Bollywood’s love for mythologies dates back to several decades. The next few years will witness a plethora of mythology features such as ‘Ram Setu’, ‘Adipurush’, ‘Ramayana’, ‘Brahmastra’, ‘Chanakya’, ‘Mahaveer Karna’, ‘Sita: The Incarnation’ and ‘Draupadi’, headlined by big stars and backed by prominent banners.
However, these films often come under scrutiny for deviating from the original idea. Kriti Sanon, who will be essaying the role of Janaki in Adipurush believes that playing such a part “comes with a certain responsibility”.
“I’ve to keep a check on how much you can play as an actor because there’s a certain boundary that you cannot cross. We’ve to make sure that we adhere to facts and stick to what we believe in telling, so that we do not end up hurting sentiments,” she says.
Manoj Muntashir, who has penned the dialogues for ‘Sita: The Incarnation’, ‘Adipurush’ and ‘Chanakya’, asserts that filmmakers “need to capitalize on our epics”.
Ask him about what kept them away from this genre over the past few years and he explains, “All of a sudden, India’ has woken up to its legacy. I can safely assume that ‘Baahubali’ broke many grounds. When dhoti-clad heroes were seen waging wars with bows and arrows, the things that were thought of as outdated, became cool”.
In 2019, Arati Kadav wrote and directed Cargo, a science-fiction rooted in Indian mythology. She says, “Mythologies are a goldmine we’re sitting on and we’ve to just tap into them”.
However, she points out that the exorbitant budget often deters filmmakers from exploring the genre: “Mythology films are high-risk projects. It involves high-grade VFX and a massive production scale. The benchmark set by ‘Avatar’ (2009) was so huge that our filmmakers thought that they will never be able to match up”.
Trade analyst Taran Adarsh believes A-list actors headlining these projects “is a positive sign”. “If big stars are cast, that will take care of the budget aspect too. But if you make a good mythological film, there’s a huge audience wanting to watch it. For instance, ‘Jai Santoshi Maa’ (1975) didn’t have a star cast and it was a low-cost film but it became huge,” he says. (Hindustan Times)