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Return of Hanuman – movie review

Mythological hero Hanumanji returns in the present time of Kalyuga


Return of Hanuman - movie review

The film begins with a disclaimer stating that Return of Hanuman is not a sequel to any film made before. This animated film is superb and technically dazzling.

The story begins with a vibrantly and remarkably picturised narrative about how Rahu and Ketu came into existence. Then it shows why man himself is the biggest evil or the impact of pollution leading to global crisis. There is a battle between Gods and the devils. Lord Hanuman requests Narad Muni to convince Lord Brahma to send him to earth. While Lord Brahma is most apprehensive, he eventually takes a softer line, but Lord Hanuman is made to sign a contract, which has several do’s and don’ts Return of Hanuman, movie review…

The focus shifts to a small village in present-day India. Our baby Hanuman is rechristened as Maruti, who is now a boy enough to get admitted in school as a mortal so that he can play football with the local boys…

Here our Maruti bumps into the customary hapless kid, Minkoo, soft target of the bullies of his neighbourhood, always ridiculed by his friends. Predictably, Maruti supports him and makes the bad boys eat dust. In the meantime, danger lurks around in the form of scheming bandits and Shukracharya’s immortal creations — the half serpent, half-human, Rahu and Ketu threatening to cause the end of the world.

There are some ridiculous moments like when a little squirrel trying to flirt with Hanuman where a wise old squirrel telling her to lay off because Hanuman “Brahmchari hai. Bandar jaat hai.” Then Chitragup sits browsing on his laptop on the site – maneka dot com, theres also the Sholay references of Gabbar Singh, voice-over clones of Shah Rukh Khan, Sanjeev Kumar and Raaj Kumar – which the grownups can identify with. But such moments should have been best be avoided by the director if he had the kids in mind.

Narada and Hanuman communicate in a typical mumbaiya filmi style, a gorilla modelled on our Shahrukh Khan comes to little Hanuman’s rescue, there is also a vicious bandit in the orchards somewhat like Gabbar Singh of Sholay, and amazingly the little Hanuman dodging past an array of bullets a la Keanu Reeves in Matrix.

When Narada is not snooping around Lord Indra’s adobe he breaks into a jig, strumming his sitar, fervently chanting OSO, while Lord Indra spends quality time with Menaka – a divine apsara.

Quite an impressive first half where it’s innovative to merge mythology with the contemporary and a number of sequences. But the film drags in the post-interval portions and a long-drawn climax only dilutes the impact of several interesting sequences.

The animation quality is technically okay keeping in mind that its fully made in India. Commendable. Quite enjoyable in parts, one of the prime reasons being that the baby Hanuman in this movie is cute and adorable. Sequences depicting his voracious appetite as also with his timid friend Minku are quite enjoyable.

Return of Hanuman attempts to blend the modern with the mythological to impart the golden lesson – Good prevails over evil. In doing this the outcome is a jumbled animated film which is tried to be enlightening or comic or entertaining??

While “Hanuman” was a pure mythological film, “Return of Hanuman” merges mythology with the present-day kalyug ki duniya. So no point comparing the two. Return of Hanuman is enjoyable in parts. If you’re a kid or have a kid hidden in you, Return of Hanuman is surely for you!

CAST & CREDITS of Return of Hanuman:
Return of Hanuman (Animation)
Banner: Percept Picture Company, Toonz Animation India
Directed by:Anurag Kashyap
Producer: Vinu Thomas , Sumit Kumar
Writing credits: Anurag Kashyap
Original Music by Tapas Relia
Visual Effects by: Devrishi Chatterjee
Return of Hanuman, movie review