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Eklavya - The Royal Guard Preview

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Eklavya - The Royal Guard
Banner:Vinod Chopra Prod
Cast:Amitabh Bachchan, Sharmila Tagore, Jackie Shroff, Sanjay Dutt, Saif Ali Khan, Vidya Balan, Jimmy Shergill, Boman Irani, Raima Sen
Direction:Vidhu Vinod Chopra
Production:Vidhu Vinod Chopra
Music:Shantanu Moitra
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Eklavya - The Royal Guard - Will he guard the royal secret?
IndiaGlitz  [Tuesday, January 23, 2007]

There was a time when movies about 'rajas' and 'maharajas' were a norm, especially in the 50s and the 60s. Later films like these were termed more as costume dramas with 'Kranti' and 'Dharam Veer' turning out to be blockbusters in their times. Early 80s saw a success in the form of 'Raaj Tilak' but since 90s there haven't been many such films being churned out of Bollywood. Failure of one such film, 'Rajkumar' [1996] that starred Anil Kapoor and Madhuri Dixit in the lead could be termed as a final nail in the coffin.

But now, after almost a decade, one such film arrives by the name of 'Eklavya - The Royal Guard'. The difference here being that director Vidhu Vinod Chopra fuses the tale in contemporary times with the backdrop being lost dynasty, pseudo kings and centuries old forts but today's people!

Place: Rajasthan. A land known for its royal dynasties, citadels, rich heritage and royal families, some of whom are still stuck in a time wrap.

Rana Jaywardhan [Boman Irani] was one of them.

Though there was no kingdom that existed for him anymore, he was still considered as the monarch of Devigarh, a centuries old citadel. Though there were no real powers that existed for him any more, he still tended to believe otherwise.

His trusted aide was Eklavya [Amitabh Bachchan] whose responsibility was to protect the citadel and its inhabitants. And why just him? In fact lives of nine generations before him had their sole purpose to protect the king and his kingdom and ensure that no harm comes upon them....even if that meant laying down their own lives!

Eklavya's father too had had carried on this tradition and upon his death, his wife had named their son 'Eklavya' and presented him with a dagger, which was a symbol of an everlasting loyalty to the king and the dynasty.

Eklavya ensured this for decades but now towards the last leg of his life, his failing health and eyesight were turning out to be a hindrance in his duty. Also, there was a secret that he was keeping hidden from all!

A secret, which if out in open, could result in the loss of his life and the people whom he protected!

The family he was required to protect comprised of Rana's son Prince Harshwardhan [Saif Ali Khan], daughter Princess Nandini [Raima Sen], brother Rana Jyotiwardhan [Jackie Shroff] and nephew Udaywardhan [Jimmy Shergill].

Harshwardhan had gone to London and stayed there for years since he could hardly relate to the monarchic ways of Devigarh. But on the sudden and mysterious death of his mother, Rani Suhasinidevi [Sharmila Tagore], he rushed back home to be with his family.

Reason? Rani Suhasinidevi had a dying wish which he was obliged to fulfill.

Harshwardhan was home to do just that. But would he be able to do that with the right frame of mind amidst all the suffocation, deceit and intrigue around? The only relief he could get was when he was with his sister Nandini and sweetheart Rajjo [Vidya Balan]. Though Nandini was mentally challenged, she was an innocent soul and an artist at that.

A fun loving individual, her happiness was short lived as she witnessed a brutal murder!

Rajjo could have been Harshwardhan's childhood love but here was still a vast social difference between the two. She was the daughter of royal chauffer but was still the one who was most trusted by Rani Suhasinidevi. In fact she was the one who was handed over a letter by the dying queen. With the fort now under threat and all the unrest surrounding its inhabitants, she had to strengthen herself and keep a brave face amidst all the adversities.

Will she be able to live up to the expectations?

Situation was no better wit

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