23rd September 2020

Om Raut’s Making Ramayan, What happens to Nitesh Tiwari’s Ambitious Ramayan?

Producer Madhu Mantena and director Nitesh Tiwari’s proposed 3-part feature film  based on the Ramayan has received a rude jolt. Director Om Raut in collaboration with T series has  announced  Adipurush  Raut’s  own version  of the Ramayan.  To be  made at a  reported  budget  of Rs 250 crores this big-screen spectacle will star Prabhas as Rama and Saif Ali Khan as  Ramayan.

 Sources  say   Raut intends  to  give  a revisionist  spin to the timeless Hindu epic.

“Though Prabhas and Saif will play Rama and Ravan in the traditional  style of antagonists  the  dynamics  between   the two epic warriors  would be far more flexible and  open to  an untried  interpretation,” says the  source.

So where does   the Prabhas-Saif combo’s Ramayan leave Dangal director Nitesh Tiwary’s long-delayed Ramayan?

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Tiwari and  his  producer Madhu Mantena have been planning  the Ramayan   for two years now.

In an interview to me in September  2013  Tiwari had spoken  of his ambitious project to do a 3-part series  based  on the Ramayan.

“I am consumed by the idea  of doing  a  large-screen  version of this  epic. The Ramayan is a part  of almost every Hindu  household. I grew up with it as  an essential part  of my life, and  for me making it into a film is  an honour I only dreamt  of. My prayers have been answered.”

Nitesh had declared   there will be no creative liberties and  no revisionist flourishes,in his film version of the holy  scripture.  “Given the  times we  live in, it’d be foolish  to make  changes in a scripture that  is an integral part  of every Hindi household. It’s a  flawless story. I’d be  a fool to be tamper with it.I am going to be  completely  faithful to the  text. This will be the Ramayan exactly  the way  we know it.”

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It looks like Om Raut  has beaten  Nitesh Tiwari to it. It is unlikely that the  Hindi film industry swimming against  a severe  fiscal slump, would  risk two steeply-budgeted  interpretations of  the Ramayan so  close  to one  another.

In other words,  RIP Nitesh Tiwary’s  Ramayan.

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