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  • The Mahabharata [DVD] [1989] [1990]
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The Mahabharata [DVD] [1989] [1990]


Price: £10.47 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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The Mahabharata [DVD] [1989] [1990] + The Story of India with Michael Wood: Complete BBC Series [DVD]
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Product details

  • Directors: Peter Brook
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles For The Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Classification: U
  • Studio: Bfi
  • DVD Release Date: 30 May 2005
  • Run Time: 312 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00092ZE64
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 18,266 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

THE MAHABHARATA
A film by Peter Brook

The Mahabharata is at the very heart of Indian culture - in religion, myth and legend. One of the oldest stories in the world, and certainly considered the longest at over 100,000 stanzas, it has provided fertile ground for artists and their audiences since time immemorial.

Long-time collaborators Peter Brook (director) and Jean-Claude Carrière (screenwriter) created the three separate plays that comprise this version of the epic, producing a globally successful nine-hour stage production, a three-hour TV version and this DVD release, as just over five hours.

The central story is of the lifelong feud between the Pandavas and the Kauravas, two closely related regal families, but the many subplots, diversions, fables and legends turn this mythological epic into a story of and for all mankind,

This double DVD set also includes a booklet with introductory and explanatory text written by Brook and Carrière, as well as synopses of the three stories and full production credits.

USA, UK, France | 1989 | colour | 312 minutes | English language, optional hard-of-hearing subtitles | Original aspect ratio 1.33:1 | Region 2 DVD

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

46 of 47 people found the following review helpful By Mr. A. Gopaul on 2 May 2006
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I originally saw the film on Channel 4 several long years ago and read a book version by a different author.

The actual story is very complex to understand, however, this play is excellent. To explain the whole story with its sublteties is difficult. There are many contradictions about the story, however, the underlying theme of the story and acting is fantastic.

You can watch the DVD over again and pick up new meanings.

It is worth seeing if you want to get an insight into this great epic.

I am happy to provide a positive testimonial.
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35 of 38 people found the following review helpful By seldon on 25 Dec. 2006
Format: DVD
first and foremost let's get the facts straight. this is not b.r. chopra's soap tv adaptation of the epic. neither is this a bfi sponsored telly film trying to tell us the story of the mahabharata. this is the film adaptation of the famous play.

peter brookes stage version of the mahabharata ran to packed houses and set new standards . running over 6 hours long, it tried to encompass the ethos of the grand epic of mahabharata, if not it's whole content. the film version was produced much later, and shortened the play to five hours, cutting scenes, and altering landscapes.

the end result does in no way detract us from either the play or the work itself, and does manage the convey the grandeur of the scale of the effort. granted, some scenes best came out in theatre, and some adaptations (like the chakravyuha being limited to shields rather than the ingenious network of spears in the play) are not as impressive , but, let us not crib over trifles. a film version of the greatest play in broadway (my personal choice) based on the greatest story ever told, is a heritage to be treasured , for generations.

p.s. and a two disc set for 16 quid is cheap, specially since for years, the only copy in the market was a r1 dvd imported from america. i mean, you'd have to pay 60pounds a person for seeing this on stage if it ever ran again as a play!!!!
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful By bernie TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 1 April 2006
Format: DVD
This is the creation of the poem to engrave drama in the hearts of man, which culminates in the 18 day war between the noble Pandava princes and their scheming cousins, the Kaurava kings that decides the fait of mankind.

We see how free will and fait can co-exist. Notice that Krishna has an agenda that may or man not be that of the other players in the game. Even in the 18 day war every rule is broken every value is destroyed, leaving no difference between whom is good or who is evil, who is an enemy or who is not. As Krishna does throughout the movie we see that the only way the Pandava can win is to use any means.

The essence of the Mahabharata was encapsulated in a 9 hour play by Peter Brook. Then the play was adapted to this six hour visual media presentation. Visually and melodically stunning this presentation is so well presented that you hardly realize the effort that went into making this representation reflect the true Mahabharata.

Mahabharata literally means Great (Maha) India (Bharat), yet its meaning is the story of mankind as one would see that mankind started in India.

There are other film and book versions of the story some better some not as good however this is a brilliant work and should not be missed.

In book form I suggest as a good starting place "Mahabharata" -The Acclaimed new rendering of an immortal epic of war and destiny. Retold by William Buck.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Tashi on 26 Aug. 2009
Format: DVD
i first watched the peter brook mahabharatha when i was 13 and was completely mesmerised. however, after having familiarised myself with the whole epic, when i watched it again as an 18 year old i was disappointed. it seemed ridiculously edited, the acting was too 'theatrical' and the sets simplistic. but now, 10 years later, i bought this for my partner who knew nothing about the epic and was greatly interestd in acqainting himself with it. i thought it would be a good introduction to the main events. after some years of deepeing my understanding of hindu philosophy and the mahabharatha itself, i now feel that brook's mahabharatha is a work of art and truly gets the 'gist' of what it is trying to relay. the dialogue is tremendous and each line has depth and meaning which is relevant to the overall message the epic is trying to convey. i highly recommend it for someone who is interested in this great epic. as brook really puts an ocean into a mustard seed quite effectively.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By V.Wilkin on 21 April 2008
Format: DVD
Il est incontestable que cette version du Mahabharata diffère de la repésentation traditionnelle de cette épopée indienne.
Pourtant, son essence y demeure.
La sobriété du décor et des costumes rehausse la beauté du texte, et les acteurs, si variés, sont formidables chacun dans leur rôle.
Il y a une grande poésie dans la mise en scène, très théâtrale d'ailleurs.
Ce film est une véritable splendeur qui rend hommage à ce joyau et coeur de la culture,indienne certes, mais mondiale surtout.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By bernie TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 29 Mar. 2006
Format: DVD
This is the creation of the poem to engrave drama in the hearts of man, which culminates in the 18 day war between the noble Pandava princes and their scheming cousins, the Kaurava kings that decides the fait of mankind.

We see how free will and fait can co-exist. Notice that Krishna has an agenda that may or may not be that of the other players in the game. Even in the 18 day war every rule is broken every value is destroyed, leaving no difference between whom is good or who is evil, who is an enemy or who is not. As Krishna does throughout the movie we see that the only way the Pandava can win is to use any means.

The essence of the Mahabharata was encapsulated in a 9 hour play by Peter Brook. Then the play was adapted to this six hour visual media presentation. Visually and melodically stunning this presentation is so well presented that you hardly realize the effort that went into making this representation reflect the true Mahabharata.

Mahabharata literally means Great (Maha) India (Bharat), yet its meaning is the story of mankind as one would see that mankind started in India.

There are other film and book versions of the story some better some not as good however this is a brilliant work and should not be missed.

In book form I suggest as a good starting place "Mahabharata" -The Acclaimed new rendering of an immortal epic of war and destiny. Retold by William Buck.

Also do not over look "The Power of Myth" -- by Joseph Campbell, Bill Moyers.
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