Exploring the Classic: Ashoka Full Movie Review


For many movie buffs and fans of classic cinema, Ashoka is a timeless masterpiece that has left a lasting impact on Indian cinema. Directed by Santosh Sivan and released in 2001, Ashoka starred Shah Rukh Khan in the titular role along with Kareena Kapoor, Hrishitaa Bhatt, and Danny Denzongpa. The film follows the life of the legendary Indian emperor Ashoka the Great and his transformation from a fierce warrior to a compassionate ruler after the brutal battle of Kalinga.

Plot Summary

The movie begins with the young prince Ashoka, played by Shah Rukh Khan, engaging in battles and conquests to expand the Mauryan Empire under the rule of his father, Emperor Bindusara. Ashoka's ruthlessness in war earns him the title of "Ashoka the Fierce." However, a turn of events leads Ashoka to discover the horrors of war and the futility of conquest, particularly after witnessing the aftermath of the battle of Kalinga, where he sees the devastating impact of his actions on innocent lives.

Character Development

One of the strengths of Ashoka lies in its portrayal of the titular character's evolution from a warrior consumed by ambition and power to a leader guided by compassion and the principles of non-violence. Shah Rukh Khan delivers a powerful performance, capturing the internal conflict and emotional turmoil of Ashoka with depth and nuance.

Visuals and Cinematography

Santosh Sivan's expertise as a cinematographer is evident throughout the film, with breathtaking visuals that transport the audience to ancient India. The grandeur of the palaces, the vast landscapes, and the epic battle scenes are visually stunning and add to the overall immersive experience of the movie.

Music and Soundtrack

Another standout aspect of Ashoka is its mesmerizing soundtrack composed by Anu Malik. The music perfectly complements the emotional and dramatic moments in the film, enhancing the overall impact of key scenes. Songs like "Raat Ka Nasha" and "O Re Kanchi" have become iconic and are still beloved by fans of the movie.

Themes and Messages

Ashoka explores themes of power, redemption, love, and the consequences of one's actions. The film delves into the inner conflict of a man torn between his desires for conquest and his newfound understanding of compassion and empathy. It also highlights the importance of forgiveness, reconciliation, and the pursuit of peace in the face of adversity.

Legacy and Impact

Despite facing mixed reviews upon its release, Ashoka has since gained a cult following and is recognized as a classic of Indian cinema. The movie's exploration of historical events, coupled with its captivating storytelling and stellar performances, have cemented its status as a must-watch for cinephiles and fans of period dramas.


In conclusion, Ashoka is a cinematic gem that continues to enthrall audiences with its rich storytelling, compelling characters, stunning visuals, and soul-stirring music. The film's exploration of Ashoka the Great's transformation from a warrior to a visionary ruler is both inspiring and thought-provoking, making it a timeless tale that resonates across generations. Whether you're a fan of historical epics, Shah Rukh Khan, or simply appreciate good cinema, Ashoka is a movie that deserves a place on your must-watch list.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  1. Is Ashoka based on true events?
  2. Yes, Ashoka is based on the life of the historical figure Ashoka the Great, who was an Indian emperor of the Maurya Dynasty.

  3. Who plays the lead role in Ashoka?

  4. Shah Rukh Khan portrays the character of Ashoka in the movie.

  5. What language is Ashoka originally filmed in?

  6. The movie Ashoka was filmed in Hindi.

  7. Is Ashoka available for streaming on any platform?

  8. Ashoka is available for streaming on various platforms like Amazon Prime Video, Netflix, and Disney+ Hotstar.

  9. What makes Ashoka a classic film?

  10. Ashoka is considered a classic film due to its compelling storyline, strong performances, stunning visuals, and impactful themes that continue to resonate with audiences.

  11. Are there any historical inaccuracies in Ashoka?

  12. While the movie takes creative liberties for cinematic purposes, it generally stays true to the historical events surrounding Ashoka the Great.

  13. Does Ashoka have any awards or accolades?

  14. Ashoka won several awards, including a National Film Award for Best Art Direction and Best Costume Design.

  15. What is the running time of Ashoka?

  16. The runtime of Ashoka is approximately 155 minutes.

  17. Are there any sequels or prequels to Ashoka?

  18. As of now, there are no official sequels or prequels to the movie Ashoka.

  19. How has Ashoka influenced Indian cinema?

    • Ashoka has left a lasting impact on Indian cinema by showcasing the epic tale of a historical figure in a visually captivating and emotionally resonant manner, setting a benchmark for period dramas in Bollywood.

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