General collection of irrelevant drivel and sporadic venting of spleen, with a dash of intelligent journalism and incisive debate.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Ramayana... Reloaded

Apparently, Rajkumar Santoshi has announced that he plans to make a film based on the Ramayana.

On Star News today they had an SMS poll on for the best person to play Ram. The candidates were Ajay Devgan, Hrithik Roshan and Salman Khan. And they had expert opinions from er... the experts, namely Arshad Warsi and Irfan Khan (Were you expecting anyone else?) All this interspersed with cheesy footage from the Ramayana TV series.

In the space of a day, this is the second revival/remake of the Ramayana that I've heard of. The first is a set of comics (or graphic novels, if you will) launched by Virgin Comics, and created by Shekhar Kapoor and Deepak Chopra. Yes, that's right - that Deepak Chopra. Perhaps brought in to give Ram a new-age sensitive feel.

The artwork looks stunning though.



Virgin Comics are launching other lines as well - most notably a Lara Croft-esque desi heroine, called Devi, dressed in PVC and looking diabolically divine..



You can get a sneak preview here.

Check out the brooding, angst-ridden Inspector Rahul, dressed like Sam Spade, but no one told him the action had shifted to Sitapur in India.

While on the topic of the Ramayana, Ashok Banker was arguably the first person who started this revival, and you could do a lot worse than read his supremely written modern re-telling of the epic.

1 Comments:

Anonymous Rahul said...

I've read the 1st 3 books of Banker's Ramayana and was quite impressed by his attempt at writing the Ramayana as a modern speculative fiction series.
However, there were a couple of problems which I hope we'll not see in the rest of the series and his upcoming Mahabharat. (Spoilers below)



The first one is the use of the "Get out of Jail" card to resurrect Lakshman. I don't really know why he put this in, maybe to provide a bit of a shock for Indian readers who wouldn't be expecting Lakshman to die at this point. Once he had done that, he had to find a way to resurrect him.
He's not the first sf writer to do this and I'm sure he won't be the last but he could have handled it better.

The second problem was the use of the Brahmastra. For Indian readers who know all about the Brahmastra, this may not be such a problem. But the worst thing any sf writer can do is to get the hero to bring out the unknown never-before-mentioned ultra-powerful weapon just in the nick of time to defeat the bad guys. It doesn't get more deus ex machina than this.
Its like Voldemort and Harry Potter facing off at the end of Goblet of Fire and Harry saying, "Hey Voldemort, bet you didn't know that I've rediscovered the lost 4th Unforgivable Curse ... HawkEyes PokeEyes !!!" and Voldemort and the Death Eaters all being permanently blinded allowing Harry to escape.

Overall, though, I thought it a good read and am looking forward to reading the rest of the series.

1:04 PM

 

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