Mama's Boys - a sleazy, irreverent 21st century take on Mahabharat evokes mixed response

Mama’s Boys: Aditi Rao Hydari-starrer modern, sleazy, funny short film on Mahabharat goes viral

Archana Venkatraman

A short film called Mama’s Boys is a modern, sleazy and hilarious 21st-century take on epic Mahabharat from director Akshat Verma. Mama’s Boys stars Aditi Rao Hydari as the modern day, sexy Draupadi who is excited at the idea of ‘being shared’ by Pandavas – her five husbands. It is going viral on social media and has divided opinions including an FIR against the film.

Mama's Boys starring Aditi Rao Hydari as Draupadi and Neena Gupta as Kunti
Mama's Boys starring Aditi Rao Hydari as Draupadi and Neena Gupta as Kunti

Mama's Boys also stars Neena Gupta as Kunti – a stern mother who instructs her sons what to do. The film opens with one of the five Pandava brothers (Arjun) bringing home a wife – Draupadi (Aditi Rao Hydari) and excited about showing his new bride to his mother. Kunti (Neena Gupta) without showing much interest orders Arjun to share her with all his brothers. Angry at his mother’s orders, Arjun tries to convince her but fails. He then approaches each of his four brothers to help him out and make their mother understand that a wife is not for sharing.

Aditi Rao Hydari as modern day Draupadi in short film Mama's Boys seduces all Pandava brothers
Aditi Rao Hydari as modern day Draupadi in short film Mama's Boys seduces all Pandava brothers

At first, the brothers agree to help Arjun out but they are all seduced by Draupadi who is a saucy, racy, flirtatious modern woman happy to flirt with all brothers.

In the modern short film, the Pandavas dress in silk robes and head gears but the setting is a modern day household where they smoke, play poker, exercise in gym. Draupadi is modern, speaks English and shops for lingerie and is not ashamed or hesitant to talk about sex.

The youngest of the Pandava brothers – Nakul and Sahadev – are shown to be gay and are happy to hide their sexuality under the pretext of sharing Draupadi. Eldest Pandava – Yudhishthir – a righteous man who does not lie – is shown as a reckless gambler lusting after Draupadi after seeing her exit the swimming pool. Bheem, true to his Mahabharat character is a body builder in Mama’s Boys and fancies Draupadi after seeing her exercise at the gym. The film ends with Arjun left to defend himself with everyone including Draupadi excited with the idea of sharing.

Mama’s Boys is an irreverent and funny take on 2000-years-old legendary mythological story about Kurukshetra war. The 16-minute short film is director Akshat Verma’s interpretation of how Mahabharat characters would think and act in 21st century. It is a hit with youngsters on Twitter and other social media sites. So far, it has garnered nearly 650k views on YouTube.

The movie has divided opinion among Indians with many finding it a hilarious and irreverent rendition of Mahabharat while some, including right-wing activists claim it hurts their sentiments and mocks the Hindu community. There is also an FIR against the film and the team. Responding to the angry claims from right wing activists, Aditi Rao Hydari wrote on her Twitter account: “The most popular recreational activity 'taking offence'.”

Watch short film Mama’s Boys – a funny, 21st century take on Mahabharat here:

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