Contemporary India. A majestic fort. A royal dynasty that no longer rules. A king without a kingdom.
Yet Eklavya (Amitabh Bachchan), their royal guard, lives in a time warp. He lives only to protect the fort, the dynasty, and the king.
For nine generations Eklavya’s family has protected Devigarh, a centuries old citadel in Rajasthan. His marksmanship is stuff of legends. His unflinching loyalty inspires ballads. Eklavya has spent his entire life serving the royals and closely guarding their secrets but now he’s getting old and increasingly blind.
Unable to cope with the suffocating customs of his land, the heir, Prince Harshwardhan (Saif Ali Khan), has stayed away in London. But the sudden demise of the queen, Rani Suhasinidevi (Sharmila Tagore), forces the Prince back to the kingdom he had left behind.
The Prince’s return brings a rush of joy into the moribund fort. His mentally challenged twin sister, Princess Nandini (Raima Sen) and his childhood love Rajjo (Vidya Balan) are delighted to see him. But the joy of reunion is short-lived.
There is unrest in the kingdom: Farmers are being stripped of their lands. The king, Rana Jaywardhan (Boman Irani), influenced by his brother, Rana Jyotiwardhan (Jackie Shroff), supports the atrocities being forced upon the helpless peasants. The king receives a death threat over the phone. An irreverent police officer, Pannalal Chohar (Sanjay Dutt), is called in to investigate. But he might be too late. The fragile peace of the land is suddenly shattered by a barrage of bullets. And amidst the mayhem, the safely guarded secrets of the fort are unveiled.
What follows is a contemporary, edge-of-the-seat dramatic action thriller with a stellar ensemble cast – Amitabh Bachchan, Sanjay Dutt, Saif Ali Khan, Vidya Balan, Boman Irani, Jackie Shroff, Jimmy Sheirgill, Raima Sen and Sharmila Tagore. The film marks the return of Vidhu Vinod Chopra who directs after a hiatus of seven years.
Read on to know more about each character!
EKLAVYA- AMITABH BACHCHAN
Eklavya comes from a long line of royal bodyguards. Ballads are sung in his father’s praise, for he sacrificed his life trying to save the king. On his father’s death, his mother names him Eklavya and entrusts him with his father’s daggers. He is sworn to protect the fort and its inhabitants. His dagger becomes his only companion.
Eklavya will stop at nothing to see that the Rana is safe from his enemies. But age and failing eyesight conspire against his competence. Will he be able to guard the secret that can destroy him and those he loves?
PRINCE HARSHWARDHAN- SAIF ALI KHAN
Harshwardhan is a modern prince who chooses life abroad to escape the suffocating rituals and practices of Devigarh fort. He is the antithesis of his father, the king who is blind to the modern strides of democratic India.
Harsh returns to Devigarh when his mother, the queen dies unexpectedly. The Queen’s final letter reveals her dying wish which he must fulfill. Harsh, now trapped in the fort, must grapple with the intrigue and deception that surround him. His only allies, his mentally challenged twin, Nandini and his childhood sweetheart, Rajjo.
Will Harsh find the strength to overcome his grief and fulfill his promise?
Will he triumph over the evil that surrounds him and evolve into an able heir?
Will he yield for his true love for Rajjo?
PANNALAL- SANJAY DUTT
DSP Pannalal comes from a low caste family. He is in awe of Eklavya, whose marksmanship has inspired him. Through sheer will and hard work he has overcome prejudice and society’s biases to reach the top ranks of the police force.
He is summoned to Devigarh fort to investigate a death threat to the king. What begins as a routine investigation soon draws him into a vortex of lies, deceit, betrayal and murder.
Rajjo is the royal chauffeur’s daughter. Despite her humble status, she has been the queen’s confidante and nurtures a secret love for the young Prince Harshwardhan. She is entrusted with a letter for him by the dying queen.
When a barrage of bullets shatters the piece of the fort, Rajjo finds herself pulled into the madness that unfolds. She is forced to put aside her personal grief and find the strength to console and support the prince.
Will her forbearance bring her the love she dreams of?
JYOTIWARDHAN- JACKIE SHROFF
Jyotiwardhan, Rana’s conniving younger brother, is his chief advisor. For decades he has been a servile sycophant to the Rana. But all along he has nurtured one wish in his heart: to overthrow the king.
RANA JAYWARDHAN- BOMAN IRANI
He is the figurehead monarch of Devigarh. He is an ineffectual man living in a time warp, haunted by the demons of his own failure. Tormented by a distasteful revelation, he plans to rid the palace of the noble and dutiful Eklavya.
Will he succeed or will he find himself trapped in his own web of deceit?
UDAYWARDHAN- JIMMY SHERGIL
Udaywardhan is Jyotiwardhan’s vicious son who plots the Rana’s downfall with his father. He hates Prince Harshwardhan, is deeply jealous of him, and hates his own status as the minor royal.
PRINCESS NANDINIDEVI- RAIMA SEN
Nandini is Harsh’s mentally challenged sister. She is an artist. The innocence of her wild imagination is marred when she witnesses a brutal murder.
Will her guileless laughter go unheard or will it reveal a vital clue?
SUHASINIDEVI- SHARMILA TAGORE
The gracious queen is the moral nucleus of the fort. Her untimely and mysterious death plunges the fort into darkness and sets off a maelstrom of chaos and confusion.