The Telegraph
Saturday , May 4 , 2013
Since 1st March, 1999
CIMA Gallary

Mom & son watch Chhota Bheem

It’s a fight at home (versus mom, who else?) every day to watch an hour of Chhota Bheem on POGO, so when five-year-old Aahan Paul got a chance to catch a full Chhota Bheem movie, that too at a movie theatre and with his mom(!), he couldn’t believe his luck. Dressed in his favourite red CB tee (he’s got a collection of them), the student of KG at La Martiniere for Boys trotted along to catch the first day-first show of Chhota Bheem and the Throne of Bali at INOX (Swabhumi).

An avid CB fan, here’s what Aahan liked best about Bheem’s second big-screen outing — The Fights! Well, from the very first scene right till the end, this movie, like all CB episodes, has Bheem fighting the evil forces.

Here are some of the sequences Aahan would recommend to all those who would watch Chhota Bheem the movie after him!

1) The film opens with a pack of wolves attacking Dholakpur and snatching away a baby from its cot. It’s obviously then left to Bheem to rescue the baby from the clutches of the wolves and also save Dholakpur. Go, Bheem, go!

2) Bheem and his team (Chutki, Raju, Jaggu, Kalia, Dholu and Bholu) are off to Bali to attend the crowning ceremony of Rajkumar Arjun, who’s the son of Raja Indravarma’s (king of Dholakpur) sister and hence Rajkumari Indumati’s cousin. But on reaching the shores of Bali, they discover that the whole city has been captured by the evil Rangda and his forces. They decide to help Arjun rid Bali of the evil forces but first they have to gain Arjun’s trust, which means Bheem has to prove his fighting skills to the prince.

So what follows is a face-off between Arjun and Bheem… the one who kills the maximum number of Leyaks (some Oriental-looking monsters) is to be declared the more powerful. Arjun, true to his name, is a master archer (also described as cheetah se tez and lomri se buddhimaan) but in the world of Hindi cinema there’s no weapon more powerful than the fist. So Bheem scores a century killing 100 Leyaks while Arjun is stranded on 99. Yeeeeaaaahh!!

3) The super-long final fight to kill Rangda is a real thriller. All kinds of forces — from an army of snake-headed demons to vanar sena (monkey force) to master archer Arjun — fight it out in vain, and finally it’s Bheem who is destined to lay his hands on the lethal weapon “caris” that is to kill Rangda. Clap. Cheer. Shout. For Chhota Bheem.

I’ve banned Chhota Bheem at home (at least am trying very hard to) and so have many other moms whom I meet at the school gate everyday. The common mommy crib? The action that’s the mainstay of the series is fuelling a violent streak in kids (at least in little boys). I’m not exaggerating when I say that a few days of non-stop Chhota Bheem watching does increase the fistfights at school and everywhere else.

So when I took my five-year-old son Aahan to watch Chhota Bheem and the Throne of Bali, it was not without apprehensions. But though action is still the mainstay in this movie (it’s a superhero film after all), here’s five reasons why you can take your kid to watch Throne of Bali without really worrying about the fist-of-fury fallout!

1) You’ll enjoy watching the action sequences here because there’s none of the usual silly fistfight between Bheem and Kalia. It’s serious, quality action.

2) The film shows that Bheem is up against a tough opponent and has to really fight his way to slay the demon. Unlike on most occasions on TV, it’s not a piece of cake for him when he just chomps on a laddoo and gains the strength to biff-bam-boom his enemies. Here he has to get hold of proper weapons to fight the evil.

3) There are none of the usual cheap tricks that Kalia and his companions Dholu and Bholu play on the villagers, that encourage children to play copycat by teasing people, spitting and even stealing! In the film, the focus is on the storyline and it doesn’t waste much time on those infuriatingly stupid jokes.

4) The film tries to paint a detailed picture of Bali and its culture for the kids — the landscape, the temples, the costumes, the dances, the tropical fruits and so on.

5) The song and dance is quite entertaining (it is a Yash Raj Films release after all!). There are a few cute song-and-dance numbers like Jo humse takrayega choor choor ho jayega, and there’s also a brief Jumping jhapak dance. But I have to say it’s a big bore when Raja Indraverma starts off singing Sadiyon purani kahani hai tumko sunani and describes Bali to the kids with Bali Bali Bali har taraf hariyali, Bali Bali Bali jagmagati Diwali…. Trust an adult to play spoilsport in a kiddie film.