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Ashoka the Great (2001)

Asoka (original title)
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1:34 | Trailer

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The epic tale of King Asoka's life is recounted here.

Director:

Santosh Sivan

Writers:

Saket Chaudhary (screenplay), Santosh Sivan (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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2 wins & 17 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Shah Rukh Khan ... Asoka
Kareena Kapoor ... Kaurwaki (as Karriena Kapoor)
Danny Denzongpa ... Virat
Rahul Dev ... Bheema
Hrishitaa Bhatt ... Devi
Gerson Da Cunha Gerson Da Cunha ... King Bindusara (as Gerson da' Cunha)
Subhashini Ali Subhashini Ali ... Dharma (as Subhashini)
Umesh Mehra Umesh Mehra ... Emperor Chadragupta
Sooraj Balaji Sooraj Balaji ... Prince Aryan
Johnny Lever ... Magadha Soldier
Raghuvir Yadav ... Magadha Soldier
Suresh Menon ... Magadha Soldier
Ajith Kumar ... Susima
Shilpa Mehta Shilpa Mehta ... Queen - Susima's Mother (as Shilpa A. Mehta)
Rajlaxmi R. Roy ... Bar Girl (Aa Tayar Ho Ja)
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Storyline

Prince Ashoke (Shahrukh Khan), heir to the Magadha Kingdom, bowing to his mother's (Shilpa Mehta) demand forsakes his princely status and goes to live in the wild for awhile. There he meets and falls in love with Kaurwaki (Kareena Kapoor). He identifies himself as Pawan, not wanting to disclose his identity yet. Ashoke has to return to Magadha, but when he returns to find and wed Kaurwaki, he is told by Bheema (Rahul Dev) that Kaurwaki and her brother Arya have been killed. Devastated Ashoke returns home. On the way home he is attacked and Devi (Hrishitaa Bhatt), of the Buddhist faith rescues him and tends to him till he gets well. As a result, Devi's marriage to her groom is cancelled. Ashoke weds her and brings her to Magadha, only to be told by his father that since Devi is not of the same race as he, she cannot be welcomed. Ashoke leaves with Devi and lives in Ujjaini. Soon Devi gets pregnant, and this arouses jealously and hatred amongst Ashoke's step-brothers. As a result they ... Written by rAjOo (gunwanti@hotmail.com)

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Only the dead have seen the end of war.


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

India

Language:

Hindi

Release Date:

26 October 2001 (India) See more »

Also Known As:

Ashoka the Great See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

INR130,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$337,464, 28 October 2001

Gross USA:

$731,277

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$1,340,718
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(International) | (uncut) | (director's cut)

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film does not depict Ashoka's love for Devi. See more »

Alternate Versions

The version referred on the US DVD released by First Look Pictures Home Entertainment, also known as the Director's Cut, is listed at 152 minutes but actually runs 169 minutes. Several features distinguish this from the uncut version. First, it is a 24 fps print running at 25 fps. Second, several cuts are present that interrupt the flow of the narrative in the uncut version, particularly in several exchanges between characters in the time between the first and second songs, and in the time between the fourth and fifth songs. Furthermore, the shot of Virat's actual death is completely missing in this version. See more »

Connections

Featured in The Story of India: The Power of Ideas (2007) See more »

Soundtracks

Raat Ka Nasha - II
Written by Gulzar
Composed by Anu Malik
Performed by K.S. Chitra and Abhijeet
Courtesy of Sony Music India
See more »

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User Reviews

magnificent acting and cinematography
31 July 2004 | by krishna911_99See all my reviews

the film revolves around a real life incident of India's ancient emperor Asoke the great.

the beginning of the film is simply marvelous, with the emperor Chandragupta Mauriya, renouncing the throne and advising the young prince Asoka not to use the sword.

the story moves quickly onwards projecting asoka as a competent, even brilliant general but ruthless and ambitious. he is embroiled in intrigues with his step brothers, and with his father who is under the power of his step mother who is hostile to his very presence. unable to tame the haughty prince his mother forces him to go into exile.

the plot meanders a little until he meets the princess kaurwaki. interesting sequences follow with a heartbreaking partition of the two lovers and the eventual betrayal of asoka by his brothers.

the emotional parts are fantastic with poetic cinematography. there is some thing for everyone in this film.

Shah rukh khan once again proves that when it comes to the Indian film industry, there are few who can equal him. his screen presence is immense, and once he is on, there is nothing else you can help notice.

Kareena kapoor is good, as the destitute yet haughty princess Kaurwaki.

Supporting castes are excellent, with a special mention of Danny denzongpa, who acts his part to perfection.

the conclusion of the film is in the massive battle of Kalinga. here the fight sequences are real (not animated), with real time filming. hence the effect is great. the stunts though look like expressive ballet at times.

the only thing lacking is an all too brief exposure to the spiritual side of the event,(of the emperor renouncing violence). since this was the turning point in his life a little more on this and a little less on the romance between Asoka and Kaurwaki would have made this a definite hit.

all in all, a marvelous piece of cinema. a must watch for ANYONE.


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