Aaah, come on now? Can't we grow up? Even if we are making films for kids, can't we have something really exciting, really enthralling and really noteworthy enough? When an animation film like 'Lava Kusa' arrives, it just makes one believe that it serves us right to see a 100% failure record here in this genre of cinema.
Really, except for 'Hanuman', the first full length animation film which was released a few years back and worked primarily due to the novelty factor, there have been more than a dozen odd animation films that have hit the screens and most of them have deservedly flopped. While most of them have dealt with mythological elements, a few have been closer to today's times. However, the fact remains that none, just none of the films has worked. Now add 'Lava Kusa' to the list.
After all how many action sequences can one really see in a 100 minutes film, especially so when more than 75% of it is plain repetitive. First arrow coming from one direction and the second coming from another as a counter-attack, hence creating mayhem in the sky was passť 20 years back during the days of 'Ramayana'. Today, when something similar is repeated scene after scene, it hardly remains exciting.
What was exciting though was the core idea of 'Lava Kusa'. Director Dhavala Satyam did get an interesting idea on the table i.e. tell the story of the abandoned sons who eventually came face to face with their father (Rama) without knowing that their mother was indeed Sita. Now what could have been a dramatic tale turns out to be an action saga which looses steam after a while.
In fact to think of it, the first 30 minutes of the film are plain drag with the creative team just hell bent on showcasing their animation prowess. That too doesn't quite work actually since in the time when even Bollywood has started making 3D animation film, a plain comic book animation is something that is not acceptable even on cartoon channels. However, so thrilled is the team of 'Lava Kusa' with the idea of getting animation on the big screen that all you get to see is sequences where extrapolation of characters is the name of the game.
There is some semblance of story that does come in when the 'Ashwamedha' horse is let loose and it encounters Lava and Kusa. The drama picks up from here as the two youngsters end up defeating everyone coming their way. However, just when one would have expected the drama to reach its peak once Hanuman enters the scene followed by Rama himself, the narrative mellows down totally. Worse, there is absolutely no element of surprise that comes on the youngsters faces once the big secret (around Ram and Sita being their parents) is revealed.
To make the story work for kids, there is a side track of naughty squirrels added to the narrative as well. However, beyond an occasional smile or two, this track too doesn't entice the audience much. There are number of songs integrated into the film as well. However, not just are the tunes unexciting, even the picturisation of each of them looks similar, mainly due to extrapolation factor coming into play scene after scene.
While Indian animation industry refuses to come out of its infancy, guess the wait would continue for many more years before Bollywood gets its own 'Cars' or a 'Wall E'.