Did You Spot Lagaan, Swades & Jodhaa Akbar in Mohenjo Daro?

‘Mohenjo Daro’ mixes ‘Lagaan’, ‘Swades’ & ‘Jodhaa Akbar’ swaad anusaar. We tell you how. 

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Entertainment
3 min read
<i>Mohenjo Daro</i> manages to squeeze three of Ashutosh Gowariker’s best movies into one. How? Read on. (Photo: Aaqib Raza Khan/<b>The Quint</b>)

Ever since the trailer of Ashutosh Gowariker’s Mohenjo Daro was released, it has been generously criticised for factual inaccuracy and general misrepresentation of history. Social media hilariously ripped apart the movie the trailer was released:

And also noticed the big mistake in the movie’s title itself.

But Ashutosh Gowariker insisted that ‘you have to be patient and form your opinion after seeing the film’. So we did, and found that Mohenjo Daro carries traces of the director’s previous magnum opuses. How? Read on.

Mohen-Jodhaa-ro

If you’ve seen Mohenjo Daro, or even the trailer, you may have experienced deja vu seeing muscly Hrithik Roshan in a period costume, fighting horses and dusty gundas. But that’s not all.

Sample this: The daughter of a noble family is betrothed to a ruler in a political move to save the region. Sounds like Jodhaa’s marriage to Akbar to save the Rajput kingdom of Amer from a potential war in Jodhaa Akbar? Also Mohenjo Daro.

In Ashutosh Gowariker’s movie, Jodhaa gets married to Akbar to save the Rajput kingdom from a war. (Photo: UTV Motion Pictures)
In Ashutosh Gowariker’s movie, Jodhaa gets married to Akbar to save the Rajput kingdom from a war. (Photo: UTV Motion Pictures)

In Mohenjo Daro, the female protagonist, played by Pooja Hegde, is the daughter of a priest in the council of ministers. She’s supposedly blessed by the Goddess Sindhu, and therefore the Chief of Mohenjo-daro, played by Kabir Bedi, fixes her marriage with his son, to change the fortunes of the city.

In <i>Mohenjo Daro</i>, the female protagonist is supposed to marry the son of the city’s Chief for political reasons (GIF: <i>Mohenjo Daro</i> trailer)
In Mohenjo Daro, the female protagonist is supposed to marry the son of the city’s Chief for political reasons (GIF: Mohenjo Daro trailer)

Mohenjo Daro’s Chaani, just like Jodhaa, accepts the decision of ‘Her-appa’.

Shared Tax-onomy

A movie where the antagonist raises tax in the region to feed his self-interest. The protagonist revolts and unites the otherwise scattered peasantry. Sounds like Lagaan? Also Mohenjo Daro.

In <i>Lagaan</i>, villagers played cricket against the British rulers to protest the increase in taxes (Photo: UTV Pictures)
In Lagaan, villagers played cricket against the British rulers to protest the increase in taxes (Photo: UTV Pictures)

Lagaan was an epic in which Indian peasants defeat the British rulers in a cricket match, forcing them to waive the extra tax levied on the farmers. The movie went on to be India’s official entry to the Oscars that year. So why not evoke the same oppression-fighting heroics and repackage it with the paraphernalia of a different period in history? Sweet deal.

<i>Mohenjo Daro</i> sees peasants revolting against oppressive taxes. (GIF: <i>Mohenjo Daro</i> trailer)
Mohenjo Daro sees peasants revolting against oppressive taxes. (GIF: Mohenjo Daro trailer)

In Mohenjo Daro, the Chief of the city raises tax in the city to fund his personal exploits. Sarman, the Greek-God of Indus Valley, unites people to protest against the tax hike, and almost launches a civil disobedience movement against the ruling monarch.

It’s a match!

Race to Des

A man comes back to his native land, makes people aware of the huge potential of water, and works for the betterment of his des. Swades? Also Mohenjo Daro.

In <i>Swades</i>, Shah Rukh Khan harnesses the power of water to create a power generation facility in his village. (Photo: UTV Motion Pictures)
In Swades, Shah Rukh Khan harnesses the power of water to create a power generation facility in his village. (Photo: UTV Motion Pictures)

In Swades, Shah Rukh Khan returns to India and harnesses the power of water by making a mini-dam to generate electricity for his village. In Mohenjo Daro, Hrithik Roshan comes back to Mohenjo-daro and assesses the power of water in the weakening dam, and rescues the city.

<i>Mohenjo Daro</i> shows the city getting flooded when a weak dam overflows. (GIF: <i>Mohenjo Daro</i> trailer)
Mohenjo Daro shows the city getting flooded when a weak dam overflows. (GIF: Mohenjo Daro trailer)

On a side note, while Swades had Shah Rukh Khan returning to his country from Amrika, Mohenjo Daro has Hrithik Roshan returning from Amri.

Dam(n) it!

With the elements of his own successful movies falling flat because of a few conceptual errors, Ashutosh should definitely ‘Go-worry-kar’.

The rest, as they say, will be history.

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