Monica Mehta
April 26, 2002 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Those seeking a historical account of Indian emperor Asoka need not stop here. From director Santosh Sivan (The Terrorist) comes a bloody musical that takes numerous liberties with the life of the warrior-turned-Buddhist ruler. The cinematography may be lush, and Khan’s performance as Asoka stellar, but the plot revolves around a weak, hackneyed love triangle that is inexplicably ditched in the final moments in favor of an abrupt, overly sentimental ending. Such sloppy filmmaking only serves to ensure that ”Asoka” is the ruler of none.

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