Ek Yodha Shoorveer (2016) *LQ*

First things first, Ek Yodha Shoorveer is not a new Hindi film, it is more of an afterthought, a six years too late dubbed version of Santosh Sivan’s Malayalam historical fantasy Urumi (2011, available online now). A lot has happened in the interim, most significantly the birth of a gigantic franchisee called Bahubali that has upscaled Urumi aka Ek Yodha Shoorveer in the sheer spectacle and entertainment quotient.

Yet Ek Yodha Shoorveer holds interest, in the way Sivan pitches the present against the past and sees history with a contemporary eyeview. The encroachment by multinationals into tribal land and the displacement of tribals, with active support from corrupt politicians, is seen parallel to the Portuguese invading, fighting and exploiting the indigenous people of Kerala in the 16th century, to gain dominance over the black peppercorn (believed to be more pricey than oil) trade and more. He also reinvents some myths and legends, showing us a cruel, brutal and sadistic Vasco da Gama as against the intrepid traveller and explorer that history would have us believe.

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