what happened in 300 BC from a contemporary lens. India as we know it today was politically created only in 1947.
Chandragupta (Kartikeya Malviya) is shown as leader of a band of young thieves. The creative have spent a lot of time, a tad more than needed in an attempt to establish the bravery and smarts of young Chandragupta, who keeps putting his life on the line to save his friends. While humanly, this can be a good deed, politically it might not be that sound. Wonder how Chanakya who wrote statecraft, will approve?
Young Kartikeya is doing a good job as Chandragupta jumping around as required. We would love to see him do the serous political scenes and puppy love.
There is a back story to Chandrapupta as well. His royal mother Moora (Sneha Wagh) too was tortured and made captive by Dhananand. Wanting to save her son from the evil king she had handed him to her brother who sold him for money. Slave Chandragupta now hates his mother for abandoning him at birth.
Sneha who replaced Shefali Sharma looks really beautiful and her acting has always been good. The best part of playing a mytho mom is that you don’t need to age and today’s costumes of this genre accentuate the feminine form.
You might wonder how Chandragupta will meet Chanakya. After stealing money from Dhananand, Chandragupta’s fat friend again gets arrested and is jailed along with Chanakya. As usual the latter saves his buddy and also frees Chanakya. This is the story so far.
Tarun Khanna is doing a good job as Chankaya bringing out the seriousness of his thought and body language to do justice to the political ideology of his character.
At a time when historical and mythos show rule the roost we hope Chandraguta Maurya fetches good ratings for Sony, for let’s face it even Poros did not rake in huge numbers and these historical properties cost a bomb to produce. Also with KBC ending, Sony’s overall GRP will certainly dip and they will hope that the above show along with Ladies Special and Patiala Babes help replace lost ground.
We at IWMBuzz.com credit Chandragupta Maurya with 3 out of 5 stars.