NYICFF 2013: Hey Krishna

narutaki I have been reading lately about the growing Indian animation industry so I was pleased that NYICFF was going to give me an opportunity to sample a feature film.

Evil king Kans works the people of the land to the bone to do his bidding, he takes what he wants and kills those that oppose him. His one soft spot is his cousin but when it is prophesied that she will give birth to a son who will be the ruin of Kans, Kans imprisons her and her new husband indefinitely and kills their child after each new birth. But one day the God Krishna appears to the couple and is reborn in their newborn son. Krishna helps them exchange the child with one in a neighboring village before Kans can be alerted to the birth.

If you aren’t familiar with the story of Krishna (which I’m not), I’m not sure this movie will help very much as I still have about 10,000 questions. Still at its core it is about the God Krishna reborn in a boy who will take down a tyrant of the land. This boy from birth is a powerful force of nature combined with a mischievous attitude. But the way the movie presents itself is often confusing, rambling, and weird.

Krishna is essentially super baby which is pretty amazing and evildoers see him wearing golden armor while he may look perfectly normal to ordinary folk (oh except he has blue skin which no one questions. Ever.). Even as an infant he can tackle the most dastardly minions sent to kill him. But the villains are pretty lack luster with the exception of the giant steel bird. Also an evil witch he literally sucks to death as she attempts to breastfeed him poison. Krishna’s mother seems to be a very trusting woman!

The film skips over various monsters that Krishna must defeat in favor of seriously bizarre musical numbers and slapstick humor. Too much time is spent on Krishna’s idle days in the village where he gets in trouble with the local boys by stealing cream and milk. This is driven home over and over again in attempt to be comedy I suppose but often just delaying the more interesting events.

Listless dubbing and bad musical interludes ensured that this movie was pretty much a disaster from beginning to end.

The animation has merit now and again, mostly in long shots. But really the best parts where stills.

Sadly there was nothing all that enjoyable about this movie except maybe the wise-cracks we were bandying about at lunch. I really wish I could find something good to say about Hey Krishna. I can’t even make a joke about it at least being short; it was 2 hours. Not the best first impression for India’s animation industry but it is young yet.

The short paired with this movie, Alimation, didn’t do anything for me. It starts off well enough with a fork being put on a plate as if it were a record player but then it doesn’t become anything like that at all. The animation techniques were cool but it came off as more of a “look what we can do” instead of a short film.

4 thoughts on “NYICFF 2013: Hey Krishna

  1. Baka-Raptor says:

    I NEED to watch this.

    Hinduism has a lot of cool stories that could do really well with a great studio behind them. However, from what I’ve seen of the Indian animation industry, it’ll be decades before it gets to the level of Japan.

    Krishna’s childhood hijinks are pretty significant from a storytelling perspective, at least when appealing to children, but I’d have to see the film to know if they were overdone relative to the rest of the material.

    • reversethieves says:

      The film needed balance. Also I don’t think I adequately explained just how freakin’ terrible the musical numbers are, it could be because of the bad dub but I don’t think it would have been that much better.

      -Narutaki

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