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Kalki 2898 AD: Who is Ashwatthama, the role essayed by Amitabh Bachchan, and why is it a crucial connecting link?

Kalki 2898 AD delves into Ashwatthama's quest for redemption, bridging the gap between ancient and modern eras. 

Kalki 2898 AD: Who is Ashwatthama, the role essayed by Amitabh Bachchan, and why is it a crucial connecting link?
Amitabh Bachchan in Kalki 2898 AD

Last Updated: 10.20 AM, Jun 23, 2024


Director Nag Ashwin’s Kalki 2898 AD is finally going to hit theatres on June 27. The much-awaited film, which has been in the making for years now, is finally going to see the daylight. Starring actors Prabhas, Deepika Padukone, Kamal Haasan, Amitabh Bachchan, Anna Ben, Disha Patani, and others, the film is touted to be a sci-fi dystopian futuristic action drama, which is rooted in Hindu mythology Mahabharat.

But you may ask, how a film which is set far into the future still have relevance to Mahabharat, which is said to have taken place thousands of years ago. The connecting link seems to be Ashwatthama, the character played by Amitabh Bachchan in the film. But who is Ashwatthama and how does he provide the connecting link between the two periods? Read on further to know.

Who is Ashwatthama?

Kalki 2898 AD poster
Kalki 2898 AD poster

As per Hindu mythology, Ashwatthama is a character from the epic Mahabharata and the son of Drona, the teacher of Kauravas and the Pandava cousin clans who eventually fought the Kurukshetra War. During the battle, Ashwatthama, who fought on the side of Kauravas, attempted to kill Uttara's unborn child in her womb. This led to Lord Krishna cursing Ashwatthama with immortality.

Ashwatthama is also said to have a gem embedded on his forehead, which gave him all the power above the humans and shielded him from humanly issues like hunger, thirst, fatigue, ageing, and diseases. During the war, after hearing that the Pandavas had deceived his father Drona into believing that his son was killed, eventually making him lose his combat, Ashwatthama becomes enraged and attempts to kill Uttara's unborn child with Brahmastra weapon in order to end Pandavas' lineage. However, the foetus is saved by Lord Krishna who curses Ashwatthama and asks him to surrender his gem. The curse involves Ashwatthama roaming the forests until the end of Kali Yuga, with blood and pus oozing out from his forehead.

How is Ashwatthama related to Kalki 2898 AD?

There are still claims and unclarified instances of people spotting Ashwatthama in the modern age. However, even as no solidified proof has been found, the myth has been a great fodder for Kalki 2898 AD. It is Ashwatthama who serves as the connecting link between the two eras, Dvapara Yuga (when the war was fought) and Kali Yuga (present times) which is said to witness the tenth and final avatar of Lord Vishnu, Kalki himself.

In Kalki 2898 AD, Amitabh Bachchan plays the role of Ashwatthama. As per the Hindu mythology, it is believed that Ashwatthama is still alive and looking for penance for his mistakes. Interestingly, this is where Nag Ashwin’s futuristic film and the Hindu myth meet.

Amitabh Bachchan, Kamal Haasan, Prabhas, and Deepika Padukone in Kalki 2898 AD trailer.
Amitabh Bachchan, Kamal Haasan, Prabhas, and Deepika Padukone in Kalki 2898 AD trailer.

Set far into the dystopian future, Kalki 2898 AD is still set in Kali Yuga and Ashwatthama is still in search of peace. Deepika Padukone plays the role of Sum-80 , a pregnant woman who is said to carrying the child who will change the world into a better place. Amitabh’s Ashwatthama is seen aiding her from evil forces who seem to want the child, thus closing the circle of his sin of attempting to kill an unborn child. From the trailer, one can see Ashwatthama being a close aid to Sum-80.

Now, given we know some background information, we will have to wait and see how Nag Ashwin has attempted to bridge the two eras and bring these characters. It looks like while Prabhas will be playing a bounty hunter, Kamal Haasan will play the supreme force Yakshin, who is in search of the baby.

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