So, LJ, you didn't answer: why is Bobby Bedi's version included in the poll considering it was shelved?
On topic: I have to say that all the adaptations have major flaws and
not quite satisfactory but the BRC version is the one I prefer most. Of
course there were many changes and omissions in the tale. The
adaptation was far from an accurate one. Still, I was impressed by the
script. Despite the alterations, it was well-written and flowed nicely.
The Mahabharat is a complex piece of work and Dr. Rahi Masoom Reza
demonstrated quite a remarkable grasp of the material. Condensing such
a gargantuan epic into a tv show and still making it work is a
remarkable achievement. It was very interesting to see how he adapted
the basic story to reflect modern issues such as democracy.
It was sad though, that the serial left the epic incomplete. It was quite disappointing to see that they made 94 episodes plus 45 more episodes in the sequel and still did not finish it. The same is true of Ramanand Sagar's version: not only did they leave out 5 of Krishna's 8 principal wives (along with other details and many changes) but the serial came to an abrupt end with the story incomplete.
And Nitish Bharadwaj was the best Krishna ever. Swapnil was decent as the young Krishna but S. D, Banerjee was quite boring IMO. Nitish's version also gets brownie points for actually using make-up to have a darker appearance.
I think the idea of using dialogue between Ganga and Krishna to narrate the story in Sanjay Khan's version was interesting. It was something different at least. I just wish he had spent more time on the story.
KHMK was a daily soap.
Though I liked Ronit as Bhishma.
For those interested in the BRC version, I recommend a critique of Dr. Reza's script by Dr. Pradip Bhattacharya. There is a 10 volume reproduction of the BRC Mahabharat
script and Vol 10 includes The Mahabharata TV Film Script--A Long Critique
by Dr. Bhattacharya. It is a fascinating study of the script. The various changes are analysed in detail. Please read it if you get the chance.
: I found some of Peter Brook's approach/ideas to be more interesting than the execution itself. Using an international cast was an interesting decision. I think Mallika Sarabhai did a pretty good job as Draupadi. Casting the same actor to play both Ganesh and Krishna was a nice touch. The main problem was the over-simplification of the issues in the epic (e.g. simply saying "the ways of Dharma are too subtle" does NOT do justice to the source material).
All said and done, I am still waiting for an adaptation that is more
accurate, faithful and complete. Adapting the text for modern issues is
interesting no doubt but I would really like a more faithful version.
Edited by Kal El - 08 March 2010 at 7:36pm