Filmmaker Om RautsAdipurusha big-budget adaptation of the ramayanafeels a far cry from its source material, says Ramanand Sagar’s team ramayan that brought the epic to life in an era where doordarshan was the staple. The latest version of the age-old tale of good and evil finds has faced boycott calls after the teaser release last week for its depiction of Hindu deities and the quality of its CGI. And part of the cast and crew of what many consider the “original.” ramayan also seem unimpressed.
Actor Arun Govil still serves as the face of Lord Ram, Dipika Chikhlia as Goddess Sita and Sunil Lahiri as Lord Lakshman for millions of Indians who tuned in every Sunday to watch the epic drama into their homes. Late artists Arvind Trivedi and Dara Singh played the roles of Ravana and Hanuman respectively.
“I saw the teaser and it’s very different ramayan that we had seen and I know India grew up with it. It’s very different and it’s definitely wonderful to have technology, but I don’t think it reflects the era where the actual Ramayana took place,” Chikhlia told PTI.
The world of Adipurushbefore Baahubali Star Prabhas, who stars in the title role as Lord Ram, is extraterrestrial, she said. “When you do a theme (like this) you have to be honest with the era, the period and the characters,” she said. But Chikhlia is hopeful Adipurush could be wonderful.
“The director (Raut) is an award-winning director, so I’m sure it must be something wonderful,” added Chikhlia.
The portrayal of the 10-headed demon king named Lankesh, played by Bollywood star Saif Ali Khan, has become an attack. With a beard, wild eyes and a buzz cut, many have slammed the creators for the blatant Islamization of Ravana.
The depiction of Hanuman with a beard, without a mustache and dressed in leather has also drawn criticism. In an unusual depiction of the Hindu god, Ram was shown with a moustache.
“The kind of look they gave Ram and Ravana is not digestible for the audience because many people have seen the same characters in Ramanand Sagar’s ‘Ramayan.’ People have seen Ram, Sita, Lakshman, Ravana and they shouldn’t spoil the picture,” Lahiri told PTI.
“I don’t know why they did that look. We can’t say anything until we see the trailer or the movie. Personally I’m not happy with the look, it’s difficult to say if it’s good or bad,” he added.
Moti Sagar, son of Ramanand Sagar, believes that people’s feelings must always be considered when a filmmaker adapts ramayana for the screen.
“Everyone has their point of view. Whether he is right or wrong, I will not comment. There are a lot of feelings associated with the epic that should be considered while sketching and shooting these characters,” he told PTI.
Moti Sagar named the main reason ramayan still enjoys great popularity is because his father was meticulous in portraying the characters.
“For the character of Hanuman, he visited so many temples that are centuries old long before the show was filmed. There are so many statues, paintings and we followed what was accepted by the masses.
“Everyone has a different vision and they have a right to have their vision. We’ve been tracking what’s in temples across India,” he added.
The path for the film looks bumpy as political parties and right-wing groups also criticize the film’s teaser.
Earlier this week, Madhya Pradesh Home Minister Narottam Mishra warned the movers Adipurush to take legal action if scenes depicting Hindu religious figures in a “wrong” way were not removed.
The Vishwa Hindu Parishad also objected to the teaser’s portrayal of Lord Ram and Ravana, claiming it “mocks Hindu society”.
At the media preview of the film’s 3D trailer earlier this week, director Raut said he was “disheartened” by the reaction to the teaser but not surprised given the film’s being made for a larger medium.
“If I had a choice, I would never have put it on YouTube, but that’s the need of the hour. We need to get it out there so it reaches a wide audience,” Raut told reporters.
(Except for the headline, this story was not edited by NDTV staff and was published by a syndicated feed.)